Let the fireworks begin.
The long holiday weekend of July 4 is turning into a party for Hollywood as Minions: The Rise of Gru on its way to a massive $129.2 million four-day opening domestically by early estimates. That includes $109.5 million for the three days. (Some rivals think it has a chance of approaching $140 million by the end of Monday.)
Overseas, the film will cross $86 million by Sunday for a worldwide loot of more than $200 million.
Forget about pandemic-era record-breaking for a family title; the Illumination and Universal movie will boast one of the best ever starts at the domestic box office for an animated Hollywood marquee post, unadjusted for inflation.
Friday’s revenue alone was approximately $48 million from 4,400 theaters, including a hefty $10.8 million in previews.
The film’s performance is significant because it confirms that parents and younger children are ready to return en masse to the multiplex. Throughout the pandemic, animated films were considered a challenged genre. It didn’t help when Pixar and Disney’s Toy Story spin-off light year opened last month for a lukewarm $51 million before falling steeply in its second outing (still, light year reached a milestone Friday when he jumped $100 million domestically on Friday).
So far, Paramount’s Sonic the hedgehog 2a live-action/CGI hybrid, held the record for largest pandemic-era opening for a PG family release at $72 million.
Regarding Hollywood’s Biggest July 4th Openings, 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon earned $115.9 million for the same four-day holiday weekend, followed by Spider Man 2 ($115.8 million) and 2017 Terrible Me 3 ($99 million). If the estimates are correct, Minions 2 will easily rank as No. 1. Some consider: Spider-Man: Homecoming a July 4th entry, as the public holiday fell mid-week in 2017, but it’s not a comparison between apples (Homecoming debuted over the weekend of July 7-9 to $117 million domestically).
Another milestone moment: Total earnings for the weekend will be even higher than the same frame in 2019 as the box office recovery continues to gain momentum. Holdovers — and above all Top Gun: Maverick – are also a contributing factor to the blessing.
The Rise of Gru is a sequel to 2015 minions and is the fifth entry in the Despicable Me franchise, the highest grossing animated series in history, unadjusted for inflation.
Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested that: Minions 2 would open in the $70 million to $80 million range for the four-day vacation, but some believed it would do more. Going by the four-day issue, the film will hold the record for franchise-best opening. But if you pass the three days, it comes something behind minions ($115.7 million).
Minions 2 becomes only the 10th animated Hollywood movie to debut at $100 million or more, a list led by unbelievable 2 ($182.7 million).
Dedicated Audiences Minions: The Rise of Gru with an A CinemaScore and strong exits.
The all-star cast includes Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Alan Arkin, Michelle Yeoh, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Taraji P. Henson, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, RZA, Danny Trejo and Jean-Claude Van Damme. The original story reveals how the super villain Gru (Carell) and the Minions met when Gru was a young boy in the 1970s growing up in the suburbs.
Top Gun 2 continues to grow more than a month after it first flew into theaters and seems to be taking advantage of the patriotic holiday. The photo is estimated to drop a measly 9 percent from last weekend to $26.9 million for the three days. Over the four days, it should earn an estimated $34 million, moving toward $600 million domestically after finishing with $572.6 million on Monday.
Elvis will drop to #3 on its second weekend with an estimated three-day gross of $18.5 million and $23.7 million for the four, bringing the biopic’s domestic total to $72 million.
Jurassic World Dominion and The black phone will round out the top five, giving Universal three of the top five spots.