Box office: “Minions: The Rise of Gru” runs on the 4th of July bank holiday weekend

Minions: The Rise of Gru ignited fireworks at the box office, raising $108 million over the weekend. By Monday, July 4th, the animated family film is expected to gross $127.9 million.

Based on these estimates, Minions: The Rise of Gru will break the record for highest Independence Day film premiere, surpassing Paramount’s 2011 blockbuster Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($115.9 million over four days). .

Ticket sales for the fifth installment in Universal and Illumination’s popular Despicable Me franchise are a comforting sign that families have not forgotten about cinemas altogether. Hollywood looked to Minions: The Rise of Gru to test the feasibility of animated movies on the big screen, after moviegoers with young children — a demographic critical to driving overall box office receipts — only returned in fits and starts.

“This is a sensational opening,” said David A. Gross, who runs film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research. “More than any other genre, family animation is struggling to gain a foothold during the pandemic. This weekend, Minions breaks through and big animation is back in business.”

Overall, July 4 ticket sales are another encouraging sign that cinema attendance is slowly but surely recovering from COVID-19. In 2021, the total takings came to just $69 million as 20% of theaters were closed. Historically, the holiday, which celebrates everything in America, can rake in between $150 million and $200 million at the box office, according to Comscore.

It is promising that several films were able to triumph at the same time. For a while, pandemic-era releases like Spider-Man: No Way Home, F9: The Fast Saga, and No Time to Die dominated the cinema landscape, leaving leftovers for everyone else. But with viewers of all ages returning to the big screen, Minions: The Rise of Gru has found its way alongside Tom Cruise’s action sequel Top Gun: Maverick and Universal’s Dino Brouhaha Jurassic World Dominion. As visitor numbers surged, domestic revenue surpassed $985 million in June 2022, according to Comscore, marking the pandemic’s biggest month. It’s a huge jump from the summer of 2021, which saw the month of June bring in $409 million. However, it’s still behind the pre-pandemic days, when revenue regularly topped $1 billion in June.

Pixar veteran Kyle Balda directed Minions: The Rise of Gru, set in the 1970s when a young Gru (the villain turned daddy from Despicable Me, voiced by Steve Carell) tries to to test the waters of supervillain life. Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Julie Andrews round out the cast. Film critics were mixed on “Minions 2,” which has a 68% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though reviews for children’s films rarely matter. Audiences gave the film an “A” CinemaScore.

For the Minions sequel, overseas appeal is key, as Gru’s highlighter-colored henchmen are particularly popular outside of the US. International ticket sales accounted for 71% of total ticket sales for the first “Minions” spinoff. The sequel has already grossed $93.7 million, bringing its global tally to $202.2 million.

In second place, Top Gun: Maverick fell just 14% and grossed $25.5 million from 3,843 theaters in its sixth weekend of release. Ticket sales are expected to hit $32.5 million through Monday’s holiday. Paramount’s patriotic sequel has grossed $570 million to date and is considered the highest-grossing film of the year in North America.

Last weekend’s champion, “Elvis,” slipped to third place, raising $19 million over the weekend and taking his domestic tally to $67 million.

Universal also ranked fourth and fifth, “Jurassic World Dominion” and “The Black Phone.” The sixth chapter of the “Jurassic” franchise grossed $15.6 million over the weekend and is expected to bring that number to $19.1 by Monday. After four weeks on the big screen, Dominion has grossed $335.3 million at the domestic box office and $824.5 million worldwide.

BLumhouse’s thriller The Black Phone grossed $12.3 million from 3,156 theaters over the weekend and was expected to close at $14.6 million on Monday. Since its debut last weekend, The Black Phone has grossed $49.7 million in North America and $74.4 million worldwide.

This weekend’s other release, romantic comedy Mr. Malcolm’s List” collapsed on its debut, grossing a paltry $851,854 out of $1,384. By Monday, the film is set to surpass the $1 million mark — a dismal benchmark for a film that’s running nationally. Emma Holly Jones directed the Regency film, starring Zawe Ashton (“Velvet Buzzsaw”), Sope Dirisu (“Gangs of London”) and Freida Pinto.

In sixth place, Disney’s Pixar film Lightyear was down 64%, grossing just $6.6 million from 3,800 theaters over the weekend. The film is slated to close on Monday at $8.1 million. Lightyear broke the $100 million mark on its third weekend in theaters, which is a threshold most Pixar releases hit during its opening weekend. Based on three-day estimates, “Lightyear” has generated $105.4 million in North America and $187 million worldwide.

Elsewhere, A24 continues to bring “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On” to more theaters. The feel-good animated film grossed $307,739 across 22 screens, which equates to $13,988 per location. After two limited edition weekends, “Marcel the Shell” has earned $530,751. The charming tale of a brave clam (voiced by Jenny Slate) will be expanded to more markets in the coming weeks.

There’s more to come… Box office: “Minions: The Rise of Gru” runs on the 4th of July bank holiday weekend

Charles Jones

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