Box Office Rundown!! 4th of July Weekend!! Minions Rules the Roost while Top Gun and Elvis do Some Excellent Work as Well!!

Box Office Top 10 (July 1st-July 3rd) / 3-Day Weekend Gross / 4-Day Gross / Percent Change from Last Week / Weekend # / Distributor), Weekend Actuals:

  1. Minions: The Rise of Gru / $107 million / $125.2 (N/A) / Weekend 1 / Universal (Illumination)
  2. Top Gun: Maverick / $25.54 million / $33 million / -14% / Weekend 6 / Paramount Pictures
  3. Elvis / $18.4 million / $23.5 million / -39% / Weekend 2 / Warner Bros.
  4. Jurassic World: Dominion / $16 million / $19.7 million / -40% / Weekend 4 / Universal
  5. The Black Phone / $12.3 million / $14.4 million / -48% / Weekend 2 / Universal
  6. Lightyear / $6.37 million / $7.86 million / -64% / Weekend 3 / Disney
  7. Mr. Malcolm’s List / $826K / $1 million / (N/A) / Weekend 1 / Bleecker Street
  8. Everything, Everywhere, All At Once / $552K / $673K / +5% / Weekend 15 / A24
  9. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness / $391K / $483K / -78% / Weekend 9 / Disney
  10. Jugjugg Jeeyo / $310K / $391K / -47% / Weekend 2 / Moviegoers Entertainment

Notable Outsiders:

11. Marcel the Shell With Shoes On / $258K / $308K / +62% / Weekend 2 / A24 ($11K per-theater average in 22 theaters)

15. Official Competition / $145K / $180K /+173% / Weekend 3 / IFC Films

16. The Forgiven / $132K / $163K / (N/A) / Weekend 1 / Focus Features

20. Clara Sola / $6,120 / (N/A) / Weekend 1 / Oscilloscope ($6,120 per-theater average in 1 theater)

As expected, Minions: The Rise of Gru, took the top spot this weekend with a blow-out $107 million 3-Day haul. That’s the second-highest debut for the entire Despicable Me franchise, just under the original Minions movie’s $115 million, a feat made even more incredible given that it’s technically a Despicable Me spin-off film rather than the real thing. With Monday grosses rolling in, the film looks to have grossed about $125.2 million for the 4-Day 4th of July weekend, the highest-grossing Independence Day opening ever, and another feather in this film’s already impressive cap.

I went over how this result was a bit unexpected in my last post, given the seven-year gap between the two Minions movies, the two-year delay, and the overall lack of Despicable Me content having come out in a while. That said, what is even more surprising in this result is what actually drove the box office here: young people! That may sound a bit stupid out of context because, yes, obviously, kids are the main demo that this franchise is targeting. With people under 25 showing up 89% of the audience, Rise of Gru expectedly and easily took advantage of the gaping hole in the “kid’s film” market left my Lightyear‘s huge underperformance and is massively reaping the rewards of people the most family-friendly movie on the market right now. Kid’s under 12 gave the movie a rating of five stars and the film brought in a more female-leaning audience overall the split being 52%/48%, all of which suggests that Rise of Gru will have very long legs going forward.

All that said, the real surprise in who actually showed up to this film was the 13-17 age demographic. For anyone who has been on the internet in the last few years, it’s bewildering to see this as it has been plainly evident that most people over the age of 12 are more than a bit sick of the Minions, in a way reminiscent of the love-hate relationship many audiences have with Frozen and a certain song about letting things go. In that regard, Universal had a bit of an uphill battle on their hands when it came to appealing to a wider demographic, something urgently necessary when you have a multi-billion dollar film franchise. Sure, Illumination films are frugally made and a downturn in grosses from the last Minions movie would still likely be highly profitable a la Sing 2, but Sing 2 grosses do not a massive franchise (and loads of merchandising) make. So, what did Universal do? They used their enormous network of TV channels, distribution, and brands to get the word out, for one. Beyond the studio and the NBC network, the parent company, Comcast, also owns E!, Bravo, USA, Syfy, Oxygen, and Telemundo, on top of streaming assets like Peacock. It’s a multimedia portfolio that genuinely rivals Disney’s (and formerly Fox’s) vast array of channels, so getting awareness out was little trouble. The beauty is in just how the company managed to court Gen Z audiences, specifically by utilizing Tik Tok. There have already been tons of articles circulating about Tik Tok challenges and influences trying to get people to either dress like Minions or like Gru to go to the theater and see the film and miraculously, this approach worked! There hundreds of pictures of older teens and young adults dressing to the nines in order to go see a film that is ostensibly one of the most juvenile of the year. Essentially, Universal took something that many older audiences found annoying and turned it into a source of ironic enjoyment. The 13-17 age demo made up a surprisingly massive 34% of the audience, and given that 18-34 still drives the box office at the moment, Rise of Gru got a nice chunk of change. Plus, with many schools, businesses, and general places of work closed today, audiences has all the more reason to head and enjoy themselves at the movies. It’s a perfect storm that has set Rise of Gru up to be another likely billion-dollar grosser for the Despicable Me franchise and as someone who loves to see success, I couldn’t be happier!

Second place saw another miracle of sorts occur as I drastically underestimated just how well Top Gun: Maverick would play during the 4th of July. Given that it was in its sixth weekend and having to share IMAX screens with Jurassic World: Dominion I thought a very sturdy -30% drop would be in order for the film with it likely raking in a ton of cash in today in light of the holiday. I was wrong on both accounts, with Maverick instead holding by a phenomenal -14%, taking in $25.8 million, and yet not taking in nearly as much today as Minions. That’s not a bad thing at all, it’s $7.2 million Monday estimated gross is in line with what it took in over the weekend days (Friday: $7.1 mil/Saturday: $9.7 mil/Sunday: $8.9 mil), which is excellent, and driving it to $570.9 million domestically and $1.115 billion worldwide. It makes sense given that the longer Maverick plays, the broader (and younger) its audience becomes, and if Rise of Gru is managing to pull away Gen Z, its Monday gross would be a bit less than expected. Still, Maverick continues to be a genuine box office miracle and there’s little to make a fuss about here.

Elvis managed to come in third, respectably so with a 3-Day gross of $18.4 million. That’s a drop of about -39% which is pretty great given that it’s in line with the second-weekend drop of Bohemian Rhapsody; a comparison much more favorable for Elvis than to that of Rocketman given that Bohemian Rhapsody ended up being the highest-grossing musical biopic of all time. Elvis won’t be doing anything spectacular on that level, but this performance suggest strong legs going forward, solid profit on the horizon, and strong awards prospects come Oscar season. In the 4-Day corridor, the film made $23.5 million, taking its domestic gross to $71.8 million (and suggesting it will pass $100 million domestic which will be excellent) and its worldwide total to $118.3 million.

Fourth and fifth place saw respectable holds for both Jurassic World: Dominion and The Black Phone, respectively. Dominion had a solid -40% hold for a gross of $16 million while international grosses held by -25% and pushed the film past $800 million worldwide (it currently stands at $824 million). The Black Phone, meanwhile, held by -48%, which is good but still relatively in line with the -50% drop I predicted. It’s not doing bad at all, with $49.6 million domestic and $77 million worldwide on a budget of about $18 million, but it’s no breakout. Still, it’s another sweet profit for a slick Blumhouse horror feature.

As for the rest of the top ten, Lightyear got no 4-Day reprieve, dropping -65% for a gross of $6.37 million ($7.86 in the 4-Day, so not much better). With Rise of Gru bounding into theaters, Lightyear had no chance and was left languishing in sixth place. Meanwhile, our other new entry, Mr. Malcolm’s List, did better than I expected with $826K in the 3-Day and about $1 million in the 4-Day, but that still is not saying much (Good for Bleecker Street for getting in there though!). Eighth place went to Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, which clearly has no idea how to do anything other than impress as it managed to actually jump +5% for a gross of $551K in its 15th week of release. To be fair, I guess it does fit the holiday theming; what is more American than a story about immigrants? In ninth, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness took a drastic -78% tumble (thanks to a loss of over 1,200 theaters) to a gross of $391K, while last weekend Indian entry, Jugjugg Jeeyo, managed a very impressive hold of -47%, as opposed to this kind of fare’s typical -70% second-weekend drops. Jugjugg Jeeyo, a comedy about two couples of different ages navigating a variety of marital issues, took in $320K.

As for the specialty market, Marcel the Shell With Shoes On expanded into 22 theaters and pulled in a very impressive $11K per theater, resulting in a gross of $258K in 11th place and making me very curious as to whether it will pop into the top ten next weekend. Could we have our next Everything, Everywhere, All at Once on our hands? I’m excited to find out! Elsewhere, Official Competition (which I still need to see!) expanded into 173 theaters and, funny enough, jumped +173% for a gross of $145K and is now a little more than a quarter of a way to $1 million domestic. The Forgiven also debuted and failed to really register with $132K in the 3-Day, $163K in the 4-Day, and a meesily per-theater average of $1,083 in 125 theaters. Clara Sola fell to the same fate with $6,120 in one theater.

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