Universal/Illumination’s “Despicable Me 3” will have the biggest opening weekend of any animated movie so far this year, as it is now estimated to finish with $75.4 million from 4,529 screens, beating the $53.5 million set by “Cars 3” two weeks ago.
But the new annual record also comes with some disappointment, as this opening is below the $85 million Universal projected at the start of the weekend. Saturday morning projections had “Despicable Me 3” making $83 million, but a surprising Friday-to-Saturday drop of 16 percent from $29.1 million to $24.3 million has caused such plans to be foiled. Regardless, it is still a strong opening for the film, as the domestic numbers will combine with $116 million from 44 international markets — first among all films this weekend — to give “Despicable Me 3” a $192.3 million global start.
“Despicable Me 3” will also have two additional days to bring in more family audiences thanks to the July 4 holiday. Four years ago, “Despicable Me 2” used the holiday to rack up $143 million over five days en route to a $970.7 million global cume. Critics were mildly positive about the threequel, giving it a 62 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. Audiences were much more pleased, giving the film an A- on CinemaScore.
In second is Edgar Wright‘s “Baby Driver,” which has proven to be a winner for TriStar and MRC with a weekend total of $21 million from 3,226 screens and a five-day total of $30 million against a $34 million budget.
Prior to its Wednesday release, trackers had the Working Title-produced film making $15-20 million over five days, but strong word of mouth and a stellar Rotten Tomatoes score of 97 percent has made this the biggest opening weekend for an Edgar Wright film, blowing by the $10 million made by the cult favorite/box office bomb “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.” Audiences loved “Baby Driver” as much as “DM3,” also giving it an A- on CinemaScore.
In third is Paramount’s “Transformers: The Last Knight,” which passed the $100 million domestic mark with a $17.5 million second frame and an estimated 10-day total of $102 million. But against a $217 million budget and a franchise with three movies that made $100 million in 3-4 days, it’s not a good sign for this series.
In fourth is Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman,” which passed “Batman v Superman” on the domestic front on Thursday and just passed the $700 million mark with a $15.5 million weekend, giving it a worldwide total of $707 million. Pixar’s “Cars 3” completes the top five, dropping hard in its third frame to the tune of 60 percent and finishing the weekend with $9.5 million.
See Despicable Me 3's latest POWER MOVE.
Rounding out the top five is New Line/Village Roadshow’s “The House,” which failed to reach studio projections of $12 million and only made a $9 million opening from 3,134 screens. It’s among the lowest openings for a wide release featuring Will Ferrell in a lead role, with comps including the $15 million made in 2008 by “Semi-Pro” and the $13.8 million made by “Zoolander No. 2” last year. Though these struggles have been faced by many recent adult comedies like “Rough Night,” which made just $8 million from a similar-sized opening two weeks ago. “The House” had a RT score of 17 percent and a CinemaScore grade of B-.