The Rise of Gru’ breaks 4th of July holiday records with $127 million debut

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” set off fireworks at the box office, grossing $108 million over the weekend. By the time Monday, the 4th of July, arrives, the animated family film is expected to fetch a hefty $127.9 million.

Based on those estimates, “Minions: The Rise of Gru” will break the record for highest opening on Independence Day, beating Paramount’s 2011 box office hit “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” ($115.9 million). in four days).

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Ticket sales for the fifth installment of Universal and Illumination’s popular “Despicable Me” franchise is a reassuring sign that family crowds haven’t completely forgotten about movie theaters. After Disney Pixar’s “Lightyear” failed to live up to expectations, Hollywood had been looking to “Minions: The Rise of Gru” to test the viability of animated movies on the big screen. That’s because moviegoers with young children, a demographic that’s vital to driving overall box office receipts, returned only in fits and starts during the pandemic.

Surprisingly, “Rise of Gru” nearly matched its predecessor, 2015’s “Minions” ($115 million over three days), in terms of opening weekend returns.

“This is a sensational opening,” says David A. Gross, who runs the film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “Family animation, more than any other genre, has struggled to find its footing during the pandemic. This weekend, ‘Minions’ breaks ground and great animation is back in business.”

Overall, 4th of July ticket sales are another encouraging sign that moviegoing is slowly but surely recovering from COVID-19. In 2021, overall revenue around Independence Day totaled just $69 million, as 20% of theaters were closed. Historically, the holiday that celebrates all things American can bring in between $150 million and $200 million in box office, according to Comscore. This year, ticket sales are expected to fall between $190 million and $200 million between Friday and Sunday and hit $250 million on Monday.

It is promising that several films have been able to succeed at once. For a while, pandemic-era releases like “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “F9: The Fast Saga,” and “No Time to Die” dominated the movie landscape, leaving leftovers for everyone else. As audiences of all ages return to the big screen, “Minions: The Rise of Gru” was able to find success alongside Tom Cruise’s action sequel “Top Gun: Maverick” and Universal’s dino brouhaha “Jurassic World Dominion.” With attendance rising, domestic revenue in June 2022 topped $985 million, according to Comscore, marking the highest-grossing month of the pandemic. That’s a huge jump from the summer of 2021, in which the month June brought back $409 million, but it still lags behind pre-pandemic times, when June revenue regularly topped $1 billion.

Lighting veteran Kyle Balda directed “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” which takes place in the 1970s when a young Gru (the baddie-turned-dad from “Despicable Me,” voiced by Steve Carell) tries to prove the waters of supervillain life. . Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Julie Andrews round out the voice cast. Movie critics were mixed on “Minions 2,” which has a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes, though reviews are rarely important for kids’ movies. Audiences awarded the film an “A” CinemaScore.

“’Minions: The Rise of Gru’ is a happy movie,” says Jim Orr, president of domestic distribution for Universal. “Lighting and [its CEO] Chris Meledandri has done an amazing job with this franchise. And Steve Carell as Gru…it doesn’t get any better than that.”

For the “Minions” sequel, overseas appeal is key to profit because Gru’s minions are especially popular outside of the US. International ticket sales accounted for 71% of total ticket sales for the sequel. first spin-off of “Minions”. The follow-up movie has already racked up $93.7 million, bringing its global tally to $202.2 million.

The other opening this weekend, the Bleecker Street romantic comedy “Mr. Malcolm’s List,” collapsed on its debut, grossing a measly $851,854 from 1,384. By Monday, the film is expected to cross the $1 million mark, a grim benchmark for a film playing across the country. Emma Holly Jones directed the regency-era film, starring Zawe Ashton (“Velvet Buzzsaw”), Sope Dirisu (“Gangs of London”) and Freida Pinto.

In second place, “Top Gun: Maverick” fell a meager 14% to gross $25.5 million from 3,843 theaters in its sixth opening weekend. During the holiday on Monday, ticket sales are expected to reach $32.5 million. Paramount’s patriotic sequel has generated $570 million to date and stands as the year’s highest-grossing film in North America. Internationally, “Top Gun: Maverick” has grossed $544.5 million for a global tally of $1.11 billion.

Last weekend’s champion “Elvis” slipped to the No. 3 spot, grossing $19 million from 3,932 spots over the weekend. So far, the Warner Bros. musical biopic has amassed $67 million in North America. “Elvis,” starring Austin Butler as the king of rock and roll, hit $113 million globally over the weekend, including $34 million overseas.

Universal also took slots four and five, “Jurassic World Dominion” and “The Black Phone,” giving the studio a rare three spots in the top five.

The sixth installment in the “Jurassic” franchise took in $15.6 million over the weekend and is looking to take that figure to $19.1 million on Monday. After four weeks on the big screen, “Dominion” has amassed $335.3 million at the domestic box office and $824.5 million worldwide.

Blumhouse’s thriller “The Black Phone” took in $12.3 million from 3,156 theaters over the weekend and should end Monday with $14.6 million. Since its debut last weekend, “The Black Phone” has grossed $49.7 million in North America and $74.4 million worldwide.

In sixth place, “Lightyear” dropped a hefty 64%, grossing just $6.6 million from 3,800 theaters over the weekend. The film appears to finish Monday with $8.1 million. “Lightyear” crossed the $100 million mark in its third weekend in theaters, which is a threshold most Pixar releases reach in the first few days of release. Based on three-day estimates, “Lightyear” has generated $105.4 million in North America and $187 million globally.

Elsewhere, A24 continues to bring “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On” to additional theaters. The animated feel-good flick grossed $307,739 from 22 screens, which translates to an impressive $13,988 per location. After two weekends of limited release, “Marcel the Shell” earned $530,751. The charming story about a brave shell (voiced by Jenny Slate) will expand to other markets in the coming weeks.

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