Finding Dory douses Independence Day: Resurgence at weekend box office
Though the 4th of July weekend is less than a week away, Finding Dory continues to launch fireworks at the box office, sitting pretty as the top domestic earner for a second week while nearly doubling Independence Day: Resurgence’s $41.6 million debut.
The Disney/Pixar sequel swam to an estimated $73.2 million across its second frame, marking a 45.8 percent drop on its way to $286.6 million in North American receipts. The film is now on-track to become Disney’s highest-grossing film of 2016, and that’s saying something: The studio’s The Jungle Book has amassed $357.1 million total thus far, while Zootopia trails closely behind with $340.2 million and counting.
Further driving yearly box office, which is up approximately 1.9 percent from 2015 so far, Dory also seems primed to overtake Captain America: Civil War as the studio’s top-earning movie of the year, as it should close in on (or surpass) the superhero film’s still-growing $403.9 million total by the end of the holiday weekend.
Dory added another $37 million in foreign grosses as well, bringing its estimated worldwide total to $396.9 million as it inhabits 46 percent of its planned international footprint to date.
Debuting below expectations at No. 2 with $41.6 million is Fox’s Independence Day: Resurgence, the sequel to a 20-year-old film no one really asked for in the first place — especially the critics, who savaged the new film with scathing reviews on Friday.
The expensive action flick reportedly cost around $165 million to produce, meaning the film will have to rely on foreign grosses to break even. That’s not a death sentence by any means: International grosses have kept films like Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass ($249 million worldwide) and Universal’s Warcraft ($412 million worldwide) afloat despite disappointing domestic grosses. In particular, Resurgence should fare well with audiences in China, where recent, comparable underperformers like 2015’s Terminator: Genisys and 2013’s Pacific Rim have gone on to earn over $100 million.
Central Intelligence, The Rock and Kevin Hart’s well-received action-comedy, held on strong in its second weekend of wide release, adding $18.4 million as it slipped a mere 48 percent to No. 3. The film continues to overperform against expectations, as audiences have flocked to see its charismatic leads to the tune of $69.3 million so far.
Coming in hot at No. 4 is Sony/Columbia’s shark thriller The Shallows, which ate up a healthy $16.7 million in its opening weekend. The studio’s decision to move the film’s release date up several days from its originally planned Wednesday debut was a wise move, as the film was bound to open with impressive numbers either way. The Shallows now has an extra kick driving it into the traditionally lucrative holiday weekend ahead.
The $17 million action-horror flick also earned solid reviews from critics, as it currently stands at 74 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. As a quality B-movie alternative to Finding Dory, Independence Day: Resurgence, and Central Intelligence, The Shallows has a sturdy platform from which to begin a solid run on long legs, likely holding its own against films with a broader reach (The BFG, Legend of Tarzan) opening next week.
Premiering at No. 5 is STX Entertainment’s Free State of Jones, Matthew McConaughey’s first major release since starring in the 2014 sci-fi drama Interstellar. Though the historical drama’s estimated $7.8 million opening on 2,815 screens is a modest one, STX’s share of the film’s $50 million budget was approximately $6 million, their limited exposure largely offset by several equity partners who covered a significant portion of production costs.
Though it didn’t exactly light the domestic box office aflame, Free State of Jones played best to viewers among the weekend’s new releases, according to CinemaScore tracking. Audiences awarded the film an A- grade, while The Shallows earned a middling B+ and Independence Day: Resurgence notched a lowly B.
Outside the top 10, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Cannes thriller The Neon Demon flopped hard with an estimated $606,594 from 783 screens, with a location average of $774. On the other hand, A24’s Swiss Army Man, otherwise known as the “farting corpse movie” starring Daniel Radcliffe, pulled in an impressive $114,000 from three theaters for a per-screen average of $38,000.
Check out the box office estimates for the June 24-26 weekend:
1. Finding Dory – $73.2 million
2. Independence Day: Resurgence – $41.6 million
3. Central Intelligence – $18.4 million
4. The Shallows – $16.7 million
5. Free State of Jones – $7.8 million
6. The Conjuring 2 – $7.7 million
7. Now You See Me 2 – $5.7 million
8. X-Men: Apocalypse – $2.5 million
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – $2.4 million
10. Warcraft – $2.1 million