New offerings and original storylines – the very things often claimed is the desire of moviegoers – were trounced this week by another iteration of a longstanding franchise. The desire for crafted, artisan films was no match for the assembly line.
Fully one half of the movies this week are overly familiar sequels/reboots. Despite that summer reality of sequel generated revenue there was speculation throughout how the top-10 would shake out. Let’s run off a number of copies here and hand out the numbers. (You may want to wash of the excess toner from your hands.)
- DESPICABLE ME 3 — $75.4MILLION
The Universal/Illumination Studios formula is in full play, with dependable if slightly diminished returns.The Minion movies sport lower budgets so they will easily see big profits. Despite the social challenge presented by the professional hand-wringers about the supposed sexual politics of the cast there was the approval of its young audience, unaware of the activism violations. The spinoff version, “The Minions”, nabbed over $1billion globally, so the overseas bank will be watched for certain.
- BABY DRIVER — $21.0m (30m 5-day)
This ensemble adult fare has been riding strong advanced word and it sports a wildly impressive critical support; 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. There is actually a hunger for well shot and paced crime thrillers, as “John Wick 2” proved in outdrawing its original. Good chance of this being a long trip for Sony.
- TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT – $17m
This is a sign of massive audience fatigue with a franchise that has never had substance from the first robotic wrestling match. The inability to hit $20 million in week 2 of summer is sign of serious breakdown.
- Wonder Woman — $16.1m
Only now starting to shed some screens after more than a month out. Think back to all the feminist hysteria over the marketing and diet bars. Maybe had they shut up this would have climbed to “Dark Knight” levels of returns!
- CARS 3 — $9.52m
Pixar is blowing a tire with this effort. Getting sideswiped this week by Gru’s pit crew this is already dropping theaters in week 3, almost unheard of from this animation giant. This is a summer where they spun to the infield grass.
- THE HOUSE — $9.3M
While action for grown-ups has been doing well, bawdy comedies are dying on the vine. Following the dismal returns for “Rough Night”, this Will Ferrell casino-in-the-home farce had been seeing its prospects lowered the past few weeks, despite a serious ad push. Projected to pull in around $15m this is a case of people refusing to pay the cover charge.
- 47 METERS DOWN — $4.68m
Forgotten before release, this one keeps lingering around like a remora getting fat by snapping up the scraps of a box office frenzy.
- THE BEGUILED — $3.25m
Focus offered up this period piece in just 675 theaters and it drew enough of the adults who dumped the kids in the cartoon showing 2 screens over in the multiplex.
- THE MUMMY — $2.78m
Since they may break even (depending on the size of the Tom Cruise payout) the studio is already looking forward to “Bride of Frankenstein”. They hope you are as well.
- PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES — $2.44m
While Johnny Depp is apologizing over his comments of Trump’s death, he should apologize for this capsized effort as well.