Box Office: ‘Despicable Me 3’ Nears $100M on July Fourth

Gru and his pesky minions ran amok at the July Fourth box-office picnic.

Early estimates for Tuesday show Universal and Illumination’s Despicable Me 3 handily winning Independence Day with an estimated $13 million, putting the movie’s five-day North American total at $99.4 million. Generally speaking, it was a relatively strong day for moviegoing considering July Fourth is always a challenge. Overall revenue was down roughly 7 percent from Monday, a smaller decline than usual for the holiday.

For the three-day weekend, Despicable Me 3 grossed $72.4 million from 4,529 theaters. While that was notably behind the launch of Despicable Me 2 or spinoff Minions, it is still the best showing of the year to date for an animated film. The family pic earned another $14 million on Monday for a cume of $86.4 million.

In 2013, Despicable Me 2 likewise launched over the Fourth of July frame, grossing $83.5 million for the weekend proper and $143.1 million in its Wednesday-Sunday debut. (That year, the holiday fell on a Thursday, so it was considered an official five-day opening, unlike this year.) And in summer 2015, spinoff Minions opened to a huge $115.7 million over the July 10-12 weekend.

Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Steve Coogan gave their voices to Despicable Me 3 characters

Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Steve Coogan gave their voices to Despicable Me 3 characters

Elsewhere, Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver is still impressing in a much-needed win for Sony’s film studio. The modestly budgeted heist-thriller grossed an estimated $4.4 million on Tuesday from 3,226 cinemas for a seven-day total of $39.1 million, well ahead of expectations. On Monday, Baby Driver — which opened last Wednesday — grossed $5.1 million for a six-day cume of $34.7 million.

Sony’s TriStar Pictures, MRC and Working Title partnered on the critically acclaimed pic, which Sony says cost $34 million to make after rebates. Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx star.

Baby Driver is doing laps around New Line and Village Roadshow’s The House, which bombed over the weekend with $8.7 million for a sixth-place finish. Nor did the R-rated comedy, starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, enjoy a boost from the actual holiday. The House earned a meek $1.5 million on Tuesday for a five-day total of $11.9 million.

The House, marking the worst wide opening of Ferrell’s career, continues to place No. 6.

Warner Bros. and DC’s Wonder Woman set off its own fireworks, coming in just behind Baby Driveron Tuesday with $4.1 million for a domestic total of $354.6 million. Paramount’s Transformers: The Last Knight followed with $3.5 million for a total $109.1 million. Disney and Pixar’s Cars 3 rounded out the top five with $2.1 million for a North American cume of $125.4 million.

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