Weekend Forecast: ‘Despicable Me 3,’ ‘Baby Driver,’ & ‘The House’ Court Moviegoers for Fourth of July Weekend

June comes to a close this weekend as we approach the heart of summer, not to mention the lucrative Fourth of July holiday frame. This year, Independence Day lands on a Tuesday for the first time since 2006. Studios are expected to report traditional three-day weekend grosses as well as five-day (Friday through Tuesday) grosses next week. For our purposes, however, we’re sticking to the traditional three-day window in our forecasts below.

Our final analysis for this weekend’s openers:

PROS:

  • Despicable Me 3 (Universal / Illumination) enters a market that hasn’t seen a blockbuster animated offering for several months (no offense to the relatively successful Captain Underpants and Cars 3). Given the franchise’s immense popularity over the last seven years — earning more than $955 million across the first two films and a spin-off — families with kids are expected to again to turn out in droves for Gru and the lovable Minions. (Side note: at an estimated 4,529 theaters, this will surpass The Twilight Saga: Eclipse‘s 4,468 locations as the widest release of all time.)
  • Baby Driver (Sony / TriStar) has the support of an incredible 98 percent Rotten Tomatoes score going into release, as well as fan support for writer/director Edgar Wright after his handful of cult classic films (Shaun of the DeadHot FuzzThe World’s End, & Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) over the past decade-plus. With an American setting, strong ensemble cast, and the yearning by many audiences for more original summer movies, this one has been on our radar as a sleeper hit contender for quite some time. Twitter activity has been comparable to that of Kingsman: The Secret Service in the days ahead of release.
  • The House (Warner Bros. / New Line) pairs two of comedy’s most popular stars in Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, which could appeal to Saturday Night Live fans. The lack of breakout comedies so far this summer could also help as adults look for a few laughs going into the holiday weekend.

CONS:

  • Despicable Me 3 does represent the fourth entry of the franchise, which is typically the point when some audience burnout begins to display itself. Reviews are modest (66 percent) after an initial wave of very positive reactions in recent weeks. This shouldn’t deter too many families, but it could be tougher than expected to crack the $100 million opening threshold now. Twitter buzz is notably quieter than it was for previous installments.
  • Ironically, Baby Driver‘s biggest challenge to overcome will be the fact that it’s not an established brand name. Again, we’re putting some confidence in audiences giving the original movie a fair chance based on strong buzz and excellent marketing, but it’s also possible this could prove to be more of a slow-burn box office run. To that end, pre-release Facebook growth hasn’t been as strong as we’d like to see.
  • The House remains under a review embargo as of this writing, which is typically not a great sign so close to release. Comedies tend to be more critic-proof than other genres, but a string of recent misfires in the genre could have some undesired splash effect on this one. Social media activity has been pointedly underwhelming across all tracked platforms.

Check out our final weekend forecast for key films in the table below.

Title Distributor Weekend Domestic Total through Sunday, July 2 % Change
Despicable Me 3 Universal $89,000,000 $89,000,000 NEW
Baby Driver Sony / TriStar $20,500,000 $32,000,000 NEW
Transformers: The Last Knight Paramount $17,870,000 $104,260,000 -60.00%
Wonder Woman Warner Bros. $16,190,000 $345,940,000 -35.00%
Cars 3 Disney $13,500,000 $123,330,000 -44.00%
The House Warner Bros. / New Line $10,000,000 $10,000,000 NEW

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.

Boxoffice Staff

7 Comments

  1. Avatar
    J June 29, 2017

    I’d say these predictions are about right, although Despicable Me 3 may be a little high, and may play closer to 80 million.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Austin June 29, 2017

      You have a point. As of this writing, Despicable Me 3 is now at 62% on rotten tomatoes (worse than Cars 3, which I am sad to say), and that Twitter activity mention here is an ominous sign of losing the $100 million mark in the same way Fate of the Furious did 2.5 months ago. It could reach $90 million, but it could also prove front-loaded as Minions was and drop 50% or more next week.
      At this point, the future of R-rated comedies rest on The House and Girls Trip amid the failures of 4 previous ones, and the former won’t fix things much with a $10-15 million opening and critic reviews possibly worse than Rough Night (maybe the audience reviews and the Cinemascore will be kinder).
      Also, I am a little worried about Baby Driver’s ability to hold well, as the people who saw it so far have either been fans of the people involved or fans of the material (90% saw it for the car stunts according to Forbes). My fear is not that it won’t earn $18 million or higher over five days (though it is a slim possibility right now without any overall Wednesday totals); rather, I worry that even with that high rotten tomatoes percentage, curious moviegoers won’t be seeing it as much as the fans. Get Out reached curious moviegoers with that 99% on rotten tomatoes because it is not usual at all that a mainstream horror film got such stellar reviews. When it comes to action films this year, there are a few others that have reached 90% or higher (even the upcoming War of the Planet of the Apes has a 96% as of this writing). Baby Driver doesn’t see to have much mainstream appeal and its reviews are not very extraordinary for its genre, so I’m guessing it could fall quicker than anticipated without Oscar buzz.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        J June 29, 2017

        I agree that Baby Driver may be a little high. But I’m confused why you find it sad that Despicable Me 3 is lower than Cars 3. Pixar is known for making quality, high-budget films and while some people like illumination, I’m not a fan of their goofy low-budget nonsense.

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Austin June 29, 2017

          It’s sad to say for me because I was hoping this would be better than Cars 3; I was thinking Despicable Me 3 could score a 70% at least, but it may not do that. Yes, I do agree that compared to most Pixar films, the films from Illumination look weak or mediocre, even though Illumination makes okay movies. However, the Despicable Me franchise that put Illumination on the map to begin with may now be considered phoned-in with these reviews.
          My hope was that maybe we’d get our second good mainstream movie of June because overall, even with Wonder Woman (and Baby Driver, which may have been more of an independent movie bought by a major distributor), June was a terrible month for Hollywood (and perhaps in general). Instead, I’ve been seeing more independent films like Megan Leavy and It Comes at Night run circles around Hollywood. Also considering how this was arguably the most anticipated animated movie of the year (I was looking forward to it much more than Cars 3 because Cars 3 didn’t look enjoyable or funny), I was hoping for at least an okay product which I (and maybe other audiences) may not get.

          Reply
  2. Avatar
    DangerS June 30, 2017

    Transformers 5 might drop closer to 70%. Despicable me 3 will definitely get to $100M.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if Wonder Woman drops even less.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Austin June 30, 2017

      I don’t think Transformers 5 will be severely affected this week (in other words, I don’t see it dropping more than 65%) even with Baby Driver and Despicable Me 3, but once Sider Man: Homecoming swings in, Transformers 5 will rust away much quicker. Then War for the Planet of the Apes will come in and let Transformers die.
      Still, even with $4.1 million in previews last night, I don’t think Despicable Me 3 will reach $90 million let alone $100 million (keep in mind that the second one got $4.7 million from previews to an $84 million three-day debut). We’ll see if it makes any difference whether it is the holiday weekend, but like Fifty Shades Darker playing for Valentine’s Day, it probably will make a difference only on that holiday during Tuesday.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        DangerS June 30, 2017

        $4.1M previews? Ouch. Now it might fall under $80M. That’s pretty bad.

        Reply

Leave reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *