FRIDAY MIDDAY: Moviegoers can’t resist dinosaurs, and they can’t resist Minions, especially when they’re coming from Universal. The studio has a big 4th of July winner in the fifth Illumination movie starring the little guys as Minions: The Rise of Gru will see a $116.6M 4-day holiday opening, a $98.7M 3-day after a $43M opening day (which includes last night’s $10.75M) at 4,391 theaters.
Minions: The Rise of Gru is the 5th highest opening of 2022 to date after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($187.4M), Jurassic World Dominion ($145M), The Batman ($134M) and Top Gun: Maverick ($126.7M).
Rise of Gru is the top opening, easily, for an animated movie during the pandemic and the best for the Independence Day holiday in the Covid era, and it’s the fifth Despicable Me/Minions title to open to No. 1 in US/Canada.
The sequel is also on to be the tenth highest animated film domestically, knocking Inside Out from No. 10, which debuted to $90.4M.
At this early point in the weekend, Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick is eyeing a 6th weekend between $24M-$26M at 3,808 theaters, looking to clear $570M by EOD Monday. Friday is estimated around $7M. Warner Bros.’ Elvis booked at 3,932 locations is seeing a $5.7M second Friday, and a second weekend around $20M-35%, and 4-day of $25M, By Monday, the Baz Luhrmann movie could reach over $73M,
Universal also has two other movies in the top 5 this weekend, Jurassic World Dominion at 3,801 with a fourth weekend of $15.4M, -42%, after a fourth Friday of $4.3M. A $19M 4-day is in store with the sixth Jurassic movie potentially landing at $335.1M by EOD Monday. Uni/Blumhouse’s The Black Phone is in 5th place with a second weekend of $10.6M, -55%, 4-day of $12.6M after a Friday of $3.5M. Pic’s 11-day total by end of the holiday looks to land at $47.7M.
FRIDAY AM: Universal/Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru has grabbed the best previews for an animated movie during the pandemic with $10.75M, That’s purely from showtimes that started at 2 pm Thursday in 3,350 theaters. This no doubt bodes for another excellent weekend at the summer box office.
That beats the $6.25M combined two-day previews of Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and the combined $5.2M in previews for Disney’s Lightyear. Rise of Gru also bests the previews of 2015’s Minions, which minted $6.2M off showtimes that began at 5 pm and went on to make $46M on its opening day (including those previews) and a $115.7M opening.
Also, Rise of Gru is ahead of Despicable Me 3‘s $4.1M Thursday night previews (6 pm start time), which went on to post a $29M first day and $72.4M 3-day.
Even more mindblowing: Rise of Gru‘s Thursday night is higher than Marvel’s Eternals, which did $9.5M off 6 pm showtimes.
Film Review: Illumination’s ‘Minions: The Rise Of Gru’
The Chris Meledandri-produced animated sequel was looking to gross $70M-$80M over four days at 4,391 locations. Now it could be more like $90M-$100M. Since mid-March 2020, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 owns the best opening for an animated movie at $72.1M.
Mostly guy-skewing last night for Rise of Gru, however, it’s expected that moms will turn out. Those under 25 were 70%. Boys dominated those under 12 at 60%.
On Rotten Tomatoes, critics gave Rise of Gru a 69% vs. Minions 55% Rotten. Despicable Me was the best-reviewed of the series at 81% fresh, Part 2 with 75% and Part 3 at 59% Rotten.
Illumination’s Chris Meledandri Talks ‘Minions’, Streaming Vs Theatrical, Chris Pratt For ‘Super Mario’ & Facing Fear Of Failure: CineEurope
Meanwhile, in the war between older-adult skewing movies, Paramount/Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick and Warner Bros.’ Elvis, The Tom Cruise sequel was ahead of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays, except for Tuesday when the Baz Luhrmann film took the edge, $5.2M to $4.7M.
Maverick ends its fifth week with $47.2M at 3,948 sites, sending its running total to $538.4M — the highest-grossing movie of the year to date, 31% ahead of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Maverick grossed $4M on Thursday, -7% from Wednesday. The outlook is for a 20% ease in the pic’s 4-day sixth weekend from last weekend, so about $23.7M.
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Review: Tom Cruise Is Back Soaring In What May Be The Role Of His Career
Elvis ends Week 1 with $48.3M at 3,906 theaters. The pic made $3.5M on Thursday, -11% from Wednesday. Industry estimates expect at most a 40% ease in the 4-day vs. 3-day of Elvis, meaning about $18.7M. Box office sources believe Zoey 101 and Ruby & the Rockits actor Austin Butler is the key for bringing in the under-25 crowd as Elvis comes off of some ecstatic buzz.
‘Elvis’ Review: Tom Hanks And Austin Butler In Baz Luhrmann’s Musical Feast Of A Biopic
Universal/Amblin’s Jurassic World Dominion at 4,233 earned $2.7M, -11% from Wednesday for a running total in Week 3 of $316.1M, 9% behind previous chapter Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom at the same point in time. Dominion‘s third week came in at $39.8M.
‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Review: Dinosaurs Roar Again In Exciting Finale (?) Of Universal’s Cash-Cow Franchise
Universal/Blumhouse’s The Black Phone ends Week 1 at 3,150 with $35.1M after a $2.5M Thursday, -7% from Wednesday.
Lightyear did an estimated $1.57M Thursday at 4,255 locations, -31% from Wednesday, a $27.6M second week, and a running total of $98.7M.