Weekend Box Office: 'Despicable Me 3' No. 1 With $75M; 'Baby Driver' Runs 'The House' Off the Road

Weekend Box Office: 'Despicable Me 3' No. 1
This year's fireworks display at the July Fourth holiday box office was decidedly mixed, led by Despicable Me 3 with $75.4 million from 4,529 theaters. In an surprise twist, the threequel came in notably behind expectations for Universal and Illumination Entertainment. Heading into the weekend, most had expected it to rake in $85 million to $90 million. Even late Friday, box-office analysts had the movie earning north of $80 million, but traffic slowed dramatically on Saturday for many films. Gru and his minions are doing more villainous business overseas, where Despicable Me 3 earned $95.6 million from 52 markets for a No. 1 finish and foreign total of $116.9 million (it began rolling out offshore in some territories two weeks ago). The global tally is $192.3 million.

While Despicable Me 3 didn't get entirely sunk by sequel fatigue in North America, it proves another cautionary tale for Hollywood, a town fixated with churning out multiple installments in a film franchise. The Fourth of July frame was supposed to help close a year-over-year gap in summer box-office revenue, but it didn't. According to comScore, summer revenue is currently down by nearly 8 percent. Worse, gains made earlier in the year have eroded so that 2017 is now even with 2016.

Despicable Me 2 likewise opened over the Fourth of July frame in 2013, grossing $83.5 million for the weekend proper and $143.1 million in its five-day debut (that year, the holiday fell on a Thursday, which is more advantageous than a Tuesday). And in summer 2015, spinoff Minions opened to a huge $115.7 million over the July 10-12 weekend. Universal executives Nick Carpou and Duncan Clark, who head up domestic and international distribution, respectively, said Despicable Me 3 is off to a stellar start everywhere. In the U.S., Carpou said there was tough competition for families distracted by July Fourth weekend plans, but added, "$75 million is nothing to sneeze at."

Also, the movie scored the top opening of the year to date for an animated film. The third installment follows Gru (Steve Carell) as he meets up with his long-lost twin brother, Dru (also voiced by Carell). Together, they take on a diamond thief (Trey Parker). In a major win for Sony's film studio, Edgar Wright's Baby Driver rode to a five-day debut of $30 million from 3,226 theaters after opening Wednesday. Sony's TriStar Pictures, MRC and Working Title partnered on the pic, which is proving to be a powerful antidote to summer popcorn fare.see below

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