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‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ Opens With Boffo $108.5 Million Weekend; Poised to Shatter Fourth of July Record

Those little yellow guys racked up some serious green over the red-white-and-blue weekend.Minions: The Rise of Gru, the fifth and latest installment in Universal’s hit Despicable Me franchise, debuted to a stunning $108.5 million in its first three days of domestic release and is currently on pace to make $127.9 million by the time the Monday holiday is over—a number that would push it past 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($115.9 million) as the biggest Fourth of July debut ever in North America.

‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ To Lead Long July 4th Weekend

After a franchise-packed June which was the highest grossing month since December 2019 (though, to give some perspective, it was still lower than any pre-pandemic June since 2007), July kicks off with another franchise title for the long Independence Day weekend. Minions: The Rise of Gru should lead the way with a plethora of well performing holdovers flanking it for a strong holiday weekend at the box office.

‘Elvis’ and ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Slug It Out For The Spot With $30.5 Million Each; ‘The Black Phone’ Also Scares Up Strong Numbers

Looking at this weekend’s box-office returns you may very well be wondering what year it is as Tom Cruise slugged it out with Tom Hanks for bragging rights over who has the top-grossing movie in North America. As Sunday’s receipts were still being tallied, it appeared as if the the two A-list veterans were locked in a virtual dead heat, with each of their latest films pulling in $30.5 million each. If a clear victor is not established by Monday, this one may come down to hanging chads and mail-in votes, folks. However, as it stands right now, it’s Cruise’s five-week-old blockbuster, Top Gun: Maverick, that looks to have the slight edge (by mere decimal points) over Hanks’ new razzle-dazzle biopic, Elvis. Meanwhile, Universal’s latest Blumhouse-produced chiller, The Black Phone, debuted in fourth place with a strong $23.4 million bow.

Musical Biopic ‘Elvis’ & Horror Flick ‘The Black Phone’ To Cap Off Strong June

From the Top Gun and Jurassic Park sequels to the Toy Story spinoff, the past month at the box office has been one fueled by nostalgia. Now, the nostalgia train continues, not with a sequel or spinoff, but with Elvis, the first feature biopic about the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. As for audiences more in the mood for shivering than shimmying, they can dial into The Black Phone, the latest from horror practitioner Scott Derrickson. While neither film is expected to top the charts, the month is still ending on a positive note as the top four titles this weekend should all come in above $20 million, which would be the first time for this to happen since November 2018.

‘Lightyear’ Opens In Second Place Behind Still-Roaring ‘Jurassic World’ With Soft $51 Million Bow

Well, it didn’t quite reach infinity and beyond. In fact, it didn’t even reach first place—a rarity for a big-budget Pixar tentpole. But despite its disappointing blast-off, Disney’s Lightyear still managed to rack up $51 million during its domestic debut over Father’s Day weekend. Maybe it was the absence of Woody and the rest of the gang, but either way the Toy Story spin-off fell short of expectations and failed to blast past Universal’s still-roaring dino sequel, Jurassic World Dominion, which held onto the top spot thanks to a massive $58.7 million second-week haul.

‘Lightyear’ To Create A Buzz This Father’s Day/Juneteenth Weekend

There’s a starman waiting in the sky, and audiences of all ages should flock to see his intergalactic adventures this weekend. 27 years after Pixar launched with Toy Story and revolutionized CG animation, the landmark film’s conceited plastic co-hero, Buzz, finally gets a starring role in Lightyear. The film doesn’t take place in the world of toys, however. Rather, the conceit of the stand-alone sci-fi adventure is that it's the actual 1995 film about the eponymous space ranger (now voiced by Chris Evans) on which the Toy Story "Buzz" toy which Andy received is based. Even if we can’t expect the spinoff to reach the box office highs of the latest Toy Story sequels, it should do strong business over the Father’s Day/Juneteenth weekend.

‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Roars With $143.4 Domestic Debut; ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Keeps Flying High

It’s peak summer movie season, which means what’s old is new again. After two back-to-back first-place finishes for a follow-up to the biggest box-office hit of 1986 (Top Gun), this weekend multiplexes were dominated by the latest sequel to the biggest box-office hit of 1993 (Jurassic Park). Not that anyone at Hollywood’s major studios is complaining about this latest wave of deja-vu. These days their very survival seems to depend on franchise nostalgia. Leaving a monster footprint at home and abroad, Universal’s Jurassic World Dominion, the sixth and latest installment in the dinos-run-amok franchise, stomped the competition over the frame with an eye-popping $143.4 million domestic bow, bumping reigning champ Top Gun: Maverick from the top spot even though Tom Cruise and company held on far better than expected in its third session with a still-impressive $50 million North American haul.

‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ Set For Huge Opening Weekend As Legacy Franchise Season Is In Full Swing

Prehistoric DNA is used to revive extinct species for the purpose of thrilling audiences… is that a Michael Crichton plot or a commentary on the state of cinema? Either way, audiences aren’t complaining. The past two weeks have been dominated by the sequel to 1986’s biggest hit, Top Gun, and now we are moving on to the fifth sequel to 1993’s biggest hit as Jurassic World Dominion roars into theaters. It is the third mega-movie of the summer, though as of now the two tentpole releases have been holding up a tent with little inside of it, with no major releases in the two weeks following Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness or in the week following Top Gun: Maverick. The good news is that from this weekend onwards the summer is packed with big films nearly every week, though the quantity of titles in the slate is still lower than pre-pandemic levels.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Still Flying High in Sophomore Weekend with $86 Million While ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Roars Overseas

Another week, another box-office lesson. While the Memorial Day session reminded us that there are still such things as old-school Hollywood movie stars—the kind whose name on a marquee can single-handedly open a movie—thanks to the blockbuster debut of Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick, this week we were given a refresher course in the power of positive word of mouth. Cruise’s buzzy sequel just kept soaring at the multiplex with a negligible drop off, taking in another $86 million at North American theaters. It’s especially newsworthy since the smash-hit sequel is one of the few recent out-of-the-gate moneymakers without no connection to either superheroes or comic-book I.P. Meanwhile, another eagerly awaited tentpole follow-up, Jurassic World Dominion, was met by dino-sized returns in its early overseas roll out.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ To Fly High In Second Weekend

There is no doubt that the box office is flying high after a stratospheric $127 million three-day and $161 million four-day holiday opening for Top Gun: Maverick, which was the biggest non-superhero debut since 2019 and nearly double the previous best Tom Cruise opening. The three-and-a-half decade in the waiting sequel also delivered a new record for Memorial Day weekend, beating Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Despite these highs, the lack of new releases is still holding back the box office, which is why May, despite being the second highest grossing month since the pandemic began with an overall box office of $786 million, was the lowest grossing May since 2006.

‘Top Gun 2’ Soars Over Memorial Day Box Office With $124 Million Three-Day Haul, Tom Cruise’s Best Opening Ever

After 36 years, Tom Cruise’s daredevil Navy flyboy Pete Mitchell apparently still felt the need…the need for speed. And so, too, did nostalgic moviegoers who flooded the nation’s multiplexes over Memorial Day weekend to propel the star’s long-delayed sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, into the box-office stratosphere with a $124 million domestic haul between Friday and Sunday. When Monday’s receipts are factored in, look for that total to climb to $151 million—making the Paramount sequel the strongest debut of Cruise’s storied career by far. Meanwhile, 20th Century Studios’ The Bob’s Burgers Movie bowed over the holiday frame in third place with $12.6 million.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Flies In For Memorial Day Weekend

After 36 years of waiting, Top Gun is finally getting a sequel, and it could not have come at a more opportune time. While the month of May got off to a terrific start led by Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the box office has been in a free-fall since then, with last weekend’s overall gross of $75.6 million being lower than any pre-pandemic May weekend since 1999. Revving the summer box office back up this Memorial Day weekend is one of Hollywood’s last true movie stars, back in the role that first launched him into the stratosphere.

‘Downton 2’ Fails To Top ‘Doctor Strange 2’ In Weekend Battle of The Sequels

Even the strange sight of the lock-jawed Crawley clan frolicking on the French Riviera proved to be no match for the three-week-old Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness over the weekend as Downton Abbey: A New Era failed to unseat Marvel’s latest hand-over-fist blockbuster from the top spot in the battle of fan-service sequels. Landing slightly below expectations, Downton 2 debuted in the runner-up spot with a so-so $16 million while Benedict Cumberbatch’s superhero follow-up held onto first place for the third straight frame with a $31.6 million haul. Meanwhile, A24’s psychological horror film, Men, baffled audiences and bowed quietly in fifth place.

‘Doctor Strange 2’ Likely to Rule In Week 3, ‘Downton Abbey 2’ & ‘Men’ To Invigorate Specialty Box Office

After two weeks dominated almost entirely by Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we get some new blood this weekend with the sequel to Focus’ specialty box office blockbuster Downton Abbey and A24’s latest with genre auteur Alex Garland, Men. Neither will have the sort of fireworks we hope for in May, and Doctor Strange should rule the roost once again in its third weekend, but there’s enough to keep audiences coming until Top Gun: Maverick swoops in next weekend and takes the top spot and the premium screens.

‘Doctor Strange 2’ Rules Again In Its Sophomore Weekend With $61 Million, ‘Firestarter’ Fizzles

A week after storming multiplexes with a superheroic $185 million domestic bow, Disney’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness picked up right where it left off, grossing an additional $61 million over its second weekend in North America. Not surprisingly, rival studios for the most part chose to steer clear of Marvel’s latest box-office behemoth—all except for Universal, which unveiled its Zac Efron-led remake of the 1984 Stephen King adaptation, Firestarter, and failed to produce any sparks in the marketplace, bowing to a truly scary $3.8 million.

‘Doctor Strange 2’ To Continue To Reign, Efron Led ‘Firestarter’ Unlikely To Spark

After dominating the box office last weekend with 84% of the entire weekend’s gross, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will remain the major story in its second frame. The Marvel Cinematic Universe film, which opened to $187 million, crossed $200 million on Monday (not to mention $500 million worldwide on Tuesday), and it is on the verge of besting the first Doctor Strange’s $233 million domestic cume. By the end of the weekend it should be past or very close to $300 million, with its next milestone being the $369 million gross of The Batman, the biggest thus far this year and the second biggest since the start of the pandemic.

‘Doctor Strange 2’ Kicks Off Blockbuster Season, Conjuring A Magical $185 Million Opening

While the calendar says it’s still technically spring for another month and a half, the summer blockbuster season officially kicked off over Mother’s Day weekend thanks to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ whopping $185 million domestic bow. With no new major competition (who in their right minds would even dare to go up against it?), the latest chapter in the hand-over-fist Marvel Cinematic Universe instantly became the biggest box-office debut of 2022, trouncing its cross-town DC rival, The Batman, and its $134 million opening just two months ago.

Doctor Strange Kicks Off Summer Blockbuster Season

The summer box office season is finally arriving, and kicking it off is the latest from Hollywood’s biggest moneymaker, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The franchise’s four 2021 releases made up nearly 30% of the combined domestic gross of all 2021 releases, and the total gross of those four films is just 10% behind the combined gross of everything that came out in the first four months of 2022. The extended universe’s success shows no sign of flagging with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the first MCU release since Spider-Man: No Way Home shattered box office records in the winter.

‘The Bad Guys’ Holds Onto Top Spot With $16.1 Million While ‘Memory’ Hints At Liam Neeson Fatigue

Consider it the calm before the storm. With Marvel’s eagerly awaited Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness officially kicking off the summer blockbuster season next weekend, the nation’s multiplexes were sleepier than usual… unless, of course, you were a kid (or the parent of one). As the top five movies in North America remained largely unchanged from the previous frame—with The Bad Guys taking top honors again—it’s worth noting that the weekend’s three biggest grossers were all family-friendly titles. Meanwhile, on the other end of the age spectrum, Liam Neeson served up the weekend’s only major new release, Memory. But the action-thriller’s soft, eighth-place opening raised questions whether his once-loyal fanbase has finally grown tired of his “particular set of skills.”

Holdovers To Rule Against Neeson Action Thriller ‘Memory’ As We Await ‘Dr. Strange’

The past month was the year’s busiest at the box office with three of the year’s top five openers, and the past weekend saw four films gross above $10 million, a feat that surprisingly has not been achieved since last June. Things slow to a crawl this weekend, though, as we are one week out from the Marvel-in-waiting Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness which will kick off the summer box-office season. Though this week’s only new wide release is expected to open soft, there is still juice left to squeeze out of the current slate before the arrival of the first MCU film since Spider-Man: No Way Home. This may be the lowest grossing weekend since February, but a blockbuster packed summer is right around the corner.
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