Most box office analysts were predicting that the highly-anticipated Despicable Me sequel, Despicable Me 3, would have no trouble running away with the box office this weekend. While that prediction ultimately came true, the sequel came in less than expected, opening with $75.4 million, easily beating fellow newcomers Baby Driver, which opened on Wednesday, June 28, and the original comedy The House starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler. While Despicable Me 3 didn’t open with a franchise low, it did mark a significant drop from the last few entries in the franchise.
Box Office Mojo reports that, while Despicable Me 3 may have opened less than expected, it did break a box office record that has stood for the past seven years. Despicable Me 3 opened in a record-breaking 4,529 theaters, breaking the record previously set by 2010’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which opened in 4,468 theaters on the exact same date as Despicable Me 3 seven years ago, on June 30, 2010. The animated sequel earned an impressive $16,651 per-screen average, almost making back its entire $80 million budget from the domestic opening alone, although it earned an additional $116.9 million overseas for a worldwide opening weekend of $192.3 million. Still, the domestic debut was down significantly from both Despicable Me 2 and the spin-off Minions.
The first Despicable Me movie opened with a solid $56.3 million from 3,476 theaters, en route to $251.5 million domestic and $543.1 million worldwide, from a $69 million budget. The 2013 follow-up Despicable Me 2 debuted in 3,997, roughly 500 theaters more than its predecessor, debuting with an impressive $83.5 million en route to $368 million domestic and $970.7 million worldwide, from a $76 million budget. The 2015 spin-off Minions earned a franchise-best $115.7 million opening weekend, but it still couldn’t surpass the $368 million domestic mark of Despicable Me 2, bringing in $336 million. However, it did earn roughly $200 million more internationally than Despicable Me 2, with its foreign take of $823.3 million bringing its worldwide total to $1.15 billion, the second highest grossing animated movie of all time behind Frozen ($1.2 billion). This lower debut is just the latest in a string of sequels that have earned less than their predecessors, signalling that there is quite a bit of “franchise fatigue” when it comes to moviegoers.
After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother, a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps, one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad. Steve Carell not only reprises his role as Gru in Despicable Me 3, but also takes on a second part-that of Dru, Gru’s long-lost twin brother. Kristen Wiig returns as super-spy Lucy, while Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award winner Trey Parker voices new villain Balthazar Bratt. a former child star who has become obsessed with the evil TV character he played in the ’80s. Gru’s most formidable and comedic nemesis to date, Bratt is out to take down Hollywood, and anyone who stands in his way.
The top 10 is rounded out by Baby Driver ($21 million), Transformers: The Last Knight ($17 million), Wonder Woman ($16.1 million), Cars 3 ($9.5 million), The House ($9 million), 47 Meters Down ($4.6 million), The Beguiled ($3.2 million), The Mummy $2.7 million) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ($2.4 million). Also debuting in limited release is Gunpowder & Sky’s comedy The Little Hours, which earned $61,560 from just two theaters for an impressive $30,780 per-screen average, Sony Pictures Classics’ 13 Minutes, which took in $12,612 from three theaters for a $4,204 per-screen average, Neon’s documentary The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography, which earned $12,078 from three theaters for a $4,026 per-screen average, although no box office data was released for Strand’s documentary’s The Skyjacker’s Tale.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Homecoming is the only movie slated for wide release on July 7, marking the second Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie of the year, following the blockbuster sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, with the studio closing out its year with Thor: Ragnarok on November 3. Also opening in limited release next weekend is IFC’s City of Ghosts, A24’s A Ghost Story, OScilloscope Pictures’ Santoalla, Parade Deck Films’ Superpowerless, Argot Pictures’ Swim Team and Vertical Entertainment’s Undercover Grandpa. Take a look at the top 10 estimates for the weekend of June 30, and check back on Tuesday for next week’s predictions.