July 21, 2024

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Despicable Me 4 tops the Fourth of July box office with 2.6 million

Despicable Me 4 tops the Fourth of July box office with $122.6 million

“Gru and the Minions” set off fireworks at the U.S. box office on its birthday. “Despicable Me 4,” the latest installment in Universal and Illumination’s film franchise about a recovering supervillain who trades his world domination for family, dominated the competition, taking in $122.6 million in its first five days and $75 million over the three-day weekend. The film opened Wednesday, allowing it to take full advantage of the Fourth of July holiday.

But Despicable Me’s appeal goes beyond borders. Internationally, the film has grossed $106.9 million from 52 markets, bringing its global total to $229.5 million. Better yet, Despicable Me 4 had a relatively economical production budget of $100 million, which should make it very profitable for the companies behind it, not to mention all the Minions merchandise it will sell. Films at Pixar and Illumination’s main competitor Disney, on the other hand, cost $200 million to produce.

One of those Disney-Pixar productions, “Inside Out 2,” continued to be a box office hit, taking in $30 million to finish in second place. The animated sequel to the teenage love life is the summer’s biggest hit, grossing $533.8 million domestically and $1.2 billion worldwide (surpassing “Minions” to become the fifth-highest-grossing animated film of all time). Paramount’s “A Quiet Place: Day One,” aimed at older audiences, took in $21 million over the weekend to finish in third place, bringing the horror prequel’s domestic total to $94.4 million.

Box office analysts believe the movie industry is regaining its footing after a terrible start to the summer, when well-reviewed films like “The Fall Guy” and “Furiosa” flopped, sending ticket sales down about 28%. Things are changing now, with new installments in franchises like “Despicable Me,” “Inside Out,” “A Quiet Place” and “Bad Boys” filling the gap — now down 17%.

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“What a difference a few big players can make,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. “They’ve made a big difference and you can feel the momentum building.”

That’s good news for other major studio releases like “Deadpool & Wolverine” and “Twisters,” which are set to hit theaters this month.

A24’s “MaXXXine,” a horror thriller about a killer who targets starlets in 1980s Hollywood, opened over the Independence Day weekend with $6.7 million to take fourth place, while Angel Studios’ “Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot,” a faith-based drama about members of a rural church and the foster children who help them, earned $3.2 million over the weekend for a domestic total of $6.8 million. score a big hit With last summer’s “Sound of Freedom,” which was aimed at Christian audiences and opened on July 4, 2023, before grossing more than $250 million, given its modest start, don’t expect “Sound of Hope” to come close to that kind of success. “MaXXXine” had a quieter start, opening slightly below expectations and making a slightly more modest $8 million debut. The bulk of the film’s audience was made up of men between the ages of 18 and 34, and “MaXXXine” was strongest in coastal cities like New York and Los Angeles, as well as Austin, Texas, where Alamo Drafthouse, a theater chain that caters to moviegoers, was over-indexed.

Sony’s “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” the latest Will Smith and Martin Lawrence film featuring jokes, fireworks and vehicle destruction, took fifth place with $6.5 million for a domestic total of $177.4 million.

Meanwhile, Kevin Costner’s “Horizon: An American Odyssey – Chapter One,” a big-budget Western, looks set to ride off into the sunset without much baggage. The $100 million passion project, which Costner directed, is set to hit theaters in 2015. mortgage his land “Spider-Man” grossed $5.5 million over the weekend, bringing its domestic total to $22.2 million. The second installment in a four-film series is set to open in August. Costner is currently in production on the third installment, but after the first film was so poorly received, questions remain about the commercial viability of his work.

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But that’s not the case with “Despicable Me,” which has shown remarkable endurance, spawning numerous sequels and spinoffs since the first film’s release in 2010. Each of those films has opened at No. 1, and the series has become almost synonymous with the Fourth of July, with nearly every installment debuting during that time.

“It’s a great start to a franchise that has several sequels in the works,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of distribution. “People around the world love Gru and the Minions and find them to be smart, adorable and hysterically funny.”

The success of “Despicable Me 4” continues the success story of Illumination, which has produced hits like “The Secret Life of Pets,” “Sing” and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and has become one of the most trusted brands in the movie business. Orr praised the company and its founder Chris Meledandri for “knowing what the audience wants.”

The latest “Despicable Me” adventure sees Steve Carell return as Gru and introduce new heroes in the form of Will Ferrell (as French villain Maxime le Mal) and Sofia Vergara (as Maxime’s partner in love and crime). But it’s the Minions, the cute, chaotic, nonsense-speaking creatures, who have captured the hearts of kids, becoming Illumination’s mascot in the process. Asked if there could be more “Despicable Me” movies and spinoffs in the future, Orr is adamant: “Absolutely, especially after a debut like this.”