'Despicable Me 3' tops holiday weekend as 'Baby Driver' overperforms


It’s a game of good news, bad news for Universal and Illumination Entertainment this weekend. Good news: Their Despicable Me 3 came in at number one with a $72.4 million three-day haul, plus an estimated $14 million for the remainder of the long Independence Day weekend. Bad news: That represents a substantial drop from the last two films in the Despicable Me franchise, which opened to $83.5 million (Despicable Me 2) and $115.7 million (Minions).

“Eh” news: The July 4th holiday doesn’t tend to be a boffo one in terms of box office anyway. It’s not like Despicable Me 3 underperformed, say, around Christmas. The basic takeaway: This isn't what Universal was hoping for, but don't expect to stop seeing Minions every-freaking-where any time soon.

If Gru and the gang had something of a lackluster weekend, the same cannot be said for Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, which came in at number two with a $21 million three-day haul. That surpasses expectations and gives Baby Driver by far the highest opening of Wright’s career. Even better: Add in Monday and Tuesday cumes, and you get $35 million, making Baby Driver Wright’s highest-grossing film domestically after less than a week. (The second-highest is Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which topped out at $31.5 million in 2010.)

Baby Driver’s success pushed Transformers: The Last Knight down to spot number three in its third weekend of release, its $17 million gross marking a middle-of-the-road 62% drop. Spot number four belongs to Wonder Woman, its $15.7 million three-day gross pushing its domestic total to $346.2 million. It’s now $37.6 million away from passing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the highest-grossing superhero film of the year, though there are three upcoming movies--Spider: Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League--that could swoop in and snag the title. Rounding out the top five is Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3 (weekend gross $9.6 million, total gross $120.8 million).

Absent from the top five is R-rated comedy The House, starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler. The film didn’t screen for critics, which tends to be indicative of a studio’s lack of confidence. That lack of confidence proved apt, as The House flopped hard with a mere $8.7 million (three-day) depite its A-list comedy starpower.

Meanwhile, Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled expanded from four theatres to 674, easily earning it a place in the top ten with $3.1 million. The highest earner among new specialty releases was The Little Hours, which also secured the weekend’s highest per-theatre average with $61,560 on two screens. Also out in new release were Reset ($54,276), Score: A Film Music Documentary ($20,698), Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge ($18,600), The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography ($12,035), 13 Minutes ($11,750), The Reagan Show ($5,500) and The Skyjacker’s Tale ($1,097).