The curse of the blockbuster sequel is finally broken. In a year in which X-Men, ninja turtles and Alice's mentally imbalanced friends have all registered somewhere between 'slight disappointment' and 'pure poison' on the spectrum of box office expectations, Finding Dory continues to prove that a well-crafted sequel can draw big crowds.
Finding Dory's Glass Ceiling
Dory enjoyed o-fish-ally the biggest third weekend of all-time for an animated movie, bringing in a stellar $44m for the three-day weekend to Sunday, and an estimated $53m for the four-day up to this July 4th. Three weekends deep, the Pixar flick held off strong competition from The Legend of Tarzan and The Purge: Election Year. Its current global total is $538m.
Where is Dory's glass ceiling? That depends on how well it holds in the next couple of weeks, but expect it to to pass $750m very comfortably.
The Legend of Tarzan outperformed expectations with $37m for the three-day and an expected $43m up to Monday, but off a huge $180m budget, Warner Bros. will be pretty lucky to see a profit here. Why is Tarzan not swinging for bigger box office? Despite the very sexy leading duo of Alexander Skarsgård and Margot Robbie, most kids will be distracted by Dory, and Tarzan is a story we all know already (and didn't really need to see again).
Is The Disaster Movie Dead?
After a catastrophic start worthy of its disaster movie status one week ago, Independence Day: Resurgence again failed to draw audiences during July 4th weekend, taking approx $20m across the four-day. Where did it all go wrong? Well, Jeff Goldblum is not A-list, Liam Hemsworth is barely B-list and, above all, the idea of an ID4 sequel without Will Smith is kind of insane.
Audiences also got their fill of seeing buildings collapse into a pile of CGI dust with X-Men: Apocalypse. That movie has now made $530m globally, a decent return which Resurgence will most likely fail to match. Don't expect a third film in another twenty years.
If the blockbusters are having a rough ride in 2016, things are looking much brighter for low-budget horror flicks with mainstream appeal. The Purge: Election Year (trailer above), lead by Frank Grillo of Captain America: Civil War, is projected for a $37m four-day weekend.
That's a phenomenal return from a budget of just $10m, tapping into the political climate just as we approach the reckoning day of November 8, 2016. It's also proof that a horror with a strong concept doesn't need big names attached to it.
The Shallows Continues To Ride The Wave
In its second weekend, Blake Lively's well-reviewed, Jaws-inspired shark horror The Shallows made around $11m for an excellent total box office of $37m+. Presumably the teenage male turnout was strong on this one. Check out the superb trailer below. The Shallows goes global later this summer.
Finally, Steven Spielberg's The BFG was met with a big fat groan at the US box office this Independence Day weekend, with just $24m for a fourth-place finish. The Roald Dahl adaptation starring Mark Rylance as the titular giant might do bigger business in Europe from August, but a big $140m budget makes this kids' movie (which had decent reviews) unlikely to make its money back.