Weekend Wrap-Up

Dory Dominates Independence Day Sequel; Shallows Surprise

By John Hamann

June 26, 2016

She's happy because she's in the biggest movie in the world.

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Six months ago, I thought the sequel to Independence Day would be a $100 million opener. Today, half of that amount would be a victory for Fox, as we have another expensive sequel that is going to struggle stateside.

A year ago over the same weekend, holdovers dominated, as both Jurassic World and Inside Out repeated in the one-two spot, while new releases Ted 2 and Max suffered. This weekend, Finding Dory is the big holdover, and four openers try and cut into its business. Independence Day: Resurgence, the sequel to the 1996 world dominator that earned over $800 million, was the theoretical biggest new release. All those years in between films worked for Jurassic World - would it work for Roland Emmerich like it did for Steven Spielberg? Also opening is Free State of Jones with Matthew McConaughey, who tries something a little different with a historical war flick in the middle of summer. A more traditional summer release is The Shallows, Blake Lively's orange bikini movie - I mean shark movie - which is our lower budget pick of the week. Lastly, opening on fewer than 1,000 screens is The Neon Demon, the latest from Nicolas Winding Refn, who did Drive with Ryan Gosling. The big hitter in the room again this weekend, though, is Finding Dory, as it looks to hold after opening to $135 million last weekend.


Our number one film of the weekend is again Finding Dory, Pixar's latest smash hit, and its biggest opener amongst a very successful crop of films. On its second Friday, after starting last weekend with $54.7 million, Finding Dory earned $23.2 million, giving it a Friday-to-Friday drop of 58%. Dory had $9.1 million in Thursday preview grosses last week, so its "true Friday" amount was $45.75 million, which means the true drop was really 49%. This is a fantastic Friday hold for a film that opened so big. Minions fell 68% when comparing Friday to Friday, but Toy Story 3 is a better comparison. It had a first Friday of $41.1 million, and dropped 56% to $17.95 million on its second Friday. Toy Story 3 turned that into a second weekend take of $59.3 million, off 46% weekend to weekend. It would appear that Finding Dory is following the Toy Story 3 pattern, which would be very good news, as the Pixar threequel had an opening-to-total domestic multiplier of 3.76. Should Dory find the same, it would finish at over $500 million.

Over the weekend, Finding Dory earned a fabulous $73.2 million, falling an impressive 46%. That makes the second frame of the Pixar film the eighth biggest second weekend ever, wedged between the second weekends of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($74.2 million) and Captain America: Civil War ($72.6 million). This is incredibly strong, as last weekend, Dory opened as the 19th biggest film, and is now amongst the biggest second weekends of all time. It had a similar Monday-to-Thursday result. Dory had the 13th biggest non-opening Monday, the fourth biggest (yes that's correct) Tuesday ever, and the ninth biggest Wednesday ever. Finding Dory is simply a smash. Somehow it is finding a way to pick up steam, as it crossed the $200 million mark on its seventh day of release, and will cross the $300 million mark in a couple of days. It has a stunning standing total of $286.5 million after only 10 days of release. Overseas, it started last weekend with $50 million, and opened in a few more overseas markets this weekend, pulling in another $60 million, giving it a worldwide total of nearly $400 million.

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