Universal/Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru has grabbed the best previews for an animated movie during the pandemic with $10.75M. That’s purely from showtimes that started yesterday at 2PM from 3,350 theaters. This, no doubt, bodes for another excellent weekend at the summer box office.
That beats the $6.25M combined two day previews of Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Disney’s previews combined $5.2M previews for lightyear Rise of Gru also bests the previews of 2015’s minions which minted $6.2M off showtimes that began at 5PM and went on to make $46M on its opening day (including those previews) and a $115.7M opening.
Also, Rise of Gru is ahead of Despicable Me 3‘s $4.1M Thursday night previews (6PM start time), which went on to post a $29M first day and $72.4M 3-day.
Even more mindblowing: Rise of Gru‘s Thursday night is higher than Marvel’s Eternals which did $9.5M off 6PM showtimes.
The Chris Melendandri produced animated sequel was looking to gross between $70M-$80M over four days at 4,391 locations. Now it could be more like $90M-$100M. To date since mid-March 2020, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 owns the best opening for an animated movie at $72.1M.
Mostly guy skewing last night for Rise of Gru, however, it’s expected that moms will turnout. Those under 25 were 70%. Boys dominated those under 12 at 60%.
On Rotten Tomatoes, critics gave Rise of Gru a 69% vs. minions 55% Rotten. despicable Me was the best reviewed of the series at 81% fresh, part 2 with 75% and part 3 at 59% Rotten.
Meanwhile, in the war between older-adult skewing movies, Paramount/Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick and Warner Bros.’ Elvis, the Tom Cruise sequel was ahead of the King of Rock n’ Roll Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays, except for Tuesday when the Baz Luhrmann movie took the edge, $5.2M to $4.7M.
Top Gun 2 ends its fifth week with $47.2M at 3,948 sites sending its running total to $538.4M; the highest grossing movie of the year to date, 31% ahead of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Top Gun 2 grossed $4M on Thursday, -7% from Wednesday. Outlook is a 20% ease in the pic’s 4-day sixth weekend from last weekend, so around $23.7M.
Elvis ends week 1 with $48.3M at 3,906 theaters. The pic made $3.5M yesterday, -11% from Wednesday. Industry estimates expect at most a 40% ease in the 4-day vs. 3-day of Elvis, meaning around $18.7M. Box office sources believe Zoey 101 and Ruby & the Rockits actor Austin Butler is the key for bringing in the under 25 crowd as Elvis comes off of some ecstatic buzz.
Universal/Amblin’s Jurassic World Dominion at 4,233 earned $2.7M, -11% from Wednesday for a running total in week three of $316.1M, 9% behind previous chapter Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom at the same point in time. Dominion‘s third week came in at $39.8M.
Universal/Blumhouse’s The Black Phone ends week 1 at 3,150 with $35.1M after a $2.5M Thursday, -7% from Wednesday.
lightyear did an estimated $1.57M yesterday at 4,255 locations, -31% from Wednesday, a $27.6M second week, and a running total of $98.7M.