Weekend Box Office: ‘Cars 3’ Revs Up A Number One Win

It was a crowded North America multiplex scene this weekend as four new movies entered the box office race. Of the quartet, it was Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3 and Lionsgate’s All Eyez On Me that raced to the finish line in style while Sony’s Rough Night and Entertainment’s 47 Meters Down both encountered engine trouble.

While few outside of Disney’s merchandising department were asking for it, Cars 3 still manage to find its opening weekend audience. The latest adventure for talking car Lightning McQueen and his pals opened on 4, 256 screens Friday where it went on to earn an estimated $53.5 million. The debut was roughly 20% lower than the $66 million scored by Cars 2 six years ago and is also the second lowest summertime opening for a Pixar film outside of 2007’s Ratatouille.

Reviews were mostly positive for Cars 3. The animated sequel scored a decent 65% approval on Rotten Tomatoes and a 59/100 on Metacritic. The film scored more favorably with its target demographic of families. Those polled on CinemaScore gave Cars 3 an “A” rating, which should help the film power through the next couple of weeks until Universal’s Despicable Me 3 arrives in theaters. Cars 3 also raced to $21.3 million in overseas sales this weekend.

It was another remarkable weekend for Warner’s Wonder Woman as the DC superhero continued her march to the $300 million mark. The fantasy epic eased a mere 30% in its third weekend on 4,018 screens, lassoing a great $40.8 million worth of sales in the process. The domestic total for Wonder Woman currently stands at $275 million with an additional $297 million from international markets. Thanks to the continued strong word-of-mouth, a $375 million final haul is looking like a strong possibility stateside.

In third place with a solid $27 million from 2,471 theaters was Lionsgate’s Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me. The film opened on what would have been the late rapper’s 46th birthday, which helped it get out of the gate fast on Friday with $12.8 million. One group that wasn’t in the mood to celebrate Tupac’s birthday were the nation’s critics. They gave All Eyez a 24% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 40/100 on Metacritic.

Ticket buyers were a bit more of a question mark. While they gave All Eyez an encouraging “A-“ on CinemaScore, 40% fewer showed up for the film on Saturday. Whether that is a result of bad word-of-mouth or not is something that next weekend will determine.

After a dismal start one week ago, Universal’s latest rehash of The Mummy continued its quick return to the box office tomb. The Tom Cruise turkey sank 56% to earn a toothless $13.9 million in its sophomore session on 4,034 screens. After ten days, the $190 million Mummy has possessed a meek $56.5 million domestically and is heading for a disastrous final haul of $75 million. Overseas, the film has banked a far better $239 million so far.

Rounding out the top five was the $11.5 million debut from 2,270 theaters for the shark thriller 47 Meters Down. Neither the nation’s critics nor ticket buyers embraced the Mandy Moore flick. The approval ratings for 47 Meters were as follows: 56% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, a 56/100 on Metacritic and a deadly “C” rating on CinemaScore.

6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Disney) $8.5 million (-21%); $150 million

7. Rough Night (Sony) $8.1 million (NEW)

The raunchy Scarlett Johansson comedy was dismissed by critics -51% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, 52/100 on Metacritic- and brushed aside by ticket buyers on CinemaScore, who gave it a “C+.” Many have speculated that the continuing success of female-centric Wonder Woman was a large contributor in pulling away viewers from Rough Night. I’m going to blame the film’s laugh-free trailers and TV spots.

8. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (Fox) $7.3 million (-40%); $58 million

9. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two (Disney) $4.8 million (-23%); $375 million

10. It Comes At Night (A24) $2.5 million (-60%); $10.8 million

Wednesday sees the launch of the one wide release for next weekend, Paramount’s Transformers: The Last Knight. While the film should have no problem taking over the number one spot from Cars 3, one has to wonder just how big the film will open. Will it surprise and open around the $100 million mark like the last chapter, 2014’s Age of Extinction? Or will it become the latest 2017 franchise to exhibit viewer fatigue?

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