Weekend Box Office: “Dory” Swims While “Resurgence” Drowns

The extraterrestrial menace from Independence Day: Resurgence proved to be no match for a forgetful little fish this weekend at the North America box office. Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory made short order of Fox’s belated sci-fi sequel to its 1996 blockbuster Independence Day, which arrived to scathing reviews and disappointing grosses. The news was better for the low-budget shark thriller The Shallows, had a decent bow in fourth place while Free State of Jones sputtered in its fifth place debut.

Following its record-breaking debut one week ago, Finding Dory declined only 46% in its sophomore session on 4,305 screens to earn a great $73.2 million. After ten days, the domestic total for the animated smash stands at a tall $286.5 million with international totals contributing an additional $110 million.

Already the sixth-highest domestic grosser of 2016, Dory could swim close to, if not above, the $500 million domestic mark by the end of the summer, which would easily make it the biggest film of the year. Combine with an international final gross north of $700 million –if not higher-, and Finding Dory should become the Mouse House’s third billion-dollar box office baby of the year (The Jungle Book should become number four by summer’s end).

Alice Through the Looking Glass, Now You See Me 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. 2016 has officially become the Year of the Unnecessary Sequel. Joining that infamous group this weekend is Fox’s Independence Day: Resurgence.

Arriving on the scene a full two decades after its predecessor –and without the participation of Will Smith- Resurgence attacked 4,068 theaters this weekend and came up with $41.6 million, approximately 20% below studio estimates and well below the figures posted by the original on its opening weekend.

The $165 million production– directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and Vivica Fox– was hidden from the press until 11am on opening day, a sure sign of a bad film out to make a quick buck. With a 33% approval rating from the critics and the mixed “B” rating from ticket buyers on CinemaScore, Resurgence appears to be just that: a turkey.

While the domestic numbers may be low –for an event film of this type, anyway-, the international numbers were a bit more promising. 57 markets opened the movie day-and-date with North America, which yielded $102 million. In order for Resurgence to turn a profit –and fulfill on its threat of a third feature-, the film will have to perform really well overseas (think Warcraft).

Warner’s Central Intelligence had a solid second weekend in third place. The Kevin Hart/ Dwayne Johnson action comedy scored a solid $18.3 million from 3,508 theaters, which represented a drop of only 48% from last weekend, a sign of good word-of-mouth among ticket buyers. Central Intelligence has scored a solid $69.3 million in ten days and should clear the $100 million mark by the end of its run.

In fourth place was the low-budget shark thriller The Shallows, which banked a good $16.7 million from 2,962 lagoons. The Sony release, which stars Blake Lively as a surfer battling for survival in shark-infested waters, nearly matched its modest $17 million production price tag. Reviews were solid for the Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop) feature, with critics giving the film a 73% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Shooting itself in the foot in fifth place was STX’s Civil War drama Free State of Jones. The R-rated Matthew McConaughey drama was ambushed by the critics- who gave the film a 33% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes- and by the public, who contributed a mere $7.7 million from 2,815 locations.

6. The Conjuring 2 (Warner) $7.7 million (-49%) $87 million

7. Now You See Me 2 (Lionsgate) $5.6 million (-40%); $52.7 million

8. X-Men: Apocalypse (Fox) $2.75 million (-53%); $151 million

9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (Paramount) $2.4 million (-54%) $77 million

10. Alice Through The Looking Glass (Disney) $2.1 million (-50%): $74 million

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