In the last two months, we've seen a pattern emerge and it's a surprising one. While the summer is typically a haven for big studio sequels, this year they've consistently been under-performing. The latest to do so is Despicable Me 3, which still managed to top the box office this weekend. Check out the full chart below!
While James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 started the season off quite well, the weeks since have seen a lot of sequels make less money than expected. Examples include Alien: Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Cars 3, and Transformers: The Last Knight, and now we can add Despicable Me 3 to the list. The animated feature made a respectable $75.4 million this weekend, but it didn't live up to expectations, and certainly doesn't look great within its own franchise. The movie made $8 million less than predicted, and it's the smallest opening since the original in 2010 (outpaced by both Despicable Me 2 and Minions).
Animated movies have a tendency to be critic-proof thanks to the fact that the younger targeted audiences simply don't care, but one has to wonder if the reaction to Despicable Me 3 may have had an effect on the box office - continuing another trend this season. The latest from Illumination Entertainment still maintains a "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it stands at 63%, which is the lowest in the series thus far (Minions is still lower with a 56%). Box Office Mojo doesn't have the full demographics breakdown, but it would be curious to see how the adult ticket sales compared to the opening weekend for Despicable Me 2.
It's not all bad news for Hollywood this weekend, however, as while Despicable Me 3 may have underwhelmed, Edgar Wright's Baby Driver most definitely did not. Wright's movies - Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, and The World's End - have never really performed well here in the United States, but his latest has been speeding along since it first debuted in theaters on Tuesday night. To put it in round figures, 2010's Scott Pilgrim was previously his biggest opener with a total of $10.6 million, and Baby Driver more than doubled that score. Plus, after five days it's only $1 million short of being crowned Wright's biggest domestic earner. It also seems that audiences are digging it just as much as critics, as the film put up an A- on CinemaScore.
The news wasn't quite so sweet for the third big new release this weekend, as The House simply bombed. It's a comedy that doesn't need $150 million domestic to break even, but a Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler-led movie really should do better than opening in sixth place. Warner Bros. has been holding on to this one for a while, as it first entered post production back in January of 2016, and it's not crazy hard to see why the studio didn't have a ton of faith in it. Certainly not driving audiences in is the fact that it's carrying the burden of a 16% score on Rotten Tomatoes - so we probably shouldn't be expecting a big bounce back in its second week.
As for this coming week, we're only seeing the arrival of one new title in wide release, but there's no way it doesn't take the top spot. Riding high on fantastic early reviews, Spider-Man: Homecoming is swinging into theaters on Friday, and we expect a lot of people will be amped to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We'll see how things turn out when we deliver the new box office report next week!