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Box Office: ‘Finding Dory’ Dominates ‘Independence Day’ at $75 Million

Disney/Pixar’s second weekend of “Finding Dory” is dominating moviegoing at the U.S. box office with $75 million, blowing away Fox’s opening of “Independence Day: Resurgence” at $43 million, estimates showed Saturday.

Finding Dory” is on track for a decline of only 44% from its stellar opening frame, which would leave the animated sequel in elite company as the seventh-highest second weekend ever — topping “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” at $74.2 million. “Dory,” with Ellen DeGeneres voicing the forgetful fish, will wind up the weekend with $289 million after 10 days.

Blake Lively’s shark adventure “The Shallows” is projected to over-perform at about $17 million for Sony while Matthew McConaughey’s “Free State of Jones” is finding only modest traction in the $8 million range for STX.

Fox’s “Independence Day: Resurgence” is coming in at the lower end of forecasts at 4,068 locations with an opening day of about $17 million — dwarfed by “Dory,” which grossed over $23 million on Friday. “Resurgence” is arriving two decades after Will Smith’s original became 1996’s top grosser, and sees the same fearsome aliens making another all-out effort to take over the Earth, despite the plucky resistance of its inhabitants.

“Independence Day: Resurgence,” directed by Roland Emmerich, carries a $165 million price tag that requires strong performances from international markets to become profitable. Though Smith decided against returning, “Resurgence” sees Bill Pullman, Vivica Fox and Jeff Goldblum reprise their characters with newcomers Liam Hemsworth and Jessie Usher coming on board.

The Shallows,” which centers on Lively’s bikini-clad character battling for survival against a hungry great white shark, generated a solid $6.8 million opening day on Friday at 2,962 locations with a B+ Cinemascore. The thriller carries a modest $17 million price tag.

Free State of Jones” had been expected to take in around $12 million at 2,815 locations but will fall short despite an A- Cinemascore. The historical drama, starring McConaughey as the leader of a rebellion against the Confederacy, generated only $2.7 million on Friday.

“Jones” cost $50 million to make but STX’s exposure is under $10 million after bringing in partners such as IM Global.

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