Everything seems to be going to Universal’s plan as “Despicable Me 3” eyes an $83 million opening. The fourth film in the Minions universe is expected to easily win Independence Day weekend over fellow new entries, “Baby Driver” and “The House.”
Illumination-Universal’s animated threequel ended Friday with an impressive $29 million from 4,529 theaters, meaning it could end the holiday weekend with as much as $83.5 million. With $4.1 million coming from Thursday night previews alone, if the third “Despicable Me” movie continues on this course, it could open as the sixth highest-grossing domestic project of 2017 — behind “Beauty and the Beast,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Wonder Woman,” “Fate of the Furious,” and “Logan.”
“Despicable Me 3” stars Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, and franchise newbie Trey Parker (“South Park”) as ’80s-obsessed villain Balthazar Bratt.
Also on track for an impressive debut is Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver” from Sony, MRC, and Working Title. The action IP over-performed on Friday, taking in just under $6 million from 3,226 locations. Ansel Elgort has already clinched second place, but if he keeps up this momentum, “Baby Driver” could end Sunday at $19 million. It’s also well on its way to being a career-best for director Wright.
While both “Baby” and “Despicable” have A- CinemaScores, the former is a critical darling with a 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as opposed to the latter’s 63 percent. “We are thrilled audiences are connecting with Edgar’s wildly fun and inventive film,” said MRC co-presidents of film Jonathan Golfman and Brye Adler. “He’s truly made a movie with something for everyone. ‘Baby Driver’ is proof that original movies can still breakthrough to summer audiences.”
Unfortunately, Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler were not able to raise the roof as much when it came to “The House.” The Warner Bros., New Line, and Village Roadshow comedy only raked in $3.3 million on Friday, putting it at No. 5 for its first frame. But don’t bet against them completely — “The House” is still expected to at least hit eight digits with just over $10 million by end of day Sunday.
“Transformers: The Last Knight” and “Wonder Woman” continued to show their summer box office dominance, placing third and fourth, respectively, in their second and fifth frames. Both films took in about $4.5 million on Friday, but “Transformers” is expected to come out on top this weekend with $16 million, over “Wonder Woman’s” $15 million.
“Cars 3,” “47 Meters Down,” “The Beguiled,” “The Mummy,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” round out the top 10.