Though I had some hopes that Patty Jenkins‘ Wonder Woman would take this weekend as its third and last time at number one, it’s now clear that Pixar’s Cars 3 will ably beat the DCEU’s only good movie to date. This wasn’t true on Thursday, however. By the end of the day on Thursday, previews for both Cars 3 and All Eyez on Me, a wildly problematic take on the life of Tupac Shakur, had the latter ahead of the latest tale of Lightning McQueen. The lead was not cumbersome but if nothing else, it suggests that the troubling biopic would outperform expectations, with eyes now set at a weekend total in the low to mid $30 million range.
On Friday, Cars 3 brought in $20 million, which shows a noticeable but unremarkable drop from the Friday opening for Cars 2 at $25 million. It’s marginally stronger than the original Cars‘ $19 million opening day in 2006 but all of these still feel a bit low for a Pixar production. Their last sequel, Finding Dory, opened to $54 million on Friday and their last original film, Inside Out, had an opening day of about $34 million. There’s also been a deafening lack of anticipation about the third Cars movie as compared to other Pixar properties, and the marketing’s attempt to prove that Pixar was going to turn around its most ignorable franchise has been unconvincing.
This would explain why All Eyez on Me, which took the second spot on Friday with $12.8 million, has proven to be such a worthy competitor for Cars 3, though weekend estimates now have the Pixar film looking at a $55 million total by the time the numbers are solidified on Monday morning. Wonder Woman looks to be holding strong in the third spot and will likely be battling it out with All Eyez on Me on Saturday and Sunday for number two. It’s also going to be a bit of a dogfight between The Mummy, Captain Underpants, and 47 Meters Down for the last two spots, pushing Rough Night into the lower depths of the top ten. All this might actually make for the first genuinely exciting box office weekend in months.