On one hand, the fact that it looks inevitable that Despicable Me 3 will be taking the crown at the box office this weekend is yet another depressing example of name recognition and familiarity being favored over innovation at the multiplex. It wasn’t like the reviews of Despicable Me 2 or Minions were particularly glowing, even under the auspices of just being fun for kids. Then again, bad or middling reviews of movies only really get brought up in box office talk when some wild-eyed hack is in desperate need for scapegoats to explain away their movie tanking. So, here we are.
On the other hand, the early numbers we’re seeing for Edgar Wright‘s Baby Driver, easily the best movies released by a major studio so far this year, are very promising and look to place the raucous, uproarious crime caper in the second spot over the holiday weekend. Whereas Despicable Me 3 is looking to blow the competition out of the water with a projected $85 million total for the Friday-Sunday range, following a $29.2 million haul yesterday , Baby Driver is looking at an $18 million take after bringing in $6 million on Friday. That might seem small but it’s well above even the most optimistic forecasts for Sony’s action-comedy going into this weekend. And keep in mind that Shaun of the Dead, a cult classic at this point, topped out at $13 million in its entire run and his most successful stateside release, the brilliant Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, barely scooched over the $30 million line when it exited theaters. With this in mind, Baby Driver already looks to be Wright’s biggest hit on American shores.
At the very least, the modest triumph of Baby Driver means that the tonnage of other franchise installments will be kept slightly at bay. If numbers keep up, Baby Driver will take the second place over Wonder Woman, which took in $4.3 million in its fifth frame over Transformers: The Last Knight in its second frame with $4.1 million. The fifth spot goes to The House, a new comedy starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, which took in some $3.3 million by the end of Friday. Neither that smarter-than-it-looks comedy nor Wright’s movie will likely ever make as much money as Wonder Woman or The Last Knight, but the modest success of Baby Driver alone is a small respite from the gut-rot of franchise overload that has become a staple of the summer season.
Here’s your top five for Friday:
|Title||Friday Domestic BO||Total Domestic BO|
|1. ‘Despicable Me 3’||$29,200,000||$29,200,000|
|2. ‘Baby Driver’||$6,000,000||$15,029,105|
|3. ‘Wonder Woman’||$4,350,000||$334,879,475|
|4. ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’||$4,132,000||$89,235,351|
|5. ‘The House’||$3,350,000||$3,350,000|