Box Office: MINIONS Claims Second Best Animated Debut Ever

     July 12, 2015

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For the second frame in a row, an animated title is number one at the box office. But unlike last weekend, when Monday actuals put Inside Out on top in place of Jurassic World, everyone saw today’s win for Minions coming. Since the little, yellow beings first appeared in 2010’s Despicable Me, their commercial appeal has been hard to deny. Now, as expected, the first film to put the creatures front and center has easily secured the highest opening among the three Despicable Me releases.

Minions brought in an estimated $115.2 million from 4,301 locations, including $6.2 million from Thursday pm previews. That more than doubles the $56.4 million debut of Despicable Me and stands 38% ahead of 2013’s Despicable Me 2. But as we told you yesterday, DM2 opened on the Wednesday before Independence Day. Those two extra days in theatres make it difficult to draw direct comparisons to Minions, but hey! Since when has the box office been interested in subtlety? In its initial Friday – Sunday run, Despicable Me 2 earned $83.5 million. And there’s no doubt that Minions beats that easily.

minions-posterIn fact, the film’s current estimate beats every animated release in box office history, save one. In 2007 Shrek the Third opened with $121.6 million, which still stands as the best animated debut of all time. In reaching second place, Minions stepped over both Toy Story 3 ($110.3 million) and Shrek 2 ($108 million). Universal even seemed confident yesterday that Minions could break the all-time record. In the end, that proved unrealistic – though you can’t really fault them for their optimism. Considering the incredible run they’ve had with Jurassic World, it’s easy to see why Universal felt another record was within their grasp. And as a consolation prize, the $46.2 million Minions claimed on Friday secures the title for the biggest single-day animated debut in history.


For the third weekend in a row the estimates for Inside Out and Jurassic World are extremely close. Jurassic World has the edge in second place: taking in an estimated $18.1 million to Inside Out’s $17.1 million. With Minions siphoning off most of the family demographic this weekend, it seems unlikely that Inside Out will pull off another surprise when Monday’s actual earnings are released, but who knows? For now we’ll assume that the chart positions below will stay the same and that Universal will remain in control of both first and second place.

After opening at number four on Friday, The Gallows fell to fifth place on the weekend chart. The R-rated horror pic from prolific producer Jason Blum earned an estimated $10 million from 2,720 locations. That’s on the lower end of projections for the film – and lower than the $15.8 million that Blum’s Unfriended opened to back in April. Then again, considering The Gallows reportedly cost less than $1 million to make, no one involved is asking where it all went wrong this weekend.

That’s probably not the case with Focus Features’ new release Self/Less. The sci-fi thriller, directed by Tarsem Singh (The Fall, Immortals), was not expensive by summer box office standards ($26 million) but still managed to look like a costly flop on its first weekend. From 2,353 locations, Self/Less earned an estimated $5.3 million in eighth place. Just one notch down we find the South Indian epic Baahubali: The Beginning, which had one tenth the theatre count (236) of Self/Less and still managed to make it into the top ten with $3.5 million.

Overall box office earnings this weekend ran an impressive 41% ahead of the same frame in 2014, when Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was on top. Next weekend, we welcome Marvel back to the box office with the long-awaited release of Ant-Man. Current projections for title are in the $65 million range. Coincidentally, that’s right where both Thor and Captain America wound up in their initial screen outings. Also new next weekend is director Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, starring Amy Schumer. The R-rated comedy should claim close to $30 million.


Here’s this weekend’s top ten chart:

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Minions $115,200,000 $115.2
2.  Jurassic World $18,100,000 $590.6
3.  Inside Out $17,108,000 $283.6
4.  Terminator: Genisys $13,700,000 $68.7
5.  The Gallows $10,015,000 $10
6.  Magic Mike XXL $9,640,000 $48.3
7.  Ted 2 $5,600,000 $71.6
8.  Self/Less $5,379,000 $5.3
9.  Baahubali: The Beginning $3,575,000 $3.5
10.  Max $3,420,000 $33.7

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