Since it had no direct competition in wide release last weekend, it was no surprise that Transformers: The Last Knight came away with a box office win, although it was much less than expected. The action-packed sequel opened with $44.6 million, even down slightly from the $45.3 million estimate, which was still the worst opening in franchise history, far below the $70.5 million the franchise kicked off with in the 2007 movie Transformers, although the movie is still performing strong overseas. This weekend, it will face three newcomers, Universal's animated sequel Despicable Me 3, New Line Cinema's comedy The House and Sony's Baby Driver, which opens in theaters tomorrow, June 28. Despicable Me 3 should have no trouble taking the top spot with a projected $90.2 million.
Box Office Mojo reports that Despicable Me 3 will open in more than 4,350 theaters, and while that isn't an exact figure yet, it should be higher than the 4,301 theaters that the franchise spin-off Minions opened with back in the summer of 2015. The Despicable Me franchise has been on the rise considerably after fairly modest beginnings back in 2010. The first Despicable Me movie opened with a solid $56.3 million from 3,476 theaters, en route to $251.5 million domestic and $543.1 million worldwide, from a $69 million budget. The 2013 follow-up Despicable Me 2 was rolled out in roughly 500 more theaters than its predecessor (3,997), debuting with an impressive $83.5 million en route to $368 million domestic and $970.7 million worldwide, from a $76 million budget.
Oddly enough, the 2015 spin-off Minions earned a franchise-best $115.7 million opening weekend, but it still couldn't surpass the $368 million domestic mark of Despicable Me 2, bringing in $336 million. However, it did earn roughly $200 million more internationally than Despicable Me 2, with its foreign take of $823.3 million bringing its worldwide total to $1.15 billion, the second highest grossing animated movie of all time behind Frozen ($1.2 billion). While we don't think that Despicable Me 3 will get off to quite as good a start as Minions, it's certainly possible that it could join Minions in the $1 billion club when all is said and done, given the worldwide popularity of this franchise, and especially since it won't face any animated competition for nearly a month, until Sony's The Emoji Movie hits theaters on July 28. Despicable Me 3 is currently sitting at an impressive 81% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother, a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin's despicable footsteps, one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad. Steve Carell not only reprises his role as Gru in Despicable Me 3, but also takes on a second part-that of Dru, Gru's long-lost twin brother. Kristen Wiig returns as super-spy Lucy, while Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award winner Trey Parker voices new villain Balthazar Bratt, a former child star who has become obsessed with the evil TV character he played in the '80s. Gru's most formidable and comedic nemesis to date, Bratt is out to take down Hollywood, and anyone who stands in his way.
We're predicting that the R-rated action comedy Baby Driver, which is currently at 98% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes heading into its sneak preview screenings tonight, will take second place with $22.6 million, followed by last week's winner Transformers: The Last Knight in third place, newcomer The House in fourth place with $18.1 million and Cars 3 rounding out the top 5 with $15.2 million. Baby Driver follows a talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) who relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. The cast also includes Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx and Eiza Gonzalez.
New Line Cinema's The House follows Scott and Kate Johansen (Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler), who lose their daughter Alex's college fund, as they become desperate to earn it back so she can pursue her dream of attending a university. With the help of their neighbor Frank (Jason Mantzoukas), they decide to start an illegal casino in the basement of his house. The House also stars Ryan Simpkins as Scott and Kate's college hopeful daughter, Alex, along with popular comedic actors Nick Kroll, Jessie Ennis, Rob Huebel and Cedric Yarbrough. The comedy doesn't have enough reviews posted yet to warrant a Rotten Tomatoes score, but that should change soon.
The top 10 will likely be rounded out by Wonder Woman ($13.6 million), 47 Meters Down ($4.1 million), All Eyez on Me ($2.9 million), The Mummy ($2.4 million) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ($2.1 million). Also debuting in limited release is Sony Pictures Classics' 13 Minutes, Neon's documentary The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography, Gunpowder & Sky's comedy The Little Hours and Strand's documentary's The Skyjacker's Tale. It remains to be seen if there are plans for expansion with any of these films.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures' Spider-Man: Homecoming is the only movie slated for wide release on July 7, marking the second Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie of the year, following the blockbuster sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, with the studio closing out its year with Thor: Ragnarok on November 3. Also opening in limited release next weekend is IFC's City of Ghosts, A24's A Ghost Story, OScilloscope Pictures' Santoalla, Parade Deck Films' Superpowerless, Argot Pictures' Swim Team and Vertical Entertainment's Undercover Grandpa. Take a look at our top 10 predictions for the weekend of June 30, and check back on Tuesday for next week's predictions.