Halfway through both the summer movie season and the year of 2016 as a whole, sequels have been hit or miss. Follow-ups such as Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, X-Men: Apocalypse, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Now You See Me 2 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows couldn't capture the box office magic of its predecessors. Of course, the biggest movie of the year right now is a sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but last week, a follow-up 13 years in the making, Finding Dory, opened huge with $135 million, breaking Shrek the Third's record for biggest animated opening weekend ($121.6 million). As expected, this forgetful fish staved off three newcomers this weekend, 20th Century Fox's Independence Day: Resurgence, Sony's The Shallows and STX Entertainment's Free State of Jones, repeating atop the box office with $73.2 million.
Finding Dory's opening weekend haul not only breaks Shrek the Third's $121.6 million record as the biggest debut for an animated movie, while also surpassing Toy Story 3's $110.3 million mark for the biggest debut in Pixar history. Finding Dory, featuring a star-studded voice cast including Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Ty Burrell, Willem Dafoe, Ed O'Neil and Idris Elba, is already a hit with critics, earning an astounding 94% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Box Office Mojo reports that Finding Dory's second weekend haul of $73.2. million, with an impressive $17,012 per-screen average, represents an impressive drop of just 43.2% from its opening weekend.
Finding Dory has now taken in $286.1 million domestically, the sixth highest total this year after being in theaters for just two weeks, although it hasn't performed quite as well internationally, with just $110.3 million internationally for a worldwide haul of $396.8 million. This take is almost the opposite of Universal/Legendary's Warcraft, which has only earned $43.8 million domestically, but is doing great business overseas with $368.3 million, for a worldwide total of $412.1 million, from a $160 million budget. It remains to be seen if Finding Dory's international gross will catch up to the domestic haul, but that seems unlikely at this point.
Independence Day: Resurgence debuted in second place this weekend with $41.6 million, which is a bit lower than the original Independence Day's $50.2 million opening back in 1996. Independence Day: Resurgence secured the widest opening for a new release this weekend, opening in 4,068 for a solid $10,226 per-screen average. The Shallows debuted in 2,962 theaters, with Free State of Jones arriving in 2,815 theaters, with The Neon Demon opening in 783 theaters as well. The Shallows is the only new movie in wide release to fare well with critics, earning a 73% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while Independence Day: Resurgence (33% on Rotten Tomatoes), Free State of Jones (40% on Rotten Tomatoes) and The Neon Demon (48% on Rotten Tomatoes) fared much worse..
Independence Day: Resurgence is faring well internationally as well, with $101.4 million, for a worldwide tally of $143 million from a $165 million budget. After Independence Day redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens' advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.
Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox and Brent Spiner all reprise their roles from the original 1996 blockbuster. Independence Day: Resurgence will also introduce new characters played by Liam Hemsworth, Angelababy, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward and Jessie Usher. The sequel is directed by Roland Emmerich from a script by James A. Woods, Nicolas Wright and Carter Blanchard, based on characters created by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin.
Central Intelligence dropped to third place this weekend with $18.3 million, for a domestic total of $69.3 million, followed closely behind by The Shallows with $16.7 million. In the taut thriller The Shallows, Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing alone on a secluded beach when she is attacked by a great white shark and stranded just a short distance from shore. Though she is only 200 yards from survival, getting there proves the ultimate contest of wills. It's Jaws for a new generation. The supporting cast includes Oscar Janeda and Sedona Legge, with Jaume Collet-Serra directing from a script by Anthony Jaswinski.
Free State of Jones rounds out the top 5 with $7.77 million. Written and directed by four-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross (The Hunger Games, Seabiscuit, Pleasantville), and starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, Free State of Jones is an epic action-drama set during the Civil War, and tells the story of defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight, and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Banding together with other small farmers and local slaves, Knight launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones. Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction, distinguishing him as a compelling, if controversial, figure of defiance long beyond the War.
The top 10 will be rounded out by The Conjuring 2 )$7.70 million, |Now You See Me 2 ($5.6 million),
X-Men: Apocalypse ($2.47 million), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows ($2.4 million) and Alice Through the Looking Glass $2.1 million. Nicolas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon opened in 783 theaters this weekend, somewhere in the middle of a wide and limited release, but it did not fare too well. The movie opened in 15th place with $606,594, earning a paltry $775 per-screen average. Also opening in limited release this weekend was A24's Swiss Army Man, which earned $114,000 from just three theaters for a $38,000 per-screen average. The Orchard's Hunt for the Wilderpeople took in $85,336 from five theaters for a $17,067 per-screen average, while IFC's documentary Wiener Dog earned $27,020 from two theaters for a $13,510 per-screen average. Sony Pictures Classics' documentary Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words earned $18,002 from two theaters for a $9,001 per-screen average, and Cohen Media Group's drama Les Cowboys earned $14,283 from four theaterse for a $3,571 per-screen average. No box office data was released for Independent's sci-fi action-thriller The Call Up, Argot Pictures' documentary From this Day Forward and Strand's dramatic comedy The Kind Words. We don't know yet if these limited titles will expand in the weeks or months to come.
Looking ahead to next week, three new releases will hit theaters in wide release, Disney's The BFG, Warner Bros.' The Legend of Tarzan and Universal's The Purge: Election Year. Also opening in limited release is Music Box Films' drama The Innocents, The Orchard's documentary Life, Animated, Roadside Attractions' drama Our Kind of Traitor and Magnolia's horror film Satanic. Be sure to check back on Sunday for the box office estimates, and again next Tuesday for the next round of predictions. Until then, check out our projected top 10 below.