Pixar's Finding Dory helped resuscitate a sagging summer box office earlier this month, with a record-breaking $135 million, the highest debut ever for an animated movie. The sequel easily took down Independence Day: Resurgence, The Shallows and Free State of Jones in its second weekend, but it faces some much stiffer competition heading into the extended holiday. Disney's The BFG, Warner Bros.' The Legend of Tarzan and Universal's The Purge: Election Year all debut this Friday. While it will likely be fairly close, Finding Dory is expected to hold onto its crown for a third weekend in a row, with $38.7 million.
If this prediction holds true, it will represent a 53.5% drop for Finding Dory in its third weekend, and push it past $300 million domestic. While $38.7 million isn't a terribly high figure for a winning summer weekend, none of the three new releases have been tracking very high with box office pundits. Box Office Mojo reports that The Legend of Tarzan will open in approximately 3,450 theaters, followed by The BFG in 3,200 theaters and The Purge: Election Year in 2,700 theaters. As of now, The BFG is the only movie to have enough reviews for a Rotten Tomatoes rating, with a solid 71% Fresh, but we'll find out later this week what the critics think of The Legend of Tarzan and The Purge: Election Year. We're predicting that The BFG takes second place with an estimated $35.4 million.
The talents of three of the world's greatest storytellers - Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg - finally come together to bring The BFG to life. Directed by the three-time Academy Award winner from a screenplay by Melissa Mathison based on the best-selling book by Dahl, The BFG tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country and stars three-time Tony Award, two-time Olivier Award and Oscar winner Mark Rylance, newcomer Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall and Bill Hader. The film is produced by Spielberg, Frank Marshall and Sam Mercer with Kathleen Kennedy, John Madden, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Michael Siegel, Frank Smith and Naia Cucukov serving as executive producers. Independence Day: Resurgence will likely drop to third place with $20.1 million, followed by The Purge: Anarchy $18.6 million and The Legend of Tarzan rounding out the top 5 with $14.5 million.
Expanding the universe introduced in the hit franchise that electrified the culture and earned $200 million at the worldwide box office, Universal Pictures' The Purge: Election Year reveals the next terrifying chapter that occurs over 12 hours of annual lawlessness sanctioned by the New Founders of America to keep this country great. It's been two years since Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) stopped himself from a regrettable act of revenge on Purge Night. Now serving as head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), his mission is to protect her in a run for president and survive the annual ritual that targets the poor and innocent. But when a betrayal forces them onto the streets of D.C. on the one night when no help is available, they must stay alive until dawn...or both be sacrificed for their sins against the state.
The Legend of Tarzan is set years since the man once known as Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Margot Robbie) at his side. Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Captain Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.
Rounding out the top 10 this weekend will likely be Central Intelligence ($9.4 million), The Shallows ($8.8 million), Free State of Jones ($4.1 million), The Conjuring 2 ($3.9 million) and Now You See Me 2 ($2.4 million). 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. We don't know for sure if there are plans for any of these limited releases to expand in the weeks and months ahead, so stay tuned.
Looking ahead to next weekend, the 20th Century Fox comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Universal's animated comedy The Secret Life of Pets open in wide release. Debuting in limited release is Bleecker Street's Captain Fantastic, Saban Films' Cell, Well Go USA's Cold War 2, ESX Entertainment's The Dog Lover, Independent's Fathers and Daughters, Sony Classics' Our Little Sister, Magnolia's Zero Days and Music Box Films' Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You. Be sure to check back on Sunday for the box office estimates, but until then, check out our projected top 10 for the weekend of July 1.