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411 Box Office Report: Despicable Me 4 Dominates Long Fourth of July Weekend With $122 Million

July 7, 2024 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Despicable Me 4 Image Credit: Illumination & Universal

Gru returned to the box office in force this weekend as Despicable Me 4 crushed its way to #1. The fourth film in the main series of Illumination’s animated family franchise took the top spot with a $75 million three-day take, bringing its tally to $122.6 million since opening on Wednesday. That is an improvement over the $72.7 million start of Despicable Me 3, though it lags behind the second film’s $84.2 million opening as well as the two Minion films’ opening weekends ($115.7 million and $107 million).

The result is another win for the surging box office and squares right with where analysts expected it to land heading into the weekend. This comes despite having the lowest critical regard in the full franchise at a 54% aggregated average on Rotten Tomatoes, beating the previous lows of Minions (56%) and Despicable Me 3 (58%).

Fortunately for DreamWorks Animation and Illumination, this is not a franchise that relies on the critics to do well. Moviegoers are digging it with an A CinemaScore and a 90% RT audience score, which helped it improve its numbers throughout the weekend. It puts the $100 million production well on the path to profit, particularly with strong overseas numbers at $106.9 million for a $229.6 million worldwide start.

It remains to be seen how high Despicable Me 4 will climb, but the third film provides a good roadmap. That movie legged out to $264 million worldwide after its own summer release. If it follows that trend, the new film should be able to make it to $275 million, and perhaps more considering there’s not a ton of family competition coming up. Either way, this will be another nice hit for the studio.

Inside Out 2 sequel weathered the Gru storm quite well, as it slipped just 48% in its fourth weekend to $30 million. That’s a strong hold for the film and puts it at $533.8 million domestically and $1.217 billion worldwide, massive numbers of course against its $200 million budget. The Pixar sequel is now the second-highest grossing film for the studio both domestically and internationally behind Incredibles 2, which totaled $608.6 million stateside and $1.243 billion worldwide. The worldwide Pixar crown will fall to Inside Out 2 shortly, and the new film does have a shot becoming the domestic champ as well.

A Quiet Place: Day One suffered an expected fall after its better-than-expected start, slipping 60% to $21 million in its sophomore frame. The horror prequel had a drop on par to A Quiet Place: Part II’s 59% slip, though much steeper than the first film’s 34% drop. Day One is in very fine shape with $94.4 million in North America and $178.2 million worldwide against its $60 million budget so it’s already a hit. It should end its domestic run around $160 million, about the same as the second one.

Coming in at #4 was MaXXXine. The horror film, which follows up on Ti West’s X, scored the highest start of the trilogy with a $6.7 million opening. X started with $4.3 million in March of 2022, and prequel Pearl opened to $3.1 million in September of the same year.

While the number isn’t anything to break the bank over, it speaks to horror audiences’ love of this franchise. While this third, 1980s-set film’s critical regard is a bit below the previous entries at 75 (compared to 92% for Pearl and 97% for X), the fan reaction has been decent at a B CinemaScore (Pearl had a B-) and a 78% RT audience score (on par with Pearl’s 83% and X’ 76%).

While we don’t know the budget for this film, A24 is likely in good shape here. As it stands, MaXXXine is almost assured to become the highest-grossing film in the trilogy; X holds that mark with $11.8 million. MaXXXine seems likely to end its run around $18 million to $20 million in the US. As of now it has $1.1 million overseas for a $7.8 million worldwide start.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die continues to show box office legs, down just 27% in its fifth weekend to $6.6 million. The action film has now grossed $177.4 million stateside and $360.2 million worldwide, a box office hit for Sony against a $100 million budget. As it stands, it should finish off with around $190 million to $195 million in the US.

After a lackluster opening weekend, Horizon: An American Saga Chapter 1 needed a strong hold and didn’t get it. The Kevin Costner western was down 50% from its opening weekend to gross $5.5 million. That puts the movie at $22.2 million domestically and $22.8 million worldwide, destined to lose money against a $50 million budget (put up by Costner). The film is probably going to close out around $30 million to $35 million, a money loser.

Angel Studios’ latest film popped as Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot brought in $3.2 million over the three-day weekend and $6.8 million since opening Wednesday. The drama, which is based on the true story of Donna and Reverend WC Martin, is better than the low $2.8 million start of Sight in May but behind the more high-profile $7.2 start of Cabrini in March.

Sound of Hope’s title calls back to the studios’ massive 2023 hit The Sound of Freedom, but this one didn’t have the media machine behind it in the same way. However, critics and audiences alike liked it (an 80% RT critic score, a 97% RT audience score and an A+ CinemaScore). Sound of Hope may be able to leg out nicely, and should be able to top $20 million domestically which will make it a hit.

Indian sci-fi film Kalki 2898 AD was down 67% in its second weekend, an expected drop for a $1.8 million take. The film is now up to $19.4 million domestically, good numbers for an Indian film, and $84.9 million worldwide against a $72 million budget. It won’t likely get much higher than that in the US, but should be in fine shape with the international numbers still rolling in.

The Bikeriders is fading fast, down 61% in its third weekend to $1.3 million. The period drama now stands at $19.3 million domestically and $29.5 million worldwide, unlikely to find profit before it hits digital. It should finish out with around $25 million in the US

Yorgos Lanthimos’ Kinds of Kindness stayed at #10, down 46% as it expands. The film is no Poor Things at the box office but was never meant to be. It’s currently at $3.8 million domestically and $6.5 million worldwide against a $15 million budget and will find its profit in home viewing.

Next weekend will Despicable Me 4 stay at #1 as the new releases will stay at non-blockbuster levels. Columbia Pictures’ NASA comedy Fly Me to the Moon will be in the low to mid teens, while Oz Perkins’ buzzy horror flick Longlegs should open in the mid-single digits.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Despicable Me 4 – $75 million ($122.6 million total, $226.6 million WW)
2. Inside Out 2 – $30 million ($533.8 million total, $1.217 billion WW)
3. A Quiet Place: Day One – $21 million ($94.4 million total, $178.2 million WW)
4. MaXXXine – $6.7 million ($6.7 million total, $7.8 million WW)
5. Bad Boys: Ride Or Die – $6.6 million ($177.4 million total, $360.2 million WW)
6. Horizon: An American Saga Chapter 1 – $5.5 million ($22.2 million total, $22.6 million WW)
7. Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot – $3.2 million ($6.8 million total, $6.8 million WW)
8. Kalki 2898 AD – $1.8 million ($19.4 million total, $84.9 million WW)
9. The Bikeriders – $1.3 million ($19.3 million total, $29.5 million WW)
10. Kinds of Kindness – $860,000 ($3.8 million total, $6.5 million WW)