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411 Box Office Report: Minions: Rise of Gru Explodes Into #1 Spot With $100 Million-Plus Start

July 3, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU Image Credit: Illumination & Universal Pictures

The Minions took over the box office this weekend as Minions: Rise of Gru blasted its way to #1 with a massive start. The spin-off sequel/prequel to the Despicable Me franchise launched with $108.5 million over three days and a projected $127.9 million through the Monday for the four-day Fourth of July weekend. That opening is heads and tails above the $75 million to $80 million that most expected and puts it essentially on par with the 2015 Minions film, which opened to $115.7 million en route to a $336 million domestic final tally.

Rise of Gru also reps the best animated film opening of the pandemic era – and frankly, it wasn’t even close. Animated films have had a rough go since the pandemic, with many of them being released to streaming or in a joint streaming/theatrical model. The previous record would be (counting live action/animated hybrids) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 which started with $72.1 million in April; for pure animation, we go to Lightyear’s $50.6 million start earlier this month. The point is, Rise of Gru represents a new high with ease for the genre over the last couple of years.

It all adds up to a major win for the franchise, one that some people were expecting to disappoint this weekend. Fortunately for Universal and Illumination, the buzz was solid coming into the weekend with a 72% aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes. The film is also proving to be a crowd pleaser with an A CinemaScore, the same rating as the first film, and a 91% RT audience rating. That helped the film stay strong throughout the weekend, and should mean positive things for the film’s legs. Add in a decent $93.7 million overseas and we have $202.2 million worldwide through Sunday. The first movie legged out okay with a 2.9 multiple, and there’s no reason to think Rise of Gru won’t do the same. That would put it at a $315 million domestic take at least, which will make this one majorly profitable against an $85 million budget. This franchise is far from over, to say the least.

While the little yellow guys packed in families over the weekend, Top Gun: Maverick stayed strong. The legacy sequel was off just 14% in its sixth week to $25.5 million, with a projected $32.5 million through Monday. The film now stands at $564 million domestically through Sunday and $1.108 billion worldwide, with a $600 million domestically assured at this point. The film should be able to close out around $630 million and perhaps more, a massive hit for Paramount Pictures against a $170 million budget

Elvis is showing some pretty great legs in its second weekend as it was down just 39% from its opening take to $19 million (and $24 million through Monday). That’s exactly the kind of hold that Warner Bros. was counting on for this expensive Baz Luhrmann pic. The hold is much better than that of the last high-profile musical biopic, last year’s Respect which fell 57% in its second weekend. Elvis still has a way to go before it makes back its $85 million budget but it’s not doing poorly, sitting at $67.3 million domestically and $113.5 million worldwide. $110 million domestically is quite doable at this point, and it will be up to the overseas markets to hit a profit point.

Jurassic World: Dominion was off 41% in its fourth weekend to $15.7 million ($19.2 million through Monday), taking the sequel to a fairly good $331.8 million domestically and $824.5 million worldwide. The film is lagging behind the previous two entries, but Universal isn’t stressing it too much as it’s still a big hit against a $165 million and marketing. budget and should be able to end its domestic run at around $375 million or so.

Universal is seeing good news all around, as The Black Phone followed up its stronger-then-expected start with a pretty decent second-weekend hold. The Scott Derrickson-directed horror film was down 48% in its sophomore frame to bring in $12.3 million ($14.6 million through Monday). That’s quite good for the genre, especially considering the strong start. Right now the movie is at $47.5 million domestically and $74.4 million worldwide, making it a hit already against its $18 million budget. It should be able to hit around $70 million domestically.

Lightyear got battered out into space by the Minions as it continued to fade away. The The Toy Story spinoff garnered $6.6 million in its third weekend, dropping 64%. That’s the second 60%-plus drop in a row, meaning this is not getting the repeat business it needs to be much of a success. The film has now grossed $105.4 million domestically and $187.6 million worldwide against a $200 million cost, and it’s safe to say this will be a money loser for the studio. It should be able to close out its run in the states at around $120 million.

Debuting at #7 was Bleecker Streat’s Mr. Malcolm’s List, which brought in $851,000 over three days and a projected $1.03 million through Monday. The romantic dramedy topped the $759,000 start of the studio’s previous 2022 entry Infinite Storm and ranks as their best start since August 2019’s Brian Banks. Serving as pure counter-programming, this film flew under the radar like most of Bleecker Street’s films and will be aiming for its profit on home viewing. It should be able to close out around $2 million or so and will be available for people to watch at home soon enough

Everything Everywhere All at Once jumped slightly, rising 5% in its 15th weekend with $552,000. The A24 film has now grossed $67 million domestically and $91.5 million worldwide, with a likely end total of $69 million. It’s a major hit for the studio against a $25 million budget.

Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness dropped heavily with all the other options in theaters, down 78% in its ninth weekend with $390,000. Don’t feel bad for the MCU film though; it has $410.5 million domestically and $951.4 million worldwide, the eighth highest-grossing film in the MCU (11th in terms of worldwide gross). And of course, it’s a huge hit against its $200 million budget.

Closing out the top 10 was A24’s animated Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. The feature film, adapted from an animated short of the same name, expanded to 22 theaters this weekend and leapt 62% to gross $258,000. This film is no blockbuster to say the least, but it’s grossed $481,500 so far in its very small number of theaters. What happens next for it depends on how A24 decides to platform it up.

Minions will be dropping a spot next weekend as it makes way for Thor: Love & Thunder. The new MCU film is currently targeting an expected $150 million start or so. To no surprise, no other studio is willing to put a new film up against it.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Minions: The Rise of Gru – $108.5 million ($108.5 million total, $202.2 million WW)
2. Top Gun: Maverick – $25.5 million ($564 million total, $1.108 billion WW)
3. Elvis – $19 million ($67.3 million total, $113.5 million WW)
4. Jurassic World: Dominion – $15.7 million ($331.8 million total, $824.5 million WW)
5. The Black Phone – $12.3 million ($47.5 million total, $74.4 million WW)
6. Lightyear – $6.6 million ($105.4 million total, $187.6 million WW)
7. Mr. Malcom’s List – $851,000 ($851,000 total, $851,000 WW)
8. Everything Everywhere All At Once – $552,000 ($67 million total, $91.5 million WW)
9. Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness – $390,000 ($410.5 million total, $951.4 million WW)
10. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On – $258,000 ($481,000 total, $481,000 WW)