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Box office hits and misses: ‘Tarzan’ swings into second place behind ‘Dory’

weekend box office finding dory legend of tarzan alexander skarsgard as film 2016 robbie
Even a shirtless Alexander Skarsgard in The Legend of Tarzan couldn’t compete with the family-friendly adventure of Finding Dory over the Independence Day weekend.

The animated sequel continued its blockbuster run over the four-day holiday weekend by adding another $50.2 million to its already-massive ticket sales. Just three weeks into its theatrical run, the follow-up to 2003’s Finding Nemo already has the record for the biggest opening weekend of all time for an animated feature, and now it’s likely to overtake 2010’s Toy Story 3 as studio Pixar’s biggest hit in U.S. theaters, and challenge 2004’s Shrek 2 for the highest-grossing animated feature of all time domestically.

Already with $380.5 million from U.S. theaters, Finding Dory is just $35 million shy of overtaking Toy Story 3 and only needs to earn $61 million more to to pass Shrek 2.

En route to winning the holiday weekend, Finding Dory topped three new releases in U.S. theaters. 

Despite coming in a close second, beating box-office pundits’ projections and opening with an otherwise respectable $45.5 million, The Legend of Tarzan is still being considered a bit of a disappointment for Warner Bros. Pictures, which spent $180 million to make the jungle adventure film starring former True Blood actor Skarsgard. The film has yet to be released in China, the second-largest market after the U.S., and with the movie also earning a good A- score from audiences on CinemaScore (which measures the opinion of audiences instead of critics) the studio is likely hoping that the movie’s international run will save it from being a flop.

# Title Weekend (July 1-4) U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Finding Dory $50.2M $380.5M $548.3M
2. The Legend of Tarzan $45.5M $45.5M $64.8M
3. The Purge: Election Year $34.8M $34.8M $34.9M
4. The BFG $22.2M $22.2M $26.1M
5. Independence Day: Resurgence $20.2M $76.3M $253.4M
6. Central Intelligence  $15M $94.4M $124.7M
7.  The Shallows $10.4M $36.7M $36.7M
8.  Free State of Jones $5M $16.1M $16.1M
9.  The Conjuring 2  $4.5M $96M $275.3M
10.  Now You See Me 2 $3.6M $59.3M $214.9M

As for the other Independence Day releases, The Purge: Election Year had an extremely successful debut, making back its $10 million production costs (and then some) in just its first weekend. The third film in The Purge horror franchise received one of the best audience approval scores of the series, and the franchise isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. At this point, we can probably expect an announcement regarding a fourth installment of the franchise any day now.

Things were decidedly less positive for Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, which earned just $22.2 million over the four-day weekend. It certainly didn’t help that the film found itself competing with Finding Dory for family audiences, and the adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic story just couldn’t seem to pull movie-goers away from its fully animated, oceanic competition.

Among the rest of the weekend’s 10 highest-grossing films, The Conjuring 2 also continued its impressive run in theaters, which has netted the supernatural horror sequel more than $275 million worldwide so far. That puts it among the 10 most successful horror films of all time worldwide after only four weekends in theaters.

This upcoming week’s releases include the animated feature The Secret Life of Pets, which will probably knock Finding Dory out of the top spot, as well as the raunchy comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. It’s becoming increasingly likely that next week’s box-office chart could feature two animated movies in the top spots.

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Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
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