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Box Office Hits and Misses: Minions bumps Jurassic World and Inside Out with big opening weekend

The reign of Jurassic World at the top of the weekend box-office charts has come to an emphatic (and 100 percent certain this time) conclusion, with Universal Pictures’ animated spinoff Minions debuting to a record-setting $115.2 million.

The third film in a franchise that began with 2010’s Despicable MeMinions beat the opening weekends of its predecessors to have the second-highest opening weekend of all time for an animated feature. It only ranks behind the $121 million opening for 2007’s Shrek the Third.

While last weekend’s box-office numbers left some uncertainty as to whether it was Jurassic World or Pixar’s Inside Out that won the weekend, this week’s tally left little room for doubt. The Jurassic Park sequel brought in $18.1 million domestically, and currently ranks as the fourth-highest-grossing movie of all time in the U.S. and the fifth-highest-grossing film worldwide. While its momentum appears to be slowing, there’s still a chance it could overtake the films it ranks behind in both of those charts (The Avengers in the U.S. and Furious 7 worldwide) before its run is over.

As expected, the debut of Minions cut into box-office performance of the critically praised Pixar feature Inside Out, which has received rave reviews since its June 19 premiere. A critical darling that may have overtaken Jurassic World last weekend (depending on various reports), Inside Out has benefitted from positive word of mouth that keeps people flocking to what will almost certainly be one of the year’s Oscar contenders.

Minions Tickets
What Minions lacked in critical praise, though, it more than made up for in ticket sales over the weekend. Its opening weekend now ranks as the best for any animated 3D movie of all time, and the best opening weekend for any film featuring the Minions cast and creative team (which includes Sandra Bullock and Michael Keaton, among other notable actors). Given the film’s impressive opening weekend, it’s possible that Minions could become the third Universal Pictures film to cross $1 billion mark worldwide this year (after Furious 7 and Jurassic World).

Coming in after the top three films was Terminator Genisys, which earned an underwhelming (by summer-blockbuster standards) $13.7 million domestically, but is doing just fine internationally with $224.8 million worldwide so far.

Horror film The Gallows did surprisingly well in its opening weekend to claim the No. 5 spot with $10 million. The film about a bunch of high school students who decide to revive a cursed school play only cost $10 million to make and didn’t receive much (if any) promotion ahead of its premiere, so its performance is probably considered a win by anyone involved.

The rest of the top 10 was filled out by Magic Mike XXL ($9.6 million), Ted 2 ($5.6 million), the new sci-fi film Self/Less starring Ryan Reynolds ($5.3 million), Baahubali: The Beginning ($3.5 million despite only showing in 256 theaters), and the family film Max ($3.4 million).

Next weekend features the release of two high-profile films targeting very different audiences: Marvel’s superhero movie Ant-Man and Amy Schumer’s much-hyped comedy Trainwreck. The debut of Ant-Man will be worth keeping an eye on, as Marvel Studios’ decision to skip this year’s Comic-Con means that it effectively declined the massive promotional opportunity that the convention provides for a film opening the following weekend.

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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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