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Weekend Estimates: Minions Have Second-Best Animated Opening

July 12th, 2015


2015 is becoming a golden year for blockbuster openings, and a platinum year for Universal. The studio is celebrating yet again, with Minions heading to a gigantic $115.2 million projected opening weekend. That’s the second-best debut of all time for an animated film (see all-time opening weekend records), although, incredibly, it’s only the third-best weekend for the studio this year after the debuts of Furious 7 and Jurassic World. The studio, which would usually consider a 12% market share an excellent year, has so far earned a whopping 26% share for 2015—quite literally off the charts.

Minions’ opening will fall a bit short of the best-ever opening for an animated film, with Shrek the Third’s record still standing at $121.6 million. After starting with $46.2 million on Friday, it’s perhaps a very slightly disappointing weekend figure, considering it had the best single day for an animated film, but it’s too early to say whether that represents a real weakness in word-of-mouth, or whether it more reflects an extremely effective marketing campaign boosting the opening day numbers.

There’s much less to speculate on when it comes to the other wide releases this weekend. The Gallows will debut with around $10 million, which is just about OK for a horror movie that cost less than $1 million to make, and almost certainly less than $20 million to market. It’s relatively poor by the standards of Blumhouse, though, which usually scores around $15 million. It is about the same as the production house’s February release, The Lazarus Effect.

Self/Less is looking like a real dud, with a $5.38 million projected opening from 2,353 theaters. The poorly-reviewed sci-fi thriller will struggle to hit $15 million—suggesting that Ryan Reynolds isn’t a huge box office draw in himself, in spite of the buzz around Deadpool.

In limited release, we have a rare weekend where two films playing in less than 400 theaters are vying for a place in the top 10. Indian epic, Baahubali will likely just make it, with a debut around $3.25 million. Things are slightly complicated for that movie by the fact that it has two versions, one in Telugu, and the other in Tamil, and we’re seeing the numbers reported separately in some cases (the $3.25 million is a combined figure).

Just missing the top 10, but still posting a very respectable 12th place, will be Amy Winehouse documentary, Amy, with a projected $1.78 million from 341 theaters. An average of $5,220 per theater suggests the film could expand a little further, but probably won’t make it into the top 10 during its run.

- Weekend Estimates
- Comparison: All-Time Top-Grossing Movies
- Biggest Domestic Opening Weekends
- Universal Box Office History 1995–2015

Bruce Nash,

Filed under: Record openings, Weekend Box Office, Jurassic World, Minions, Self/Less, The Gallows, Amy, Baahubali: The Beginning, Ryan Reynolds, Amy Winehouse