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Weekend Estimates: Dory wins 3-Horse July 4 Race

July 3rd, 2016


Three new movies entered the race for box office glory this July 4 weekend. One, The BFG, fell at the first hurdle. One of the other two, The Legend of Tarzan is disappointing, but not disastrous. The third, The Purge: Election Year, won the night on Friday and is headed to a great debut. But, in the end, none were a match for the third weekend of Finding Dory.

Dory’s $41.9 million 3-day weekend (and projected $50.5 million 4-day weekend) puts it on the cusp of becoming the top-grossing movie at the domestic box office this year. Only Captain America: Civil War remains ahead of it, and it should move into first place in the next week. The film also has $166 million internationally so far, with many more markets still to come.

The Purge: Election Year will end up in third place for the weekend, but had the distinction of topping the daily chart on Friday with $14.47 million. It will post around $30.9 million for the 3-day weekend from a modest 2,796 theaters. That’s fractionally ahead of The Purge: Anarchy, and only slightly behind the debut of The Purge, which delivered a $34.1 million weekend three years ago. With a production budget of just $10 million, this will be a third very profitable film in the franchise.

After finishing second to Election Year on Friday, The Legend of Tarzan is posting good day-to-day numbers this weekend. It’s lagging behind Finding Dory though, and will end with $38.1 million for the 3-day weekend. While that’s better than it looked at one time, the film’s finances are weighed down by a $180 million production cost, and it’s hard to see how it will end up profitable.

The BFG, meanwhile, is looking on enviously at Tarzan’s performance. The only-slightly-less-expensive tentpole (with a reported $140 million budget) will limp to $19.6 million over the 3-day weekend, per Disney, far short of what it needed. Good reviews and a stellar line up of talent in front of and behind the camera wasn’t enough to make the story click with audiences, although it could play for a while. Like Tarzan, it will be hoping that overseas markets save it, but it’ll need a miracle to save this one.

Coming out of limited release, Swiss Army Man will jump into 11th place for the 3-day weekend with $1.44 million. That’s not bad for a quirky indie movie, but a theater average just a shade over $2,000 suggests this one is too quirky to reach mainstream audiences.

- Weekend estimates

- Finding Dory Comparisons
- Highest-grossing animated movies
- Top 2016 movies at the global box office
- The BFG Comparisons
- The Purge: Election Year Comparisons
- The Legend of Tarzan Comparisons
- Independence Day: Resurgence Comparisons
- The Shallows Comparisons
- Swiss Army Man Comparisons

Bruce Nash,

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War, The Legend of Tarzan, The BFG, The Purge: Election Year, Swiss Army Man