Movies

Fourth of July weekend garners $229 mn for domestic BO

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MUMBAI: As predicted fireworks blazed at the Fourth of July box office which headed to $229 million (mn) domestic through Sunday (+16 per cent from last year) and a new three-day weekend record for the holiday. But there was only bad news for Disney‘s expensive The Lone Ranger (3,904 theaters) which opened disastrously Wednesday, remained weak on Thursday, did only $10.6 mn Friday, and flatlined for $10.7 mn Saturday. That‘s a very disappointing five-day holiday of $48.9 mn max. The two-quadrant Western won‘t cover its high $215 mn-$250 mn cost despite this holiday‘s 4x multiple. The Johnny Depp - Armie Hammer starrer‘s domestic cume is way below.

Disney‘s initial lowball projection of $65 mn and the third big-budget bomb of summer 2013. (Two Sony pics - White House Down and After Earth - also were expensive bombs.) As Deadline first reported, the studio in August 2011 shut down Lone Ranger for six months after the budget ballooned out of control. Disney would have been better off scraping the pic altogether. Depp‘s worldwide popularity may help overseas where oaters usually don‘t excel.Lone Ranger opened day and date in 30 per cent of the foreign landscape but only four big markets: Italy and Russia (released 2 July) and Australia and Korea (4 July). It made $24.3 mn internationally for a global cume of $73.2 mn through Sunday. 

The result for the no 1 movie was far different, Illumination Entertainment‘s and Universal‘s Despicable Me 2 (3,957 theaters) which only cost a very reasonable $76 mn. It is the no 1 film in the world this weekend, opening atop the US and Canadian box office with a record-breaking estimated gross of $142.1 mn. The 3D toon posted the biggest five-day opening for an animated film and the top three-day animated opening in July (earning $82.5 mn).

Internationally, its gross widened to 6,849 dates in 45 territories to total $151.1 mn. The combined global cume is $293.2 mn. This marks Universal‘s second biggest international opening weekend ever behind Fast & Furious 6 ($161M). Not only is DM2 performing well ahead of the original film globally but also on par with such toon franchise megahits as Toy Story 3, Ice Age 4, Madagascar 3 and Shrek 4. And the sequel‘s opening is among the top animated openings of all time in every market.

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