Minions: The Rise of Gru estimated $129.2m in North America

It's official: the Minions have returned.

Minions: The Rise of Gru is blowing off fireworks at the Fourth of July box office, with an estimated $129.2 million debut from 4,400 North American theatres during the four-day holiday weekend. On a three-day basis, the Despicable Me prequel is projected to earn $109.4 million, which would be the largest domestic opening for an animated film since 2019’s Frozen 2 and a significant rebound for family-friendly content following lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Initial expectations for the long holiday weekend were $65 million to $75 million based on Thursday previews for the Illumination production, which exploded to $10.75 million. Currently, The Rise of Gru almost doubles these figures.

If the sequel to Minions meets current estimates, it will break the Fourth of July weekend box office record. The 2011 blockbuster Transformers: Dark of the Moon grossed $115,9 million over the Independence Day holiday weekend, making it the highest-grossing film of the season.

Furthermore, The Rise of Gru has the potential to become Illumination’s best domestic debut ever. The film’s predecessor, 2015’s Minions, is now the studio’s most successful, with a three-day opening of $115,7 million. If the film continues to gain momentum throughout the weekend, it may surpass that number. Thus, the Minions may be larger than ever before.

Minions: The Rise of Gru is a prequel to Despicable Me and a sequel to the 2015 film Minions. The film follows 12-year-old Gru (Steve Carell) as he develops awe of a group of supervillains. Gru requests that his intelligent, overall-wearing pill monsters sit on the sidelines for the employment interview. Things do not turn out as Gru anticipates. Pierre Coffin, Alan Arkin, Taraji P. Henson, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, and Danny Trejo provide their voices.

Universal anticipates that Minions: The Rise of Gru will enjoy a lengthy run at the summer box office due to the lack of competition from other kid-friendly movies. As measured by the research firm Cinema Score, the film received an “A” rating from viewers, signifying enthusiastic acceptance.

The Rise of Gru has received a 70% approval rating from top critics on Rotten Tomatoes, indicating that most critics have viewed the picture favorably. “Six months into 2022, it is Hollywood’s funniest film to date,” wrote Variety’s chief film critic Peter Debruge of the “delightfully ridiculous sequel.” Audiences know what to anticipate, and Illumination delivers, delivering another dose of feel-good bad behavior.”

In a weekly feature titled “Goodness gracious, Top Gun: Maverick is only down by how much? “the Tom Cruise sequel is projected to take in $26.8 million over three days, representing a 9 percent decline from the previous weekend. After more than a month of box office dominance, the figures shouldn’t be shocking, especially considering that the star-studded sequel markets itself as the must-see film for the Fourth of July weekend, but they continue to impress.

Skydance co-financed and co-produced Maverick, which should place second at the box office over the Fourth of July weekend. Through Monday, the film’s domestic gross will increase to $572 million, extending its reign as the highest-grossing domestic picture of 2022.

Elvis will finish in third place. The Warner Bros. picture collected $5,3 million to its domestic gross on Friday, a respectable 58 percent decrease from its opening weekend. It is anticipated that the film’s North American gross will surpass $70 million through the holiday weekend.

With a production budget of $85 million, Elvis has a long way to go before it is profitable. Despite this, the film’s first ten days of release have been excellent for a picture aimed solely at adult audiences with no series ties.

Universal’s Jurassic World: Dominion is aiming for fourth place after a modest 39 percent decline from its performance last weekend. Even though the film is marketed as the conclusion of the Jurassic franchise, Dominion should increase its domestic total to $336 million by Monday, demonstrating that the dinosaur-themed property still has plenty of steam left.

The Black Phone, a Blumhouse film, is expected to gross $11.9 million during the three days, giving Universal a fifth-place finish. This is a relatively solid hold for a horror film since it has only dropped 50 percent from its opening weekend. In addition, the film, directed by Scott Derrickson cost only $18 million to produce. Universal and Blumhouse should be ecstatic about the turnaround, with the film’s domestic earnings expected to reach $50 million by Monday.

Beyond the top five, Disney’s Lightyear faces competition from the family-friendly Minions: The Rise of Gru. The Pixar film added $2 million to its domestic gross on Friday, a 64 percent decrease from the previous week. The Toy Story spinoff has been one of Pixar’s slowest films to cross the $100 million domestic gross thresholds, and it had yet to reach Toy Story 4’s $120 million opening weekend in 2019.

Compared to past Pixar films, Lightyear is projected to rank among the studio’s lowest-grossing domestic films. Nevertheless, the film has narrowly topped Onward’s pandemic-affected $61.5 million gross from 2020. Now, it aims to surpass The Good Dinosaur ($123 million), Cars 3 ($152 million), A Bug’s Life ($162 million), and, if the film’s box office legs show stronger than expected, Cars 2 ($191 million) and the original Toy Story ($192 million).

In its home debut, Mr. Malcolm’s List, a Regency-era romantic drama, fails to leave much of an impact. The picture is anticipated to earn $1.03 million over the four-day holiday period from 1,384 theatres or a paltry $741 per location. Bleecker Street handles distribution throughout North America.