Box office: Tarzan leads a pack of also-rans behind Dory

Box office: Tarzan leads a pack of also-rans behind Dory July 3, 2016

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A Pixar cartoon just kept swimming at the top of the box office this week, while three new releases had openings that ranged from decent to disappointing.

The Legend of Tarzan earned an estimated $38.1 million between Thursday and Sunday, which is either good or not-so-good depending on how you spin it.

On the one hand, it’s a record for a Tarzan movie (beating the $34.2 million that Disney’s animated Tarzan opened to in 1999), but it’s also not as good as the studio might have hoped for a film that reportedly cost $180 million to produce.

The Legend of Tarzan has earned another $18.8 million overseas.

The Purge: Election Day, for its part, earned $30.9 million, which is right between the first-weekend grosses of the first two films in the series — and like those films, it cost only $10 million or less to produce, so it’s already in the black.

The BFG — the first film Steven Spielberg has ever directed for Disney — fared worst of all, earning only $19.6 million on a $140 million budget.

That’s actually one of Spielberg’s better openings of the past decade — but most of his recent films cost a lot less to produce. The only other recent films of his that were similarly expensive are 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which is one of his biggest hits, and 2011’s The Adventures of Tintin, which was a box-office disappointment in North America but did fairly well overseas.

Presumably Disney is hoping that The BFG, which is based on a popular kids’ book by British author Roald Dahl, will find a similarly large audience overseas.

Once again, the big winner this week was the Pixar sequel Finding Dory, which set another record by earning $41.9 million — the most that any animated film has earned in its third weekend (beating the $37.9 million that Shrek 2 earned in 2004).

Finding Dory has grossed $372.3 million so far in North America and has earned another $166 million overseas, for a global total of $538.3 million.

Meanwhile, in other box-office news…

Independence Day: Resurgence earned $16.5 million — a drop of 59.8% since its underwhelming opening last week — and raised its domestic cume to $72.7 million. The film has earned another $177.1 million overseas for a global total of $249.7 million.

Central Intelligence earned $12.3 million and ranked sixth in its third week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $91.8 million. The film has earned another $30.3 million overseas for a global total of $122.1 million.

The Shallows earned $9 million and ranked seventh in its second week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $35.3 million. The film does not appear to have been released overseas yet.

Free State of Jones earned $4.1 million and ranked eighth in its second week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $15.2 million. The film does not appear to have been released overseas yet.

The Conjuring 2 earned $3.9 million and ranked ninth in its fourth week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $95.3 million. The film has earned another $178.8 million overseas for a global total of $274.1 million.

And Now You See Me 2 earned $2.9 million and ranked tenth in its fourth week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $58.7 million. The film has earned another $155.6 million overseas for a global total of $214.3 million.

Now for a bit of extra data on the year’s top-grossing animated films:

In North America, Finding Dory now ranks sixth (and Zootopia now ranks ninth):

  • 2004 — Shrek 2 (DreamWorks) — $441.2 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $422.8 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $415.0 million
  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $400.7 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $380.8 million
  • 2016 — Finding Dory (Pixar) — $372.3 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $368.1 million
  • 2015 — Inside Out (Pixar) — $356.5 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $340.7 million
  • 2015 — Minions (Universal) — $336 million

Overseas, Zootopia still ranks fifth:

  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $875.7 million
  • 2015 — Minions (Universal) — $823.4 million
  • 2012 — Ice Age: Continental Drift (Fox) — $715.9 million
  • 2009 — Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox) — $690.1 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $678.4 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $648.2 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $602.7 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $564.7 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $555.9 million
  • 2012 — Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (DreamWorks) — $530.5 million

And worldwide, the film still ranks fourth:

  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $400.7 + 875.7 = 1276.5 million
  • 2015 — Minions (Universal) — $336.0 + 823.4 = 1159.4 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $415.0 + 648.2 = 1063.2 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $340.7 + 678.4 = 1019.1 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $422.8 + 564.7 = 987.5 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $368.1 + 602.7 = 970.8 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $380.8 + 555.9 = 936.7 million
  • 2004 — Shrek 2 (DreamWorks) — $441.2 + 478.6 = 919.8 million
  • 2009 — Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox) — $196.6 + 690.1 = 886.7 million
  • 2012 — Ice Age: Continental Drift (Fox) — $161.3 + 715.9 = 877.2 million

Next week brings us Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and The Secret Life of Pets.

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