EXCLUSIVE: Despite a lackluster summer and a meh Fourth of July weekend, this past holiday ended up the fourth-best three-day holiday weekend in 21 years — up 40% from last year. How is that even possible? Well, given that the calendar year fell on a Monday, Sunday basically performed like a Saturday and the diversity of product in the marketplace — Finding Dory, The BFG, The Legend Of Tarzan and The Purge: Election Year — also helped (even though there was clearly cannibalism between family titles). This three-day was well above last year’s, when box office monster Jurassic World was in its fourth weekend and the animated family favorite Inside Out was in its third weekend.
One of the big reasons for the surge is where the Fourth of July fell on the calendar. “Having a Saturday Fourth of July is kind of a nightmare for the industry. This year, the calendar cooperated,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. “I think the expectations were very low (this holiday) considering how it’s been going the last few weeks at the box office. The cumulative box office comparing three-day to three-day is pretty impressive in a summer that we haven’t had much to crow about yet.”
The cumulative box office was led, of course, by No. 1 three-peat Finding Dory from Pixar/Disney which, to date, has grossed $390 million to date stateside. The big fish from Disney is expected to drop to No. 2 this coming weekend making way for Universal’s animated family film The Secret Life Of Pets. Comparing three-days (apples to apples) for the Fourth of July weekends, here is how it all shaked out, according to comScore: