Should Cars 3 park in the upper part of that range, it will be a good hold for this sequel which saw an increase between the opening of its 2006 first installment ($60.1M) and its 2011 second chapter ($66.1M). Cars 3 is currently getting more respect from critics than Cars 2, with 70% fresh Rotten Tomatoes to 39% Rotten, thanks to its aging athlete Rocky-like story. In the threequel cocky race car champ Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is now considered a dinosaur next to the 200 mph tech-charged Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). McQueen is sent to a training facility by his sponsor and assigned to trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), a female car who never believed in her own potential, but is pumped up by McQueen.
Some will question why as moviegoers we’ve had to wait 14 years for a second Incredibles from Pixar, while in an 11-year span we’ve had three installments of the toon house’s handholder auto series. It boils down to merchandise revenue, and since its inception, Cars goods have generated well in excess of $10 billion in worldwide retail sales. Compare this to the global B.O. of both titles which have earned in excess of $1 billion off combined production costs of $320M, and that’s a pretty solid revenue stream for Disney.
Breaking down Cars 3‘s theater count, the movie will be available at 3,000 3D locations, 171 Imax auditoriums and 420-plus premium large format screens including 52 Dolby Cinema locations, 118 Dbox venues and ten 4D theaters. Previews start tomorrow at 7PM. The first Cars won a Golden Globe for best animated feature film and was nominated for a best animated feature Oscar along with Randy Newman’s original song “Our Town.” That tune also won a Grammy. Cars 2 was nominated at the Golden Globes for best animated feature film.
Wonder Woman will remain strong though in second, bound to dip around 40% in her third weekend for $35.1M. The Patty Jenkins-directed movie saw a 40% spike Tuesday over Monday with $8.8M and a current running domestic B.O. of $221.4M. It should reside around $270M stateside by Sunday, which will be 3% ahead of Suicide Squad at the same point in time. That DC movie ended its domestic run at $325M.
Meanwhile Universal’s disaster The Mummy is expected to shed at least 60% in its second weekend for $12.7M in third. Yesterday the Tom Cruise movie grossed $3.9M for a running domestic total of $38.2M.
Lionsgate’s Codeblack Films/Morgan Creek title All Eyez On Me about the life of rapper Tupac Shakur will open in over 2,450 domestic locations this Friday with an eye on $15M-$22M this weekend. Pic is being released on Tupac’s birthday (he would have been 46 years old) and includes over a dozen songs from the artist’s catalog. Previews begin 7PM tomorrow night. Voltage Pictures handled overseas sales on the film. Current advance ticket sales are brisk on Fandango, ranking as the site’s No. 3 seller today.
Then there’s Sony’s Rough Night which at this point in time isn’t expected to move the needle for the resurgence of comedies at the box office nor catch a wave on the surviving raunchy female subgenre. Industry tracking has the $20M budgeted R-rated comedy about a wild bachelorette party that accidentally takes the life of a male stripper between $10M-$12M at 3,200 theaters. Not a good start. Sony is hoping for low teens, but rivals tell me that $15M-$17M would be a respectable start for this low-budget comedy which stars Scarlett Johansson, SNL‘s Kate McKinnon, Zoe Kravitz and Broad City‘s Ilana Glazer. Rough Night was co-written by Broad City co-EPs Paul W. Downs and Lucia Aniello, and directed by Aniello. Rotten Tomatoes reviews are registering at 46% Rotten as of right now. At one point titled Rock That Body, Sony acquired the Downs-Aniello script in an aggressive bidding war two years ago. Similar to The Shallows and Sausage Party, Sony relegated a large portion of its marketing to a thrifty digital spend.
Shark thriller 47 Meters Down marks the first mega release by Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios which acquired the Johannes Roberts movie from Dimension last summer for high single digits. Entertainment Studios didn’t curb on P&A for this film, running ads for 47 Meters Down during the NBA finals, creating buzz on Snapchat with a Shark Cage lens and placing huge standees in multiplex lobbies across the nation. Rivals have the Mandy Moore-Claire Holt movie in the low single digits, but Entertainment Studios believes they can get past $10M. Previously Entertainment Studios did a service deal for Cinelou’s sci-fi horror Phoenix Forgotten in April which was also a wide release ultimately earning $3.6M. Freestyle Releasing, a unit of Entertainment Studios, will continue to handle the service deal pics while the parent company will launch wide release movies. Shark movies are easy money with Screen Gems’ The Shallows earning close to $120M off an estimated $17M production cost last summer. 47 Meters Down is rated PG-13.
Focus Features also has The Book of Henry from Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow opening in 579 venues. Pic will also preview on Thursday at 7pm. Trevorrow will also be doing in-theater Q&As in Los Angeles on Friday following the 7:00pm showtime at The Landmark and the 8:30pm showtime at the Arclight Hollywood.