To say Universal Pictures is on a roll is an understatement. With Jurassic World already having pounded away at most box office records, the dinosaurs are handing this weekend off to the minions. Already released overseas, the little critters have logged in over $125M in 26 markets and was No. 1 in all but one of those. This weekend they will take control of the domestic box office with an easy No. 1 opening and, by all accounts, will vault well over the $100M for Illumination Entertainment and the studio as it opens wide in 3D.
Interest in this picture is said to be higher than it was for Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out which opened to $90M four weeks ago and has since taken hold of $250M+ domestically and about $370M worldwide so far. It barely edged out Jurassic World this weekend and the Fourth of July was down 27% from the previous weekend. The little guys will boost it right back up in a huge way. Will Minions strip audiences away from Inside Out? You bet it will. It opens Thursday night at 6 PM.
Must mention the outdoor/transit campaign on Minions that the studio launched around L.A.; it’s overwhelming. Is it like that elsewhere in the country? If you remember, Minions was originally supposed to release on December 19, 2014, but was moved into summer 2015 for promotional reasons. I’ve seen the Hostess/Twinkie promotion which is on eye-it/buy-it shelf space. Not the healthiest food for kids, but it is yellow.
Minions is anticipated to be the highest grosser of any of the other films in the franchise. Despicable Me opened to $56.3M on July 9 in 2010 and DM2 debuted to $83.5M in 2013 before chalking up about $970M worldwide. Although the laughs are not as good as the last couple of films, the animated comedy is playing strong across all age groups.
There are two other films bowing this weekend — the horror film The Gallows from New Line/Blumhouse/360 and released by Warner Bros. and the sci-fi drama Self/Less from Focus Features and Gramercy Pictures which stars Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley. No one one expects much out of them, maybe The Gallows around the $10M to $12M mark and Self/Less may end up in single digits for the weekend. They both seem to be playing to a similar audience although the horror film is rated R and Self/Less is rated PG-13.