2nd update, July 5th AM: Overall it was a solid Independence Day at the box office with the top 20 pics clearing $43.3M, +27% over Tuesday’s business. New entry The First Purge from Universal/Blumhouse earned an estimated $9.4M in 3rd place, making 73% of its business yesterday which also includes $2.5M Tuesday night previews. CinemaScore audiences gave the horror prequel its third best grade out of the four titles with a B-. Election Year won most over two years ago with a B+, followed by Anarchy (B), then First Purge with the original Purge landing a C grade. Because the horror pic opened on a Wednesday to get some steam ahead of Disney/Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp opening tonight at 6PM, it’s the lowest opening day for a Purge movie, the previous installments having opened on Fridays. Their first day results: The Purge ($16.8M), Election Year ($14.5M) and Anarchy ($13M). James DeMonaco who wrote and directed the first three Purges is a writer and EP here on The First Purge.
Weekend forecast for The First Purge is between $25M-$35M while Ant-Man and the Wasp is expected to overindex with $85M, maybe more. It’s going to be a scorcher of a weekend here in Los Angeles with city temperatures hitting 100 degrees tomorrow and 97 degrees on Saturday. That heat wave should assist in pushing people into air-conditioned movie theaters.
Universal was also a winner in the top spot with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom taking an estimated $11.6M on July 4, only -3% from Tuesday’s results for a running tally of $297.7M; the J.A. Bayona-directed sequel should hit the three-century mark today.
Incredibles 2 from Pixar/Disney earned $9.7M in second place, -4% with a near three week tally of $468.2M.
Sony/Black Label Media’s Sicario: Day of the Soldado was only -1% on Independence Day from Tuesday with $2.6M in 4th, a six-day total of $26.3M.
Lionsgate’s Uncle Drew declined 12% yesterday with $2.2M in 5th and a six-day run of $21.7M.
Below AMC theatre chain boss Adam Aron encourages his customers to see comedies on the big screen yesterday:
What movie saw a daily holiday uptick? Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s Ocean’s 8 which was +15% yesterday over Tuesday with $2.1M in 6th place and a $120.3M running cume in the middle of week 4. The femme swap sequel is currently the third best in the series after Ocean’s Eleven ($183.4M) and Ocean’s Twelve ($125.5M) and ahead of Ocean’s Thirteen ($117.1M). New Line’s Tag was also solid -1% with $1.2M in 7th and a running total in the middle of week 3 with $44.5M.
Also seeing boosts: adults who found fireworks to be too loud, took in Mister Rogers instead as Focus Features’ doc Won’t You Be My Neighbor? surged 47% over Tuesday with $770K in 8th and a running total in middle of week 4 of $9.3M. Fox’s Deadpool 2 grossed $679K, -4%, with $312.4M in 9th, while FIP’s Sanju earned $620K, +2% with a six-day take of $4.4M.
1st Update, July 4th AM: Universal/Blumhouse’s The First Purge minted $2.5M last night at 2,350 theaters from 7PM showtimes, the fourth best in preview ticket sales for the horror franchise. The 5-day forecast for the Gerard McMurray-directed prequel is between $25M-$36M.
The First Purge, which cost, an estimated $13M before P&A, marks the first time that Uni has opened a Purge movie on a Wednesday.
The Purge: Election Year posted the best preview results for the franchise at $3.64M at 2,343 locations two years ago on the Thursday prior to the 4-day Independence Day stretch when the holiday fell on a Monday. The threequel turned in a 3-day of $31.5M, 4-day of $36.1M and the series’ best domestic gross of $79.2M. The very first Purge made $3.44M in previews before surprising June 2013 moviegoers and the industry with a $34M opening (final domestic $64M). The Purge: Anarchy in July 2014 made $2.64M in previews, a slightly smaller opening weekend of $29.8M and more in the end stateside with $72M. In total, the franchise has made $320M worldwide for Universal and Blumhouse.
The First Purge is also opening in 27 offshore territories this weekend. The Purge isn’t a horror series that bowls critics over: This installment currently has a 45% Rotten Tomatoes Score which is better than the first 2013 film at 38% Rotten, but under Election Year (53%) and Anarchy (56% Rotten). Election Year earned the best audience score results on CinemaScore for the series with a B+, followed by Anarchy (B) and the original Purge (C).
While today is typically a sleep day at the box office as moviegoers head to swimming, BBQ and fireworks, tomorrow night is when the action begins as Disney/Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp kicks off previews at 6PM.
Yesterday Uni’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom continued to be the top-grossing movie with $11.9M, +39% over Monday with a running total of $286.2M. Some believe the sequel has a shot of ultimately clearing over $400M at the domestic B.O.
Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 was second with $10.2M, +34% with a running total of $458.5M. Sony/Black Label Media’s Sicario: Day of the Soldado earned $2.6M, +20% for a five-day take of $23.7M in 4th place. Lionsgate’s Uncle Drew made $2.5M, +37% for a five-day run of $19.5M.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.