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Despicable Me 3 top in US despite lower opening but Baby Driver a hit

Despicable Me 3

Story by Jack Foley

ANIMATED movie Despicable Me 3 has predictably opened at the top spot at the US box office with $75.4 million. What wasn’t predicted, however, was that the three-quel would debut notably behind expectations for Universal and Illumination.

Heading into the weekend, most had expected it to hit somewhere between $85 million and$90 million – but then audience figures slowed dramatically on Saturday for many films.

By way of comparison, Despicable Me 2, which also opened over the Fourth of July weekend in 2013, grossed $83.5 million for the weekend proper and $143.1 million in its five-day debut, while in the summer of 2015, spin-off Minions opened to a huge $115.7 million over the July 10-12 weekend.

On the plus side, Despicable Me 3‘s figure did still mark the top opening of the year to date for an animated film.

And overseas, it’s doing even better. The film earned $95.6 million from 52 markets for a foreign total of $116.9 million and a global haul of $192.3 million.

The third instalment follows Gru (Steve Carell) as he meets up with his long-lost twin brother, Dru (also voiced by Carell). Together, they take on a diamond thief (played by Trey Parker).

While Despicable Me 3 had a mixed debut, Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver was an unqualified success, riding to a five-day debut of $30 million after opening Wednesday.

The film, which boasts an ensemble cast including Ansel Elgort, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey and Jon Hamm, follows a getaway driver as he attempts to outwit a violent crew. It is one of the summer’s truly original movies, meaning that Sony’s decision to invest in its potential to offer something of an antidote to sequels, prequels and reboots has more than paid off.

Warners also enjoyed a solid Fourth of July, with Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman flying past the $700 million mark at the global box office in its fifth weekend. The film is now the top-grossing movie (whether live-action or animated) helmed by a woman who had sole directing duties.

Wonder Woman placed fourth behind Transformers: The Last Knight, which fell 62% in its second weekend to $17 million for a creaky domestic total of $102.1 million.

The Last Knight is being viewed as another victim of sequel fatigue in the US. But, similarly, it is faring far better internationally, grossing another $68 million from 44 markets for a foreign total of $327.8 million and global haul of $429.9 million.

Disney and Pixar’s Cars 3 rounded out the top five in the US, plunging 60% in its third weekend to $9.5 million for a US total $120.7 million. Worldwide, its tally now sits at $173.8 million.

One more box office story of note was the fate of Will Ferrell’s latest comedy, The House, which failed to crack the top five. It opened in sixth spot with one of the lowest debuts ever for a Ferrell release.

The film, which co-stars Amy Poehler, follows a couple who start an illegal casino in the basement of their house in a bid claw back their daughter’s college fund.

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