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Independence Day: Resurgence underwhelms in US as Finding Dory stays top

Independence Day: Resurgence

Story by Jack Foley

ROLAND Emmerich’s belated sequel Independence Day: Resurgence has failed to make as big a splash at the US box office as anticipated.

The film opened behind expectations with an estimated $41.6 million, failing to take the top spot from Disney-Pixar’s Finding Dory.

Indeed, Pixar’s follow-up to Finding Nemo continued to surpass expectation by taking an estimated $73.2 million.

The animated adventure has now earned $286.6 million in the US alone and $397 million globally. If Sunday’s estimate is confirmed, Dory will boast the biggest second weekend for an animated film, beating Shrek 2 ($72.2 million), not accounting for inflation.

That impressive performance meant Resurgence had to settle for second spot. But its opening figure of $41.6 million means the film will be hard pushed to replicate the success of its original, which broke records on its way to temporarily becoming one of the top-grossing films of all time 20 years ago with $817.4 million worldwide, not adjusted for inflation.

Resurgence cost $165 million to make and comes without the star power offered by Will Smith. But it did bring back some favourites from the original, in the form of Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman.

The plot finds the same menacing aliens once again wreaking havoc on the world.

Elsewhere in the US, Blake Lively’s shark thriller The Shallows was the only new release to beat expectations, taking an estimated $16.7 million for a fourth-placed finish behind Dory, ID4 and Dwayne Johnson-Kevin Hart holdover Central Intelligence, which clung to third spot with $18.4 million.

The Shallows, directed by Non-Stop‘s Jaume Collet-Serra, finds Lively playing a surfer in a fight-to-the-death battle with a great white shark. It cost a modest $17 million to make.

Of the other two new releases, Matthew McConaughey’s Civil War drama Free State of Jones opened to a disappointing $7.8 million – the actor’s worst showing in years.

Directed by Gary Ross, the film tells the real-life story of Newt Knight, a defiant Southern farmer and Confederate medic who led an uprising and later married a former slave. It was largely given a rough time by critics who felt it wasn’t bold enough.

The week’s other new release, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Neon Demon, opened to $606,594 from 783 locations, meaning that it has struggled to find any audience appreciation. Its theatre average is just $783.

The film, which had its world premiere at Cannes, stars Elle Fanning as an aspiring model who moves to Los Angeles and encounters unearthly creatures in the form of more established models. It drew a similarly mixed response from critics.

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