After a slight hiccup with Pirates earlier this month, Disney is back at the head of the pack with Pixar produced Cars 3. Lightning McQueen, the series’ anthropomorphic racecar voiced by Owen Wilson, rocketed into first place on the domestic chart with $53.5 million. In his third high speed adventure McQueen is low on confidence in the face of a new generation of high-powered racers. The toughest of these is Jackson Storm, a sleek futuristic grey supercar voiced by Armie Hammer. After a humiliating crash in the first race against his rival, Wilson’s character is approached by a performance coach named Cruz Ramirez.
Together they work on sorting out his confidence and devising a strategy to beat the high-powered rival with brains and strategy rather than pure horsepower. Cars 3 took home an A Cinemsacore, on par with the first in the series and better than its sequel.
It also made its start on 23 foreign tracks, with an opening overseas run worth $21.3 million. Russia recorded Cars’ best qualifying lap at $5.9 million followed by Mexico with $4.8 million. At this point in its release it’s 9% ahead of Cars 2 and a whole 29% in front of 2006’s original Cars. It opens in Australia next week and will begin the major part of its European and Asian roll out in mid-July.
Wonder Woman continues to generate wonders and in its third outing was down just 30 percent, adding another $40.8 million to a domestic market that now stands at a total of $275 million. It added $80 million worldwide, to reach a $571 million global cume. The next biggest debut at the US box office was Lionsgate’s All Eyez on Me. This Tupac Shakur biopic, starring Demetrius Bishop Jr., is directed by hip hop video veteran Benny Boom. Sales were strong at $27 million and landed the film in a solid third place. Audiences have given it an A- Cinemascore but critics were not very generous on the film, which has created outcry from many prominent members of the black community. This backlash may put a halt to All Eyez’ strong opening but with a budget of just $40 million Lionsgate won’t be counting a loss here.
Fellow newcomer Rough Night had a pretty bad first run at the domestic chart, taking just $8 million from a full-scale launch in 3,162 theatres. Scarlett Johansson leads a cast featuring Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell and Zoe Kravitz in this raunchy girls’ comedy. At $20 million plus advertising costs, this one will have a hard time justifying its price tag.
Back overseas newcomer Despicable Me 3 made $10 million from a very limited entry into five Asian markets. It opened number one with $1.1 million in Malaysia, made $2 million in the Philippines, close to $1 million in Thailand, and $1.5 million in Singapore. Australia was good for $4.4 million in first place. Its major opening is slated for June 30 when DM3 will enter 46 foreign territories as well as the US and Canada. China follows on July 7.
Holdover The Mummy took the top spot on the international chart with $53 million from 68 territories. With a global cume now at $295 million after two frames, Universal can rest assured that their slow domestic opening hasn’t put this one under wraps. Alien: Covenant was boosted by a $30 million China launch to arrive at $214.9 million global.
Next week Transformers: The Last Knight lands in the US and will face minor counterprogramming opposition from The Big Sick and Sundance darling Anna Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch from Annapurna and Vice Films.