After largely missing out on 4th of July festivities last summer due to the pandemic, U.S. residents are enjoying a host of newfound freedoms this holiday weekend – and while theatrical attendance still isn’t quite what it was prior to Covid-19, the marketplace expanded wide enough to accommodate a pair of new titles in addition to last weekend’s $70M blockbuster, F9. Most notably, the Independence Day frame marks the first time since the beginning of the pandemic that the top 10 domestic titles boasted weekend grosses of over $1M each.
The high-octane action sequel retained the box office crown in its sophomore frame with an estimated $24M over the three-day and a studio-projected $32.7M over the four-day, bringing the total for the Universal release to a projected $125.8M through Monday.
Meanwhile, two of F9‘s Universal stablemates — The Boss Baby: Family Business and The Forever Purge – debuted to good numbers in their opening frames. The former title, a sequel to the 2017 animated hit, took in an estimated $17.36M through Sunday and a studio-projected $23.07M through Monday from 3,644 screens, while The Forever Purge grossed an estimated $12.75M through Sunday and is projected at $15.86M through Monday from 3,051 screens. Not including 2020, when many studios ceased reporting grosses during the pandemic, this is the first time titles from the same studio have occupied the top three spots at the domestic weekend box office since 2005, when Sony did so with Hitch, Boogeyman and Are We There Yet? Universal hasn’t done so since 1989, when Sea of Love, Parenthood and Uncle Buck took the top three spots domestically.
Sitting pretty in first place, F9 dropped a substantial 66% from last weekend’s three-day frame, when it took in a pandemic-record $70.04M. While that’s a steeper sophomore weekend drop than either 2019’s Hobbs & Shaw (-58%) or 2017’s The Fate of the Furious (-61%), F9 nonetheless became the fastest film to reach $100M during the pandemic after reaching that milestone on Friday, its eighth day of release. F9‘s successful run is a bellwether for what’s likely to come next weekend with the release of Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow, a film whose outlook has continued to improve as its July 9 opening nears.
Coming in second place, The Boss Baby: Family Business made less than half as much in its opening frame as the first film, which debuted to $50.2M and went on to gross $175M domestically. The obvious caveat is that the original movie didn’t arrive amid a pandemic — which may also have made parents think twice about bringing their unvaccinated young children to the movies, particularly as the more contagious Delta variant makes headlines. The first Boss Baby also didn’t debut day-and-date on a streaming service like The Family Business, which was made available on Peacock simultaneous with its release in theaters. On the plus side, the film benefitted from a lack of direct competition — particularly with Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2 on the wane — and its “A” Cinemascore and 91% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes bodes well for its performance moving forward.
Third place went to The Forever Purge, which outperformed expectations heading into the weekend. Though it had the weakest debut of any installment in the long-running horror-thriller series so far, it came in just a couple of ticks below The First Purge, which marked a new box office low for the franchise when it opened to $17.37M in 2018. Unlike Boss Baby, Forever Purge also wasn’t made available day-and-date on streaming, meaning fans had to turn out at multiplexes to see it. The opening weekend audience was diverse, with Hispanics and African-Americans representing half of the turnout. It’s worth noting that the Blumhouse film is the third successful debut of a horror sequel in the last month and change, following impressive openings from A Quiet Place Part II and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.
Speaking of A Quiet Place Part II, the Paramount title dropped to fourth place in its sixth weekend of release with an estimated three-day gross of $4.22M and a studio-projected $5.58M through Monday, bringing its total to a superb $145.79M.
Fifth place went to Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, which grossed an estimated $3M over the three-day and a studio-projected $3.9M through Monday, which would bring its total to $32.28M through the end of its third weekend.
Disney’s Cruella finished in sixth place in its sixth weekend with an estimated $2.6M over the three-day weekend and a Boxoffice Pro-projected $3.4M over the four-day. That would bring the total for the 101 Dalmatians prequel to $77.44M through Monday.
Coming in at No. 7 was Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, which took in an estimated $2.25M over the three-day weekend and is projected by the studio to gross $3.05M over the four-day frame. The domestic total for the family sequel is projected at $35.22M through Monday.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is looking at an 8th place finish over the three-day frame with an estimated $1.29M, though its studio-projected $1.61M through Monday means it would drop two spots to No. 10 against fellow Warner Bros. title In the Heights and A24’s Zola when taking the full holiday weekend into account.
In the Heights grossed an estimated $1.28M over the three-day frame and is projected by the studio to gross $1.69M over the four-day, putting it at No. 9 through Sunday and at No. 8 through Monday. Its domestic total is projected at $27.3M through the end of the holiday weekend.
A24’s buzzy Sundance dramedy Zola debuted in 10th place with an estimated $1.23M over the three-day frame, while a studio-projected $1.65M gross over the four-day would put it at No. 9 for the long weekend. The Janicza Bravo-directed indie, which is based on a Twitter thread, benefitted from positive reviews, with an 87% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Its total through Monday is projected to be $2.45M, which includes pre-weekend grosses on Wednesday and Thursday.
Searchlight Pictures’ acclaimed Questlove-directed documentary Summer of Soul debuted outside the top 10 with an estimated $650k from 752 locations.
Opening in five new markets this weekend, including Spain and Singapore, F9 took in an estimated $23.8M from 50 territories, bringing its international total to $374.4M and its global tally to $491.1M through Sunday. The studio projects that the action sequel will cross the $500M mark on Monday, making it the first film to hit that milestone since 2019.
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway grossed an estimated $9.2M from 37 markets through Sunday, bringing its international cume to $92.1M. Upcoming key releases for the family title include Spain (July 16), Brazil (August 26) and South Korea (September 29).
Cruella took in an estimated $9M from 43 territories over the three-day frame, lifting its international cume to $127.8M and its global total to $204.4M.
A Quiet Place Part II took in an estimated $6.3M from 50 markets, bringing its international cume to $122.5M and its global tally to $266.93M through Sunday.
Finally, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It grossed an estimated $6M overseas from 64 markets this weekend, bringing its international tally to $111.4M and its global total to $173.7M.
3-Day Studio Weekend Estimates
Friday, July 2 – Sunday, July 4, 2021
|Title||Estimated weekend||% change||Locations||Location change||Average||Total||Weekend||Distributor|
|The Boss Baby: Family Business||$17,360,000||3,644||$4,764||$17,360,000||1||Universal|
|The Forever Purge||$12,750,000||3,051||$4,179||$12,750,000||1||Universal|
|A Quiet Place Part II||$4,225,000||-32%||2,826||-298||$1,495||$144,436,659||6||Paramount|
|The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard||$3,000,000||-38%||2,582||-779||$1,162||$31,378,167||3||Lionsgate|
|Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway||$2,250,000||-53%||2,954||-377||$762||$34,416,482||4||Sony Pictures|
|The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It||$1,290,000||-57%||1,716||-952||$752||$62,225,663||5||Warner Bros.|
|In the Heights||$1,275,000||-43%||1,405||-998||$907||$26,887,024||4||Warner Bros.|
|Summer of Soul||$650,000||752||$864||$650,000||1||Searchlight|
|Werewolves Within||$115,250||-54%||209||-61||$551||$473,067||2||IFC Films|
|Raya and the Last Dragon||$32,000||-40%||75||-45||$427||$54,528,743||18||Disney|
|The Sparks Brothers||$24,000||-80%||130||-404||$185||$614,920||3||Focus Features|