(from left) Minions (Pierre Coffin), Silas (Steve Coogan), Edith (Dana Gaier), Agnes (Madison Polan), Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Gru Jr., Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and Gru (Steve Carell) in Despicable Me 4, directed by Chris Renaud.


Illumination and Universal’s Minions franchise isn’t getting any worse for the wear as Despicable Me 4 rules the Fourth of July box office with an estimated five-day opening of $120 million, including a three-day weekend haul of $72.4 million.

That’s in line with expectations and a strong start for the fourth outing in the main franchise, and the sixth in the Despicable Me/Minions series, which ranks as the top-grossing animated franchise of all time.

The first Despicable Me opened over the July 9-11 weekend in 2010 to $56 million. The series then shifted its release earlier and became a Fourth of July staple. 2013’s Despicable Me 2 likewise opened on July 3, a Wednesday, and posted a five-day debut of $143 million. That was followed by a $120 million five-day holiday start for the threequel in 2017.

In the first Despicable Me movie in seven years, Gru — the world’s favorite supervillain-turned-Anti-Villain League-agent voiced by Steve Carell — ushers in a new era of Minions mayhem as he, Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and their girls (Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Madison Pola) welcome a new son, Gru Jr. (Tara Strong), who is intent on tormenting his dad.

But Gru and his brood are forced to go on the run after facing off with a new nemesis voiced by Will Ferrell and his femme-fatale girlfriend (Sofía Vergara). Other new characters are voiced by Joey King, Stephen Colbert and Chloe Fineman, while Pierre Coffin returns as the iconic voice of the Minions, and Steve Coogan returns as Silas Ramsbottom.

Chris Renaud — co-creator of the Minions — directed from a script by Mike White (The White Lotus) and Despicable Me veteran Ken Daurio. Patrick Delage co-directed, with Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri producing alongside Brett Hoffman.

The movie is the second back-to-win for the animated family marketplace after Pixar and Disney’s Inside Out 2, which finally fell to No. 2 in its fourth weekend with an estimated three-day weekend gross of $31 million for a domestic gross hovering around $535 million — the third-best showing ever for an animated film in North America, not adjusted for inflation. Last weekend, it joined the billion-dollar club in global ticket sales in record time, or 19 times, after posting the biggest domestic debut of the year.

Elsewhere, Paramount’s A Quiet Place: Day One is holding at No. 3 in its second weekend with a three-day gross of $21 million for an impressive 10-day domestic tally of $94 million-plus. The prequel scared up the loudest three-day debut of the series last weekend when opening to $52 million.

A24’s specialty pic MaXXXine, opening Friday, looks to come in at No. 4 with an estimated $7 million to $8 million, which is not a bad start for a specialty slasher pic that boasts a hard R-rating. An ode to 1980s sexploitation and horror, MaXXXine completes Ti West’s trilogy starring Mia Goth. The movie received a B CinemaScore, a high grade for a horror/slasher film.

Sony’s Bad Boys: Ride or Die has enough gas left in the tank to place No. 5 and should finish Sunday with more than $175 million in North American ticket sales.

Kevin Costner’s Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter One, falling to No. 6, continues to struggle to find its audience. The big-budget period Western, which runs just over three hours, looks to fall 50 percent in its second weekend to roughly $5.5 million for a domestic total of $22 million, or thereabouts, through Sunday.

Last year, Utah-based studio Angel Studios made headlines when its film, Sound of Freedom, opened to $14.2 million on July Fourth, enough to top the chart and beat the likes of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. By the end of the long holiday corridor, its domestic tally was north of $41 million. Angel Studios, supported in large part by faith-based moviegoers, isn’t replicating that success with this year’s Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot, an inspirational drama about a family that adopts 22 kids.

Possum Trot isn’t a sequel to Sound of Freedom, although both films earned a coveted A+ CinemaScore. Possum opened on July Fourth and earned a combined $4.7 million on Wednesday and Thursday, according to Angel. It’s expected to post a five-day opening in the $8 million range.

Numbers will be updated Sunday morning.



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