The second weekend of Finding Dory, the long-awaited sequel to Finding Nemo, easily crushed Independence Day: Resurgence, the long-awaited sequel to Independence Day, at the box office.
The Independence Day sequel (which we reviewed here) arrived in theaters 20 years after the original film became the highest-grossing movie of 1996. Since then, numerous other features have followed the film’s template and included breathtaking scenes of destruction. The new film brought much of the original cast back, except for Will Smith (who opted not to appear), and offered a similar plot.
Although the 1996 blockbuster wasn’t extremely well reviewed (it has a 62% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes), the sequel has done far worse with critics (only 34% positive).
Here are the estimated weekend grosses of the top five films over the long weekend (according to BoxofficeMojo.com):
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the big winners and losers at the box office.
Loser: Independence Day: Resurgence
It’s hard not to be disappointed in the results here. According to BoxOfficeMojo, this sequel cost 165 million to make and it opened domestically with less than 50 million. It will have some time to up that gross (next weekend’s long Independence Day weekend should help) but this Fox film came in a lot lower than expectations.
The feature did do strong business overseas though as it earned more than 100 million from international markets. Those markets could seriously boost this feature even if the domestic box office isn’t so stellar.
Winner: Finding Dory
The Pixar sequel amazingly fell less than 50% at the box office in its second weekend in theaters. That’s saying a lot especially because the film’s first weekend set the record for the highest weekend gross of an animated feature ever, according to EW.com.
The family-friendly sequel shows few signs of slowing down soon as families continue to flock to their local cineplex to check it out. It also helps that the critics have showered the film with praise with the film earning a 94% positive rating on RottenTomatoes.com.
Loser: Free State of Jones
In wide release this week, Matthew McConaughey’s new drama tells the true story of a Mississippi farmer who revolted against the South during the Civil War. The main character led a rebellion in the deep South that kept Confederates at bay and he helped establish a community where former slaves were protected alongside those who refused to serve in the Confederacy.
The feature was directed by Gary Ross, who previously helmed The Hunger Games. The feature, which had a compelling story to offer (but couldn’t manage to do it well), didn’t catch on with critics or audiences though. It currently only has a 40% positive rating on RottenTomatoes.com.
Winner: The Shallows
Blake Lively faced off against a shark in the small budget thriller The Shallows. Despite lacking A-list star power (Lively is the only actress onscreen for much of the feature), the concept brought audiences in.
According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, the thriller only cost 17 million to make and earned 16.7 million in its first weekend. That counts as a big win for Sony, who pushed up the release date to make sure it arrived in theaters earlier than expected.