Box Office: 'Finding Dory' Sinks 'The Legend Of Tarzan', 'The Purge: Election Year' Tops 'The BFG'

1. Finding Dory- $41.9M/$372.2M
2. The Legend of Tarzan (review here)- $38.1M
Despite mixed to negative reviews, Warner Bros.' The Legend of Tarzan, starring Alexander Skarsgard as the jungle hero, opened to a decent $38.1M. Not only that, but the film received a strong response from audiences with an A- Cinemascore. So this is another one of those examples of audiences bucking the critical response. The problem is that the film cost roughly $180M and will have a tough time hitting that domestically, meaning it will need a bit of help overseas, where it debuted to just $18M. There's the chance it does well over the July 4th holiday, but no matter what it's tough to see this as much of a launching pad for a franchise unless the budget gets slashed dramatically.
3. The Purge: Election Year (review here)- $30.8M
Speaking personally, I feel The Purge franchise is the rare case of each sequel improving upon the last, and clearly audiences agree. The political horror series' third film, The Purge: Election Year, which obviously couldn't be arriving at a better time, opened with $30.8M. That's slightly better than The Purge: Anarchy and just shy of the original 2013 picture, which was presented as a home invasion thriller. These films fit into the low-budget realm of Blumhouse Productions, costing roughly $10M. How do you think Warner Bros. feels right now, knowing their $180M 'Tarzan' movie barely surpassed this one which cost what they spent on craft services. This summer has seen multiple blockbuster sequels tank but genre thrillers seem seem to be rolling. Superhero flicks are largely exempt but we may see a movie past sequels nobody asked for, like Independence Day: Resurgence, or unnecessarily expensive films, and sadly we may have to lump Steven Spielberg's The BFG in that latter category. Obviously, people love the idea of a day in which people can kill with impunity. Let's just hope they only dig watching it in a movie and not making it a reality.
4. The BFG (review here)- $19.5M
Maybe it's the extended holiday weekend and families have gone out of town, but Steven Spielberg's adaptation of childhood classic The BFG struggled with only $19.5M. Forget the jokes about how small a debut that is for such a giant tale, this is pretty sad given that it's his first pure family adventure movie in quite some time.Well, unless you count The Adventures of Tintin which also struggled domestically, however it made up the difference overseas. That may not happen in this case, though, and at a cost of $140M the film has a lot of ground to make up.
5. Independence Day: Resurgence- $16.5M/$72.6M
How sad is it that a patriotic, flag-waving flick like Independence Day: Resurgence got rolled on the July 4th weekend? The Roland Emmerich-directed film dropped 60% in its second weekend, and continues to only be bolstered by the overseas markets, another delicious irony, where it has earned an additional $115M.
6. Central Intelligence- $12.3M/$91.7M
7. The Shallows- $9M/$35.2M
8. Free State of Jones- $4.1M/$15.1M
The last two movies are interesting in that Matthew McConaughey's mid-sized historical epic has been doubled by a smallish shark movie starring Blake Lively. You'd expect the Oscar-winning actor, in a role that was originally conceived to net him some awards attention, to be more of a draw than this but audiences seem to have totally ignored Free State of Jones like it was a Billy Crudup indie. They could have cast nearly anybody in the role of the rebellious Newton Knight and seen similar results.
9. The Conjuring 2- $3.8M/$95.2M
10. Now You See Me 2- $2.9M/$58.6M