Box Office: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Nears $1.2 Billion As ‘Minions 2’ Nears $400 Million

In weekend box office news that isn’t about Thor: Love and Thunder, Illumination and Universal’s Minions: The Rise of Gru earned another $45.5 million (-57%) for a new domestic cume of $210 million after ten days. That makes it the first animated film to pass $200 million domestic since Frozen II ($477 million) in late 2019. The $80 million animated sequel (to Minions) and prequel (to Despicable Me) took a near-identical drop as Minions after its $115 million debut in July of 2015 despite the MCU competition earning 2.46x Ant-Man‘s $58 million debut weekend. So, while the #GentleMinions helped a little last weekend, they weren’t a definitive variable in the $123 million Fri-Mon debut. The film now sits with a comically annoying $399.9 million worldwide, meaning it’ll pass $400 million and Sing 2 ($402 million) to become the biggest animated global grosser since Frozen II ($1.445 billion) in a day or two.

Minions was less leggy ($336 million from a $115 million opening weekend in 2015) than The Secret Life of Pets ($368 million from a $104 million debut in 2016) and Despicable Me 3 ($272 million from a $99 million Fri-Tues debut in 2017). A run akin to Minions would give Minions 2 a $325-$335 million finish. Like Thor: Love and Thunder probably/possibly earning “only” about as much as Thor: Ragnarök, I’m not going to besmirch a huge-grossing sequel to a huge-grossing predecessor. See also: Jurassic World Dominion “only” grossing $375 million domestic compared to the $417 million-grossing Fallen Kingdom. In my day (before the 2000s), sequels, unless they were singular cultural events (Terminator 2, Rambo: First Blood part II, etc.), were expected to earn less than their predecessors. DreamWorks’ The Bad Guys (also Universal) has made $244 million worldwide on an $80 million budget.

While Minions 2 just missed the $400 million mark, Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick will have to wait a few days to top $1.2 billion worldwide. The $170 million legacy sequel earned another $15.5 million (-40%) in weekend seven, again scoring the third-biggest seventh weekend behind Titanic ($26 million) and Avatar ($31 million). It earned more than The Passion of the Christ’s $15.2 million seventh weekend (when the Mel Gibson flick got a +43% bump over Easter weekend) and has now earned $597 million domestic. Its global cume is currently at $1.1836 billion, sitting between Minions ($1.159 billion) and Iron Man 3 ($1.215 billion) in 22nd place. It’ll pass Incredibles 2 ($608 million), The Last Jedi ($620 million) and The Avengers ($623 million) over the next two weeks to enter the all-time domestic top ten. As for globally, it still has a chance at $1.3 billion by the end.

Warner Bros.’ Elvis earned another $11 million (-40%) in weekend three for a $91.122 million 17-day cume. With word that the Baz Luhrmann-directed rock-n-roll biopic will not be heading to HBO Max after 45 days (I guess Zsaslov is less of a hardliner compared to Kilar), it should continue to hold as one of the only adult-skewing non-horror “event movies” (alongside Top Gun: Maverick and maybe/hopefully Where the Crawdads Sing next weekend) of the summer. It should pass $100 million domestic next weekend and soon surpass Walt Disney’s Lightyear ($112 million after another 55% drop on weekend four). It has earned $155 million worldwide thus far on an $85 million budget. The Austin Butler/Tom Hanks awards season contender has shown that A) live-action musicals can still be event movies as they were in pre-Covid times and B) Warner Bros. Remains more than just Batman and Harry Potter.

Amblin’s Jurassic World Dominion earned $8.41 million (-49%) in weekend five. That gives it a $350 million 31-day domestic cume. Colin Trevorrow and Emily Carmichael’s $185 million dino threequel will arrive on “rent it for $20” PVOD this coming Thursday. Still, history shows that such a circumstance shouldn’t damage the film’s theatrical run much. We’re still looking at an over/under $370 million domestic cume. With $876 million and counting worldwide, we can expect a global total of over/under $925 million. Blumhouse’s The Black Phone earned $7.66 million (-37%) in weekend three for a terrific $62 million domestic and $99 million worldwide cume. This one might also drop on PVOD this coming Thursday, but Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill’s $19 million crowd-pleaser has pulled solid legs for an original, R-rated horror flick. Walt Disney’s Lightyear earned $2.9 million in weekend four for a miserable $112.2 million domestic and $202 million global cume.

Those who blame its LGBT content should glance at those Thor 4 and Jurassic World 3 grosses. The Pixar sci-fi actioner/Toy Story spin-off won’t get anywhere near The Good Dinosaur’s $123 million domestic cume. A24’s charming and buzzy Marcel the Shell with Shoes On expanded to 48 theaters in weekend three in advance of its wide expansion next weekend. It earned $340,000 (+30%) in weekend three for a $963,416 17-day cume. Thanks to the blow-out performance of Everything Everywhere (which played the Marcel trailer before every showing), I’m cautiously optimistic for this delightful little family-friendly melodrama. Trust but verify. Speaking of which, Everything, Everywhere All at Once fell out of the top ten for the first time since going wide, earning $241,188 (-56%) for a $67.6 million domestic cume. Next week will be the first time since March of 2020 that all the top ten movies earn at least $1 million.

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