Turns out that Steven Spielberg meeting Roald Dahl wasn’t a foolproof recipe for commercial success either. The BFG, which imperfectly blends the sensibilities of those two great entertainers, opened in fourth place over the long holiday weekend with a less-than-gigantic $22.2 million. Considering that it cost a pretty gigantic $140 million, that’s a bit of a belly flop. Not that Disney, which fronted the bill, is complaining: The studio basically lost to itself, as audiences flocked instead (and again) to Finding Dory, whose $50 million four-day intake moves it up to a grand total of $380.5 million—enough to make it the No. 2 movie of the year and of Pixar’s own crop. It should pass Civil War and Toy Story 3 by next weekend.
While this particular date on the calendar used to belong to a single blockbuster (once upon a time, it invariably starred Will Smith), this year’s July 4 pay dirt was pretty evenly spread among the big releases. The Legend Of Tarzan fell just a few million shy of Dory, landing in second place and besting pessimistic box-office projections with $45.5 million. Considering its costly $180 million price tag, that still makes Tarzan a disappointment, though its salvation could arrive overseas—specifically in China, where it opens soon and where underperforming American event movies now go to make good on their overinflated budgets.
Not even having the holiday’s name in its damn title could help Independence: Day: Resurgence, though, which lost half of its already insufficient audience to land in fifth place. (That’s what you get, Roland Emmerich, for failing to secure the return of The King of The 4th Of July.) The film lost not just to Dory, Tarzan, and The BFG, but also to a much more modestly scaled movie with a national-pride peg. The Purge: Election Year opened in third place with $34.7 million—a little better than Anarchy did two years ago, further proof that Blumhouse has a hit franchise on its hands with The Purge series, and a good reminder that it’s much easier to score a hit when you don’t spend the gross national product of a small country on a movie. Having a Civil War veteran in the lead couldn’t have hurt too much. All hail the new King Of The 4th Of July: Frank Grillo!
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.