July 5, 2013

UPDATED 4TH OF JULY BOX OFFICE: “Despicable Me 2” Drops, “Lone Ranger” Holds Steady (and Low)


NOTE:  This Post Has Been Updated With Actual Studio Estimates

Typically Independence Day itself is a relatively quiet day for moviegoing, because audiences have other things to do, and DESPICABLE ME 2 (Universal) fell 29% from Wednesday to a still-big $24.5M.  That was the 7th-highest Thursday box office ever (and the 2d-highest for movies not opening on that day, behind Transformers 2).  Business should go up fairly sharply on Friday and again by a smaller amount on Saturday before dropping on Sunday, and Despicable 2 could get to around $90M over the 3-day weekend (the record for 4th of July weekend is $97.9M for Transformers 3) and over $150M for the movie’s 5 1/2-day opening.  MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (Disney/Pixar) was also down on the holiday, although by a much slimmer 3% to $5.2M

The surprise is that this year, at least, action movies were exempt from the Independence Day slump.  THE LONE RANGER (Disney) actually edged up by 2% to $9.9M, although it’s still unlikely to get much beyond $50-55M for the 5+ day opening, and with its giant costs, it’s nowhere near even being able to dream about approaching breakeven.

Holdover action movies did even better, as WORLD WAR Z (Paramonunt) rose from $3.9M to $4.3M, WHITE HOUSE DOWN (Sony) from $2.6M to $3.5M, and MAN OF STEEL (Warners) from $2.3M to $3M.  The comedy-actioner THE HEAT (20th) also had a healthy increase from $5.2M to $6.4M.

Not so surprisingly, the Kevin Hart concert movie LET ME EXPLAIN (Lionsgate) was very front-loaded, plunging 46% from $4.7M on Wednesday to $2.6M on Thursday.  Still, the film had bare-minimum production and marketing costs, and should prove nicely profitable.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."