Disney-Pixar’s “Cars 3” is racing toward a $58 million opening weekend, while Tupac Shakur biopic “All Eyez on Me” is performing well above forecasts, and could earn as much as $36 million, early estimates showed Friday.
“All Eyez on Me” opened impressively with $3.1 million on Thursday night at 2,000 sites in North America, topping “Cars 3’s” $2.8 million. Should the estimates hold, “All Eyez” could finish in second place, just ahead of the third weekend of Gal Gadot’s “Wonder Woman” at $35 million.
Lionsgate has been cautioning that the “All Eyez on Me” estimates are too high and that the film is heading for the $25 million to $29 million range. The movie, starring Demetrius Shipp Jr., is over-performing, in any case, as it had been tracking in the $17 million to $22 million range at 2,471 sites for this weekend. “All Eyez” is opening on what would have been Shakur’s 46th birthday.
Music video director Benny Boom helmed “All Eyez on Me,” titled after Shakur’s fourth studio album. Shakur was murdered in Las Vegas in 1996. The film is being released by Lionsgate’s Codeblack label.
Sony’s raunchy comedy “Rough Night” appears to be coming in at the lower end of forecasts at about $10 million at 3,162 venues. Meanwhile, Entertainment Studios shark drama “47 Meters Down,” starring Mandy Moore and Claire Holt, seems to be exceeding modest expectations in the $9 million range at 2,300 venues.
“Cars 3,” starring Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen, is performing in line with forecasts. It had been expected to lead the weekend with $55 million to $65 million at 4,256 locations.
“Cars 3” focuses on a past-his-prime Lightning McQueen making a comeback and dealing with new rival Jackson Storm, voiced by Armie Hammer. Cristela Alonzo, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Nathan Fillion, Kerry Washington, and Lea DeLaria round out the voice cast of “Cars 3.” Brian Fee, a storyboard artist on the first two “Cars” films, directed from a script by Bob Peterson, Kiel Murray, and Mike Rich.
The two previous “Cars” were solid performers. The original film opened domestically with $60 million in 2006 on its way to a $244 million and $462 million worldwide. “Cars 2” took in $66 million in its launch and wound up with $191 million in North America and $562 million worldwide.
Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman” grossed $6 million at 4,165 venues on Thursday, lifting its 14-day domestic haul to $233.8 million. It’s likely to wind up the weekend with a domestic total near $270 million.
“Rough Night” has been forecast to finish in the $12 million to $14 million range at 3,162 locations. Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Zoe Kravitz, and Ilana Glazer play friends reunited for a bachelorette weekend that goes off the rails.
Universal’s second weekend of “The Mummy” is showing little traction, heading for a decline of more than 60% to around $12 million.
“Cars 3” has received decent support from critics, earning a 63% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, followed by “47 Meters Down” with 54%, “Rough Night” at 49%, and “All Eyez on Me” with 28%.
Focus Features’ drama “The Book of Henry,” starring Naomi Watts, is heading for a moderate opening in the $2 million to $3 million range at 579 sites. Directed by “Jurassic World” helmer Colin Trevorrow, “Henry” was hammered by critics after it premiere the LA Film Festival on Wednesday.
The performances of “Wonder Woman,” “Cars 3” and “All Eyez on Me” will help the box office maintain its 3% lead over last year — currently at $5.044 billion as of Friday. The summer box office is about even with last year’s at $1.29 billion, according to comScore.
“The strength of “Wonder Woman” has resuscitated the summer and set up the industry for a solid weekend that boasts one of the most diverse and perfectly counter-programmed line ups in recent memory,” said Paul Dergarbedian, senior media analyst with comScore. “The family-friendly, G-rated ‘Cars 3’ is the latest Pixar film to grace summer movie screens and along with Lionsgate’s R-rated Tupac Shakur biopic ‘All Eyez One Me’ will provide a solid box office punch.”
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