she’s fragile. She’s just a forgetful blue tang lost at sea, but little Dory did it again. And even if this was her second outing and had to go against the aliens of Independence Day Resurgence, who had been waiting 20 years to attack our planet again, Finding Dory can be found again at the top. The Pixar ‘s film came at number one in the U.S. box office; ID was a distant second with just $41.6 million.
The hero of the original Independence Day, Will Smith, chose not to return. But Roland Emmerich, back at the helm, succeeded in having many stars of the first film reprising their role, including Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum and Judd Hirsch. Among the newcomers we find Liam Hemsworth, who is a military pilot, and Jessie Usher, playing the stepson of Smith’s original character. And even if the critics were pretty severe with the sequel and with the inconsistencies and the predictability of its storyline, the film did pretty well internationally, adding $102 million out of 57 markets. China was the most lucrative of them all, with $37.5 million, but Now You See Me 2 did better: it generated $43.3 million, a record number for Lionsgate in The Middle Kingdom that pushed the global gross of the movie to $160 million. ID was a surprising number two also in the United Kingdom, where the top film was Illumination Entertainment and Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets, with $14.3 million. Looks like in the days after they voted in favor of Brexit, the Brits were not in the mood to see London destroyed on the screens and chose something more reassuring.
Dory did not do too badly internationally. It added $38 million, out of just 37 countries. Its global take stands already at $400 million and Pixar reached another landmark: 17 releases since Toy Story back in 1995 have now grossed over $10 billion.
If Independence Day underperformed, The Shallows succeeded in beating expectations, grossing $16.7 million out of close to 3,000 theaters. It stars Blake Lively as a surfer battling a great white shark and now the question for Sony is if the film, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, has legs. In the meantime, its take was good for a fourth place in the domestic market, where the number three title went to a holdover: Central Intelligence, starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, which in its second weekend got $18.4 million, for a domestic total of $70 million.
Things were pretty bad for two new releases. The Civil War drama Free State of Jones opened with $7.8 million, the worst debut in years for Matthew McConaughey. The numbers for The Neon Demon, Nicolas Winding Refn exploration of the modeling industry, were even more dismal: 783 locations were good for just over $606,000
Next week is the 4th of July holiday, traditionally one of the most lucrative of the year. Warner Bros claimed it long ago with The Legend of Tarzan, which reportedly cost $180 million before marketing. Tarzan is tracking to open at about $30 million, which would be a major disappointment. The BFG, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book, is tracking in the same range.