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While many worn out franchises and franchise hopefuls continue to struggle to find a significant North American audience, smaller films such as the Tupac biopic All Eyez on Me and the shark thriller 47 Meters Down were able to break through the clutter and make a splash this weekend.
It was also a disappointment compared with the top films over this weekend in 2015 and 2016, noted comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
The G-rated Cars 3 got an “A” CinemaScore and generally positive reviews, but it will have to contend with Despicable Me 3 which opens in two weeks.
“It’s been a challenging summer. I always say it comes down to product. Are the movies grabbing people?” Dergarabedian said. “Before Wonder Woman we were about nine percent behind last summer. We’re now at about even, but the industry would like to see better than even.”
Despite largely negative reviews, audiences gave the film an “A-” CinemaScore. Lionsgate’s Codeblack division marketed the pic, which cost Morgan Creek Productions around $ 40 million to produce. It opened to coincide with what would have been the late rapper’s 46th birthday on June 16.
“It’s always nice to exceed expectations,” said David Spitz, the president of theatrical distribution for Lionsgate.
The Mandy Moore shark thriller 47 Metres Down also exceeded low expectations, earning $ 11.5 million for a fifth place start. A “C” CinemaScore, however, could mean the pic is dead in the water going forward.
The raunchy R-rated comedy Rough Night is also facing some rough waters ahead with its ghastly “C+” CinemaScore. The film, about a bachelorette party weekend gone wrong, starring Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon and Jillian Bell, took in a paltry $ 8.1 million against a $ 20 million production budget.
Rough Night opened in seventh place, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which brought in $ 8.5 million. The fifth Pirates film has earned $ 150.1 million domestically and $ 500 million internationally.
“Sometimes the bigger and better box office stories are not at No. 1,” Dergarabedian said. “All Eyez on Me and 47 Meters Down are the kind of movies people are looking for. It bodes well for Baby Driver and Atomic Blonde.”