LOS ANGELES -- The minions are still a box office force, and original stories are scoring big -- but not the R-rated comedy, even with Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler behind it.
Studio estimates on Sunday had Universal Pictures and Illumination's "Despicable Me 3" earning $75.4 million over the weekend while the former "Saturday Night Live" stars' gambling comedy "The House" burned down.
"Despicable Me 3" easily topped the holiday weekend charts from 4,529 theaters in North America. While it's a far cry from the $115 million spinoff "Minions" opened to in 2015 and lower than "Despicable Me 2," which opened to $83.5 million in 2013, Nick Carpou, president of Domestic Theatrical Distribution for Universal Pictures, says that $75 million is a number he'll celebrate any day of the week.
"They resonate and absolutely are relatable," Carpou said of the films animation studio Illumination puts out. "They're movies that are built for all ages."
Edgar Wright's heist movie "Baby Driver" coasted to $30 million in its first five days in theaters, with $21 million from the three-day weekend to take second place. Sony Pictures released the R-rated pic, which stars Jamie Foxx, Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm and Kevin Spacey and cost a reported $34 million to produce.
The R-rated film did well with critics and is one of a handful of original or independent films this weekend that are notable successes. Sofia Coppola's R-rated Civil War-set film "The Beguiled" scored in its expansion from four to 674 theaters in its second weekend. It earned $3.3 million to take eighth place and bested franchise fare including "The Mummy" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," which were both playing in over 1,670 theaters.
Rounding out the top five were holdovers "Transformers: The Last Knight," in third with $17 million, followed by "Wonder Woman" with $15.6 million and "Cars 3" with $9.5 million.
Not so successful was suburban gambling comedy "The House" which landed in sixth place with only $9 million -- one of the lowest of Ferrell's career and the latest in a string of R-rated comedies to tank at the box office, following "Rough Night" and "Baywatch."
Overall, the summer box office continues to struggle and is down nearly 8 percent from last year, while the year-to-date is close to flat. But the summer box office roller coaster may still have some surprises in store, with the well-reviewed "Spider-Man: Homecoming" hitting theaters Friday.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore.
- "Despicable Me 3," $75.4 million
- "Baby Driver," $21 million ($30 million total)
- "Transformers: The Last Knight," $17 million ($102.1 million total)
- "Wonder Woman," $15.6 million ($346.6 million total)
- "Cars 3," $9.5 million ($120.7 million total)
- "The House," $9 million
- "47 Meters Down," $4.7 million ($32.6 million total)
- "The Beguiled," $3.3 million ($3.6 million total)
- "The Mummy," $2.8 million ($74.5 million total)
- "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," $2.4 million ($165.5 million total)