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Box Office Preview: "Despicable Me 4" Returns for 4th of July Release

Box Office Preview: “Despicable Me 4” Returns for 4th of July Release

It’s Independence Day weekend, and this should be a landmark month for summer movies, starting with this week’s releases.

Opening on the Wednesday before the 4th of July is Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s animated sequel “Despicable Me 4,” featuring the voice of Steve Carell as the villainous Gru, accompanied by his lovable Minions. This fourth installment brings back characters voiced by Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, and Steve Coogan, while introducing new characters voiced by Will Ferrell, Sofia Vergara, and Joey King.

This film introduces “Gru Jr,” a new member to Gru’s extended family, as they go into hiding from new villains voiced by Ferrell and Vergara. The movie has already opened overseas, grossing $25.5 million, but reviews have been mixed, currently sitting at 63% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The original “Despicable Me” opened with $56.4 million and grossed $252.8 million domestically in 2010. Its 2013 sequel did even better, and the 2015 spin-off “Minions” was an even bigger hit, ending up with $1.15 billion worldwide. “Despicable Me 3” saw a slight drop in 2017, but 2022’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” opened with over $100 million and ended with a franchise-high domestic gross of $370 million.

This installment’s title does not include “Minions,” which could potentially confuse some fans. However, Universal’s marketing still emphasizes the Minions to attract the audience.

Opening on Wednesday, “Despicable Me 4” is expected to make $25 to $35 million in its first few days, including the 4th, and another $75 million-plus over the weekend, potentially reaching an opening week total of over $110 million. It will be interesting to see how this release affects Pixar’s “Inside Out 2,” which might already exceed $500 million before the weekend.

Angel Studios will open its drama “Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot” in over 2,000 theaters on Thursday, the 4th of July. This film hopes to replicate the success of “Sound of Freedom,” which opened with $19.7 million over the 4th of July weekend last year and went on to gross $184.2 million domestically. “Sound of Hope” revolves around the true story of Donna Martin and Reverend W.C. Martin, and their East Texas Church, where 22 families adopt 77 children from the foster system. The movie currently holds a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Sound of Hope” is expected to make $2 to $3 million on Independence Day and another $6 to $9 million over the three-day weekend. However, it remains to be seen if it can match the legs “Sound of Freedom” had last summer.

On Friday, A24 will release Ti West’s horror-thriller “MaXXXine,” starring Mia Goth. This film wraps up the trilogy begun in 2022 with “X” and “Pearl.” Set in 1985 Hollywood, the movie follows adult film star Maxine Minx as she lands a role in a horror movie while a serial killer is on the loose. The cast includes Kevin Bacon, Giancarlo Esposito, Elizabeth Debicki, Lily Collins, Bobby Cannavale, and Michelle Monaghan.

Reviews for “MaXXXine” have been generally solid with an 85% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Though “X” and “Pearl” were both in the 90% range, they only grossed $11.8 million and $9.4 million domestically, respectively. However, the previous two films have been streaming and on cable for two years, which may help build up an audience for this conclusion to the trilogy. With less competition and the summer timing, “MaXXXine” could open in fourth place with $8 to $11 million.

Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate will release the Indian action thriller “Kill,” directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat and starring Lakshya as a soldier on a train filled with outlaws. Theater count is unspecified, but it could be a wide release, aiming to capitalize on the success of Bollywood films like “Kalki 2898 AD.”

Searchlight will expand Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Kinds of Kindness” into more theaters nationwide on Wednesday. Its performance in 490 theaters last weekend does not suggest a strong showing against newcomers like “MaXXXine.” It is expected to bring in about $2 to $3 million, depending on the number of theaters it expands into.

Lastly, Film Movement will release Niclas Larsson’s dramatic thriller “Mother, Couch,” starring Ewan McGregor, Rhys Ifans, Ellen Burstyn, Lara Flynn Boyle, Taylor Russell, and F. Murray Abraham, in New York on Friday. The movie debuted nearly a year ago at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Check back on Sunday to see how all these new releases performed at the box office.

Source: Gold Derby