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Friday Box Office: Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ Joins ‘Jurassic’ as a Major Hit; ‘Dope’ Less Than Hoped

Friday Box Office: Pixar's 'Inside Out' Joins 'Jurassic' as a Major Hit; 'Dope' Less Than Hoped

Inside Out” (Buena Vista) roared out of the gate with a huge $34.2 million start (including Thursday night shows.) It’s the second best start ever for a Pixar release, more impressive since it isn’t a sequel (it bests “Monsters University” and falls short of only the third “Toy Story”). And it is hardly lacking competition for its family audience. Universal’s juggernaut Jurassic World” added another $29 million yesterday to its all ready huge take (in eight full days already $325 million) for the second spot, likely rising to  #1 and one of the best second weekends ever.

The mutual strength of both films playing at the same time reaffirms the strong statement that “Jurassic” has already made that summer 2015, despite a mixed start, is delivering on its promise of a rebound after last summer’s weakness and an overall slump since this March. Ticket buying is expanding, and these two films suggest both that occasional moviegoers are becoming more frequent. As happens when business is strong, hits reinforce the moviegoing habit.

It’s going to take a couple more weeks and a wider array of films to prove the point, but going into the July 4th holiday in two weeks, theaters and studios alike seem to be doing everything right.

These two titles dominated the overall Top 10 take of $75.5 million, up better than 50% from the same Friday last year when “Think Like a Man Too” and “Jersey Boys” opened (to a combined $17 million). Hoping to score with an African-American base, Sundance sensation “Dope” (Open Road) managed fourth place with a less-than-anticipated $2.4 million in over 2,000 theaters. Its fate now lies in audience reaction (it scored an A- Cinemascore response), and its second-day performance will be critical in determining whether it can withstand the huge pressure in coming weeks from current and future hits to maintain screen presence.

The rest of the holdovers lag in raw numbers behind the top two (combined only grossing about $10 million), but even so it’s encouraging that all dropped less than 50% from last Friday. Most look to sustain under 40% falls, impressive considering the competition and again showing signs of a broad increase in moviegoing interest.

“Spy” (20th Century Fox) took third place with $3.1 million, “San Andreas” (Warner Bros.) fifth $2.2 million, both aided by positive audience response so far even if they aren’t at the stratospheric heights of the top two. “Insidious Chapter 3” (Focus) in sixth with a bit under $1.5 million is holding better than most horror-related films.

Both now in their sixth weeks, “Pitch Perfect 2” (Universal) and “Mad Max: Fury Road” (Warner Bros.) continue their strong showings with $1.2 million and $720,000 respectively. Rounding out the Top Ten are two Disney films with vastly different levels of success, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” ($689,000) and “Tomorrowland” ($580,000).

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