“Minions,” Universal’s third time out in the “Despicable” franchise scored a staggering triumph, grossing a combined $46.2 million for Thursday night and Friday grosses to dominate the Top Ten list. The number almost equaled the full Top Ten for the same Friday last year, and represented over 60% of the overall $75 million take for the day among the ten.
This is the best start ever for an animated film, besting all Disney (Pixar or home-grown) and DreamWorks entries (even inflation adjusted). It continues Universal’s stunning run of success this year, including “50 Shades of Gray,” “Furious 7” and “Jurassic World.” It is about 35% better than “Inside Out”‘s opening, as strong as that film has been, and similarly better than the opening day for “Despicable Me 2” (which wound up at $368 million domestic and $971 million worldwide).
This huge number masks the weak response to two other new wide release openers, both aimed at different audiences not anticipated to be flocking to “Minions.” Warner Bros.’ horror entry “The Gallows” managed only $4.5 million, fourth for the day and likely to drop in full weekend results. “Self/Less” (Focus), a thriller with Ryan Reynolds playing a rich man who takes over a young man’s body after dying, managed a bit under $2 million to manage eighth, at least for the day. Increasingly it is looking like a feast or famine summer.
Close together in second and third at just under $5.4 and $5.3 million respectively are “Inside Out” (Buena Vista) and “Jurassic World” (Universal), both off a bit over 50% from the holiday Friday last week. These longer running hits continue to run ahead of last weekend’s offerings. “Terminator: Genisys” (Paramount) dropped over 60% to eke out just over $4 million to take fifth, while “Magic Mike XXL” (Warner Bros.) kept its drop to a bit over 40% to place sixth with $3.6 million.
Rounding out the Top Ten are “Ted 2” (Universal) at $1.8 million, the limited 236 theater Indian epic “Baahubali: The Beginning” (“Blue Sky”) taking in an impressive $1.3 million, and “Max” (Warner Bros.) $1.1 million.