Animated Films Lead Box Office with ‘Despicable Me 4’ and ‘Inside Out 2’

The combination of “Despicable Me 4” and “Inside Out 2” brought in over $100 million, making up two-thirds of the weekend’s earnings.

The dominance of animated films at the box office continues, with “Despicable Me 4” from Universal and “Inside Out 2” from Disney grossing a combined $105 million this weekend. This trend has been a lifeline for theaters in 2024, with animated movies contributing nearly $1 billion so far, representing more than 25% of total earnings, a notable increase from 18% in 2023.

Universal Studios, Illumination, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

“Despicable Me 4,” the sixth installment in the successful franchise, led the weekend with $75 million over three days and $122.6 million over five days. Meanwhile, “Inside Out 2” secured second place with $30 million, a 48% drop from its previous week but still strong against new competition. Together, these films accounted for over two-thirds of the $157 million total weekend box office.

SABERTOOTH2008, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

In third place, “A Quiet Place: Day One” from Paramount earned $21 million in its second weekend. This marked the first time since July last year that three films each grossed over $20 million in the same weekend.

A significant takeaway from this weekend is that 90% of the earnings came from sequels or franchise titles. This trend underscores the industry’s reliance on established franchises to attract audiences. However, the scarcity of new, original hits is a growing concern. For example, Kevin Costner’s “Horizon” has struggled, not meeting expectations with under $40 million in earnings despite its high profile.

Other notable releases included “MaXXXine” from A24, which earned $6.7 million, and “Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot,” which grossed $3.1 million over the weekend. These figures highlight the challenges new releases face in capturing audience interest.

“Despicable Me 4” continues the franchise’s tradition of strong Independence Day weekend openings, performing within expectations despite competition from “Inside Out 2.” Disney’s sequel has already amassed $534 million domestically, trailing only “Barbie,” the top film of 2023.

“A Quiet Place: Day One” saw a 60% drop in its second weekend, typical for horror films, while “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” from Sony fell just 37%, reaching $177 million to date. “Horizon” experienced a 50% drop, further diminishing its prospects.

Other films like “Kalki 2898 AD,” “The Bikeriders,” and “Kinds of Kindness” had mixed results. “Thelma,” a lower-budget film featuring 94-year-old June Squibb, showed surprising strength, nearing $8 million after three weeks.

Internationally, India’s “Kill” garnered $550,000 from 827 theaters in five days. Limited releases like the revival of Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” and “Mother, Couch” featuring Ewan McGregor also saw modest earnings.

Overall, the weekend box office rose 18% compared to last year. Year-to-date figures are down 17% from 2023, on track for a year-end total under $7.6 billion.


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