Holiday Box Office: “Dory” decks “Tarzan,” but “Tarzan” bests “Purge”


This July 4 weekend, “Dory” is still the box office “BFG.” Or “BFD.”

The “Finding Nemo” sequel is slated to pull in another $57 million at the box office, three weeks into release. HUGE hit for Disney and Pixar. It’ll clear $400 million by Wed., Thursday at the latest.

So with three new wide releases opening behind it, the battle was always going to be for second, third and fourth.

Prognosticators weren’t saying so, but I figured “Tarzan” had a brand that would pull the punters in. But $42 million plus over four days? That’s more than anybody guessed. Yeah, 3D ticket prices and a long (Thursday night through Monday PM) holiday weekend help.

“The Purge” franchise continues to show legs, with this murderous horror picture with political overtones headed towards $37 million. “The Purge: Election Year,” is a hit. A big one. Not previewed for most critics, it arrived as a hidden dog (reviews are trending poor).

“The BFG” is built on a set of older brands. You know, the great and dark kids’ author Roald Dahl (“James and the Giant Peach”), the lady who scripted “E.T.” and the fellow who directed it.

It looks to clear almost $25 million over four days, and will perhaps hold audience better than the other two. The tedious length worked against it.

“Independence Day: Resurgence” took what we used to call “A Tyler Perry Plunge” on its second weekend. Now, we’re calling it a “Warcraft Whiff” — a 71% plummet. This summer has been full of movies that have not been good enough to get a second weekend’s word of mouth bounce. Lots of money spent, not a lot of return on investment.

“Free State of Jones” is still in the top ten, didn’t cost much and may encourage STX (a tiny studio) to take more risks like this. “Swiss Army Man” opened wide and will only crack the Top 12.

“Neon Demon” is sinking without a trace.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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