• Box Office

World Box Office June 27 to July 3, 2022

Those goggle-wearing yellow creatures are indeed rising and expanding their empire, with a record-breaking $129.2 million four-day debut, the highest Fourth of July box office weekend figures, and toppling the $115.9 million set by Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 2011.

Minions: The Rise of Gru, with a voice cast that couldn’t be more eclectic – from Julie Andrews to Jean-Claude Van Damme – became the first animated movie in almost three years to score a bow that surpassed $100 million.

Sparking fireworks domestically and internationally, the origin story of Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and his gibberish-speaking minions (all voiced by Pierre Coffin) blabbered their way to a spectacular $202.2 million global total so far.

A two-year-plus release delay in the movie’s opening due to the COVID-19 health crisis has obviously not dampened enthusiasm for Gru and his singing, bumbling, and babbling friends.

The tale of how 12-year-old Gru worked his way to become the greatest supervillain, directed by Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson, and Jonathan del Val, also features in its talented voice cast: Taraji P. Henson, Alan Arkin, Michelle Yeoh, Russell Brand, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Jimmy Yang, Lucy Lawless, Steve Coogan, and Will Arnett.

Remarkably, Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick is in second place after six weeks, still flying high with a $34.3 million four-day haul. Turning 60 right on July 3, the star had extra reason to celebrate: his Joseph Kosinski-directed action-drama with Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, and Glen Powell, reached the $1.1 billion worldwide benchmark. It’s the biggest hit in his 41-year-long career.

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, anchored by Austin Butler’s critically lauded portrayal of the king of rock and roll, is also holding well. Ranked third, Elvis got a hunk-a-hunk burning love of $25 million.

And what’s getting box office analysts’ hopes up is that adult women and 55-plus moviegoers – the sector that has been reluctant to troop back to the movie houses since the pandemic – are the ones driving up the ticket sales of the film also starring Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker.

The solid fourth and fifth performances of Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World Dominion ($19.9 million) and Scott Derrickson’s The Black Phone ($14.1 million), respectively, also point to strong signs of filmgoing returning to normal, pre-COVID times.

The robust showing of these top five films is also a persuasive reminder to Hollywood about the power of the movie theater screen.

Making up the rest of the top ten, were, in order: Lightyear, $7.9 million; Mr. Malcom’s List, Emma Holly Jones’ period drama with Freida Pinto, Sope Dirisu, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ashley Park, and Theo James, in a disappointing bow at $1.06 million; Everything, Everywhere All at Once, $630,000; Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, $449,000; and India’s Jug Jugg Jeeyo, $409,000.

Internationally, the minions – some one-eyed, some two-eyed – notched the biggest debut of an animated movie in the pandemic period in more than 50 markets. And in four countries, Venezuela, Israel, Argentina, and Saudi  Arabia, Minions: The Rise of Gru achieved the best all-time opening weekend of an animated film.

With those records, the latest franchise installment of Chris Meledandri’s Illumination scooped up $87.2 million for an offshore cumulative of $93.7 million so far.

Maverick, which grossed $37 million offshore, remains especially big in Korea, where Cruise has a huge fan base, Brazil, Mexico, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia, and Germany.

Jurassic World Dominion’s $26.8 million earnings abroad increased its overseas revenues to $492.7 million. Chris Pratt’s sequel marked its $800 million global milestone – $824.5 million, to be exact.

In Japan, where Elvis Presley still has droves of rabid fans to this day, Elvis had the best bow figures internationally in this recent frame. With equally strong play in such countries as France, Italy, and Australia, the biographical musical film has picked up $46.2 million offshore and grossed $113.5 million globally.

Next weekend, box office pundits are hoping for back-to-back $100 million debuts. In the wake of Minions: The Rise of Gru’s $129.2 million opening, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor: Love and Thunder is predicted to launch with over $175 million.