Box office earnings for July 4th weekend came in surprisingly strong, with the top twelve movies grossing $214.7 million from the Friday to Monday period. Leading the pack again was Disney/Pixar's "Finding Dory," which has been an unstoppable box office force thus far. The weekend newcomers took spots 2 through 4, while the Top 5 was rounded out by a weak sophomore performance from "Independence Day: Resurgence." Overall, revenue was up 41% from the same weekend last year, although this summer is still lagging considerably behind the summer of 2015.
"Finding Dory" has arguably been the most impressive box office performer of the summer thus far, and it continued to show great holding power with a holiday weekend that was down 31% from last weekend's three-day frame. The animated sequel grossed $50.2 million from Friday to Monday, more than doubling the take of Disney's new film "The BFG" (more on that later). "Dory" has grossed $380.5 million through its first 18 days, as it sets the all-time box office record for an animated movie (the $441.2 total of "Shrek 2") in its sights. "Finding Dory" will have tough competition with 'The Secret Life of Pets" making its debut on Friday, but it should still glide to the all-time animated record within the next couple of weeks.
Taking second place in a bit of a surprise "The Legend of Tarzan" from Warner Bros. The $180 million jungle adventure swung to a $45.6 million total over its first four days, as it played pretty evenly across gender demographics and brought out an older audience (55% were over the age of 35). The film beat the projections of most box office analysts--including this one--and, with an A- CinemaScore, it may hold well in the weeks to come.
However, in the bigger picture, the financial prospects for "Tarzan" are still murky. It's worth noting that the four-day performance of "Tarzan" was pretty much in line with that of "Independence Day: Resurgence," and the latter film, ironically, didn't have the advantage of the Independence Day holiday. "Resurgence" cost $15 million less than "Tarzan" to make, it and was still generally considered a flop in the wake of its opening. Therefore, it's certainly too early to call "Tarzan" a win for Warner Bros. just because it made more money than it was predicted to. The movie likely still needs to cross $500 million worldwide to be considered a true winner and will likely top out around $130 million in America. The people at Warner Bros. are sure to be looking closely at the international results of "Tarzan."
So far, the action-adventure film has performed decently overseas, opening in 19 territories since Thursday. "Tarzan" pulled in $19.3 million from foreign markets this weekend, opening well (but not spectacularly) in Russia and Korea. The film is having a slow overseas rollout, opening throughout Europe over the course of the month and debuting in China on July 19. "Tarzan" will hope to match the $350 million foreign performance of last Independence Day's "Terminator: Genisys," but that seems like a best-case scenario given that "Genisys" was part of an established brand.