In a busy rollout schedule it was a weekend with a mixture of multiple surprising performances and some disappointments. There was a wide selection of new models from numerous genre nameplates trying to lure new drivers onto the test track.

 

Let’s take a look at which titles were in the driver’s seat, which caused sticker-shock, and the lemons that were abandoned on the lot — while trying to stop with the automotive puns (Your mileage may vary.)

 

boxoffice

 

1.  CARS 3 — $53.5 million

Pixar’s third trip to the garage was expected to win the week, but just how well was in question. The mainline thought was it would land somewhere close to the previous installments in the $60million range, so this has to be looked at as a very soft open, made softer that nearly 3/4 of the screens were premium 3D priced. The audiences are scoring it in the “A” range, so a decent run could still be ahead. However as this franchise goes it is certainly not about the box office alone. The merchandising for this series has been a goldmine. The toys have never left stores since the first film; “Cars 2” actually had TWO branded potty-training toilet seats.

 

2.  WONDER WOMAN — $40.7m

Continuing to impress this is a very strong hold (-32%) for a tertiary weekend. The total means it has performed better in the third week than “Suicide Squad”, which was given far more importance. Only “The Dark Knight” has done better by this stage in the DC library.

 

3.  ALL EYEZ ON ME — $27.05m

It has been years of development to bring this title to theaters, while numerous directors have dropped out for various reasons. A huge groundswell has been building for this biopic about Tupac Shakur and it has proven to be a surprising performer, on par with “Straight Outta Compton”. There was speculation this could have a chance to land in the #2 slot, and the screen average is right there. This result is all the more impressive since it was on far fewer screens — less than 2,500 while the top films are showing on over 4,000.

 

4.  THE MUMMMY — $13.9m

While not a shocking drop in the sophomore session (-57%) that comes off a very weak opening, so the launch of the Universal Dark Universe has barely left the launch pad, with barely $50 million made thus far.

 

5.  47 METERS DOWN — $11.5m

A bit of a surprise as projections had this debut being all but forgotten this weekend. Yet the Mandy Moore shark thriller found an audience and topped the other premier of the weekend. Maybe the magic of a Matthew Modine comeback – springing off his “Stranger Things” resurgence — had something to do with the good fortunes?

 

6.  PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN:DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES — $8.5m

Already shedding screens it may just manage to float across the $150 million mark in a bad performance stateside. However it has hauled in $600 million globally, which should keep this one from capsizing.

 

7.  ROUGH NIGHT OUT — $8.04m

The bawdy female comedy from Sony was going to have a tough time finding an audience on this crowded weekend, but it managed to even under-deliver from dismal projections. Scarlett Johansson, and Kate McKinnon’s bad accent, did not draw enough female attention in a time where “Wonder Woman” is garnering all the focus. Falling a few fathoms below the disregarded “47 Meters” is even more painful considering it is showing on 900 more screens.

 

8.   CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS — $7.35m

The tighty-whities warrior has performed admirably, all things considered. This easily could have left a skid mark.

 

9.  GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.2 — $4.98m

Finally relinquishing the Box Office as Disney shifted screens over to “Cars”.  $375m domestic, and should hit the $850m global, means this was much stronger than the original.

 

10.  IT COMES AT NIGHT — $2.61m

Fully disposable horror entry was intended to only draw some quick opening cash. It already shed over 80 screens in just its second weekend.