Source: Walt Disney Co.

‘Cars 3’ Zooms Past ‘Wonder Woman’ With $53.5 Million Haul

  • Animated Disney series extends role as a reliable hitmaker
  • Tupac Shakur biopic ‘All Eyez on Me’ debuts in third place

The third “Cars” movie from Walt Disney Co.’s Pixar topped the box office in theaters, beating a slew of middling new releases and dethroning two-time champ “Wonder Woman.”

The animated sequel made its debut with sales of $53.5 million in the U.S. and Canada, researcher ComScore Inc. estimated Sunday in an email. “All Eyez on Me,” the Tupac Shakur biopic from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., opened to $27 million to place third. Two other new movies, “47 Meters Down” and “Rough Night,” placed fifth and seventh, respectively.

The first two films in the “Cars” franchise have reflected the growing clout of markets abroad. “Cars 2” collected 34.1 percent of its overall box office domestically, down from 52.8 percent for the 2006 original. The series pales in comparison to some of Pixar’s biggest smashes, including last year’s “Finding Dory” which grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.

In “Cars 3,” Owen Wilson returns as the voice of Lightning McQueen. Blindsided by a new generation of racing cars and facing relegation from the sport he loves, McQueen enlists the help of a young technician, voiced by Cristela Alonzo. The new movie scored better with critics than the second installment, receiving 64 percent positive reviews, according to aggregator Rottentomatoes.com.

A budget for “Cars 3” wasn’t disclosed. Pixar spent around $200 million on “Cars 2,” not including marketing, according to Box Office Mojo. The newest installment had been forecast to earn $56 million in its opening weekend, according to BoxOfficePro.com.

The haul by “Cars 3” beat “Wonder Woman,” which had box-office sales of $40.8 million in its third weekend.

The weekend’s No. 3 film, Lions Gate’s “All Eyez on Me,” exceeded expectations. The film had been expected to generate $21.8 million, according to Hollywood Stock Exchange. Only one in four critics had praise for the movie, in which Demetrius Shipp Jr. plays rapper Shakur.

Sony Pictures’ R-rated comedy “Rough Night,” featuring Scarlett Johansson and Kate McKinnon, was a miss with a take of $8.1 million, or only about half of the $16 million projection of BoxOfficePro.com. Just over half of critics positively reviewed the movie, about a bachelorette party gone awry.

With 55 percent positive reviews, the other new wide release was the shark-diving horror thriller “47 Meters Down.” It’s the first feature released by Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, which acquired movie-distribution company Freestyle Releasing in 2015. The film generated an estimated $11.5 million, well above the predicted $6 million to $9 million, according to Box Office Analyst.

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