'Finding Dory' Battles 'The BFG' Over Independence Day Weekend, But Disney Ultimately Wins
"Finding Dory" dominated the Independence Day box office, overcoming a trio of new releases to provide the weekend's biggest fireworks.
The Pixar release swam to the top of the charts for the third consecutive weekend, picking up $41.9 million to bring its domestic total to $372.2 million. The follow-up to "Finding Nemo" should end the four-day holiday with another $50.5 million in receipts. It is on pace to surpass "Toy Story 3" and its $415 million haul as the highest-grossing Pixar film in history on a domestic basis.
"It's showing no signs of slowing down," said Dave Hollis, distribution chief at Disney, Pixar's parent company. "As people are weighing what to see, it stands out as the only option that's going to entertain everyone."
Disney's "The BFG," Steven Spielberg's $140 million adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's book. The story of a friendly giant (Mark Rylance) who befriends an orphan (Ruby Barnhill), got solid reviews, but was overshadowed by "Finding Dory." It collapsed at the box office, eking out $19.6 million over the weekend and should earn a paltry $23.6 million over the four-day holiday for a fourth place finish. It will rank as one of the biggest flops of the summer and of Spielberg's career, raising questions about his drawing power after a decade spent making historical dramas such as "Lincoln" that are geared at older crowds.
Disney's Hollis acknowledged the studio was disappointed with the results, but hopes that the film would get a lift in the coming weeks as families seek out entertainment options to keep children occupied during their summer vacations.
"We've seen the way people are speaking of and rating the film," he said. "We're hoping to be the beneficiary of some good word-of-mouth."
Banner Photo Credit: Disney