Despicable Me 3 took the crown at the box office on the weekend before the Fourth of July in a laugher, obliterating the competition with an opening at about $82 million, good for the sixth biggest opening weekend of the year. That figure is roughly on par with Despicable Me 2, although it lags well behind the Minions movie, which put up a $115 million opening weekend in July of 2015. It also continues the undefeated streak for Illumination Entertainment, which makes computer animated films for about half of what Pixar does and still earns roughly as much money (in addition to the Despicable Me universe, Illumination is also responsible for Sing and Secret Life of Pets). It’s a winning brand, and while their movies may not appeal to adults as much as the Pixar movies do, the kids love these films.
Kid-fare aside, this weekend was really all about Edgar Wright and his fantastic new movie Baby Driver, the coolest movie of the summer. Questionable title aside (anecdotally speaking, there was a weird amount of market confusion with the animated film Boss Baby), the film not only earned Edgar Wright the best opening weekend of his career (by a long shot), it’s $27 million is only $4 million short of the biggest cumulative gross for any film Wright has directed (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World earned $31 million in 2010.) It’s also a big statement film for Hollywood, after Baby Driver reiterated the point that Get Out made earlier this year: Audiences will still show up for original films as long as they’re good, and Baby Driver is one of the best movies of the year. It’s also a statement film for Wright himself, who was booted from Ant-Man a few years back, but Baby Driver proves he’s still got the goods. Edgar Wright won’t say it himself, but this movie represents something of a “f**k you” to Ant-Man. That 97 percent from Rotten Tomatoes has to be feeling pretty great to go along with the $27 million the film put in the bank this weekend.