Box Office: 'Finding Dory,' 'Tarzan' Leading July 4th; Steven Spielberg's 'The BFG' No Giant

Horror pic 'The Purge: Election Year' is the holiday's big financial winner.

Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow's The Legend of Tarzan is faring somewhat better than expected at the Fourth of July box office to pull well ahead of Steven Spielberg's fellow big-budget tenptole, The BFG.

However, Tarzan won't likely post the sort of domestic opening needed to make up for its $180 million production budget, putting pressure on its international overseas. And Finding Dory will stay No. 1 overall in its third weekend with a projected four-day take of $52 million-plus over the long holiday.

Tarzan came in No. 2 Friday with $14 million after earning an A- CinemaScore, putting it on course for a three-day gross of $35 million-plus and four-day opening of $40 million-plus.

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Winning Friday was The Purge: Election Year. The horror threequel, from Universal, grossed $14.5 million for a projected three-day haul of $33.4 million and four-day opening of $37.1 million. (Horror films tend to be front-loaded.)

The BFG, costing at least $140 million to make, is trailing at No. 4, earning $7 million Friday. It's looking at $21 million-plus for the three days and $25 million-$26 million for the four.

Tarzan is playing in 3,561 theaters domestically, including Imax and other premium large-format screens. David Yates directed the action-adventure film, which stars Alexander Skarsgard in the title role opposite Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, Djimon Hounsou, Jim Broadbent and Christoph Waltz.

Tarzan launches in 19 markets this weekend, including South Korea and Russia, and it will open in a number of other major markets next week before landing in China on July 19. It's earned $7.1 million in its first three days, earning $1.3 million in Russia and $1.5 million in South Korea.
 
Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment partnered with Disney and Walden Media on The BFG, based on Roald Dahl's beloved book of the same name about a man-eating giant (Mark Rylance) who softens upon meeting a young orphan girl (Ruby Barnhill).

The BFG, playing in 3,357 theaters and garnering mostly solid reviews, made its world premiere in May at the Cannes Film Festival. It marks the first time Spielberg has directed a movie for Disney, which currently has another family film in the marketplace, Pixar's hit sequel Finding Dory. BFG scored an A- from audiences.

The Purge: Election Year was directed by James DeMonaco and is playing in 2,787 theaters. It earned a B+, a good grade for a horror film.

Sequel The Purge: Anarchy debuted to $29.8 million in late July 2014, while The Purge opened to an impressive $35.1 million in June 2013.

July 1, 12:15 p.m. Updated with weekend estimates.

July 2, 7:30 a.m. Updated with Friday numbers and revised weekend estimates.

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