7:51am PT by Pamela McClintock
Weekend Box Office: 'Incredibles 2' Flying to Record $175M-Plus Launch
Talk about incredible.
Disney and Pixar's Incredibles 2 is flying to a record-shattering $175 million-plus domestic launch, by far the biggest box-office debut of all time for an animated film and one of the 10 biggest openings among any movie, not adjusted for inflation. The current animated champ is fellow Pixar sequel Finding Dory ($135 million).
Disney is giving a more conservative estimate of $160 million-$170 million, considering it's so early in the weekend.
Nabbing an A+ CinemaScore, Incredibles 2 earned $71.5 million from 4,410 theaters on Friday alone, including a record $18.5 million in Thursday previews. That's the 14th biggest opening day of all time.
The sequel is the first studio animated film of the 2018 summer season. It will easily score the third best launch of the year to date behind Avengers: Infinity War, which opened to a record $257.7 million, and Black Panther, which debuted to $202 million, both of which are from Disney/Marvel.
Brad Bird returned to direct the animated sequel, while Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Samuel L. Jackson and John Ratzenberger reprise their voice roles. New additions to the voice cast include Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Sophia Bush and Isabella Rossellini.
It has been nearly 14 years since The Incredibles played on the big screen, opening to $70.5 million in November 2004 on its way to earning $633 million globally, not adjusted for inflation.
The sequel follows a family of superheroes as they try to balance having a normal life with their powers. Bob Parr (also known as Mr. Incredible and voiced by Nelson) is a househusband who must deal with son Dash's (Huck Milner) sarcastic remarks, daughter Violet's (Vowell) teenage rebellion and baby Jack-Jack's burgeoning superpowers, while his wife, Helen/Elastigirl (Hunter), heads off to save the world. Soon, the whole family must suit up to battle a new villain, Screenslaver.
Incredibles 2 is the first Pixar release to hit theaters after Disney announced last week that animation chief and Pixar co-founder John Lasseter will exit the studio at the end of the year.
Two other films are new to the marquee this weekend, including New Line's R-rated ensemble comedy, Tag. The R-rated pic earned $5.4 million on Friday from 3,383 theaters, including $1.3 million in Thursday previews, for a projected $14 million debut.
That won't be enough to beat fellow Warner Bros. offering Ocean's 8. The female-led spinoff is projected to earn $19 million-$20 million in its sophomore weekend for a second-place finish.
Hoping to rally male moviegoers in particular, Tag stars Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm and Hannibal Buress as childhood friends who, as grown men, continue to play an annual game of tag.
Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, Annabelle Wallis and Leslie Bibb also star, with Jeff Tomsic helming in his feature directorial debut. The story is based on a real-life group of friends, whose exploits were written about by The Wall Street Journal.
The weekend's third new offering is Sony's Superfly, from music video helmer Director X. The movie opened Wednesday, and has earned $5.9 million in its first three days for a projected five-day debut of $8 million from 2,220 cinemas.
It is an understatement to say that Superfly, a remake of the 1972 blaxploitation film Super Fly, was made on an accelerated schedule. The $16 million film began production in mid-January in time for its mid-June release. The music-centric movie includes original songs from Future, who is also a producer alongside Joel Silver.
Superfly stars Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Michael Kenneth Williams, Lex Scott Davis and Jennifer Morrison, and centers on a career criminal that desperately tries to escape the Atlanta drug scene.
New offerings at the specialty box office include the indie mob biopic Gotti, starring John Travolta. The movie opens in roughly 500 theaters, and won't earn much more than $1.7 million-$1.8 million in its opening after grossing $614,000 on Friday. Kevin Connolly (Entourage) directed the film, which co-stars Kelly Preston, Travolta's real-life wife, and Stacy Keach.
Gotti — which currently sports a 0 rating on Rotten Tomatoes — endured its own drama in getting to the big screen. Lionsgate was originally set to release the film, but the producers wanted a full-fledged theatrical release, so they took back the rights. Sunrider and Vertical Entertainment, along with the controversial subscription service MoviePass, are partners on the film.
June 15, 11:30 a.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.
June 16, 8:35 a.m. Updated with Friday grosses and revised weekend estimates.