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Published: Thu, July 14, 2016
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Spielberg's The BFG Struggles at Box Office


"Tarzan", the latest adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' 1912 creation, landed in the No. 2 spot, bringing in an estimated $45.6 million. While that's better than expected, it's still a problematic number considering the movie's $180 million production budget.

While Tarzan's opening is stronger than expected, Warner Bros. isn't breaking out the champagne over it. "We have some really large markets yet to open up internationally, including China". That's not only a great opening for an R-rated horror film but also amounts to more than three times the films budget.

The BFG flailed in its North American debut despite solid reviews and an A- CinemaScore, not to mention a high-profile world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May. "The Purge: Election Year" made up for its low $10 million budget by grabbing nearly $31 million at the box office.

This puts the film on course to eventually become the all-time biggest animated hit if it surpasses the $441,226,247 earned by Shrek 2 in 2004. "It's a success story all the way around, even here as we are in the middle of it".

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). According to The New York Times, the two of the new movies that opened this weekend, arrived with a budget of almost $500 million and yet combined they were only able to bring in total ticket sales of approximately $57.7 million.

The BFG is, intriguingly, Steven Spielberg's first film for Disney - and it's another Disney film, Finding Dory, that is cutting massively into The BFG's box office sales, at least domestically.

"There has been less dependence on some of the historical launching pads, " said Dave Hollis, Disney's executive vice president of distribution. The Walt Disney Company acquired Pixar Animation Studios for $7.4 billion in 2006, notably in between the release of these two films.

Despite not topping the US and Canada box office on Friday, Disney and Pixar's "Finding Dory" is still predicted to outdo its big screen competitors once the Independence Day weekend wraps up. "The BFG" earned $3.4 million in Australia and Russian Federation.

The "Finding Nemo" sequel narrowly beats "The Legend of Tarzan" which debuts in the second place.

Rounding out the holiday top 5 is Roland Emmerich's Independence Day: Resurgence, which crosses the Fourth of July finish line with approximately $20.2 million from 4,091 screens after losing 39 locations in its second week of release. The sequel hovers just above the 2013 original's $34.1 million opening, though that film made its money over three days during a non-holiday weekend.

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