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Box Office Report: ‘Cars 3’ Speeds Past ‘Wonder Woman’ With $53.5M Domestic Debut

Pixar Animation Studios threequel makes $53.5 million for its domestic debut to beat director Patty Jenkins’ super hero movie; ‘Wonder Woman’ on track to overtake ‘Mama Mia!’ as the top-grossing female-directed live-action film of all time.

Pixar Animation Studios and parent company Disney raced to the top of the box office chart this weekend with Cars 3, the third installment in the animated franchise launched by John Lasseter in 2006.

The threequel made $53.5 million from 4,256 theaters for its domestic debut, enough to beat Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman to the finish line for first place. Overseas, Cars 3 bowed to $21.3 million from its first handful of territories for an early global tally of $74.8 million.

The 16th Pixar feature to launch in first place, Cars 3 still came in behind the $66.1 million domestic debut of Cars 2 in 2011, which went on to earn $562.1 million worldwide. The original Cars opened to $60.1 million in its North American debut and went on to earn a total of $462.2 million worldwide.

Directed by Cars and Cars 2 storyboard artist Brian Fee, Cars 3 follows the legendary Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) as he’s pushed out of the sport he loves by a new generation of blazing-fast racers. He enlists the help of a young race technician (voiced by Cristela Alonzo) to help him get back in the game.

Among holdovers, Director Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman came in second place for its third outing, earning $40.8 million from 4,018 theaters for a new domestic total of $274.6 million. Internationally, Wonder Woman made an additional $39.5 million for a foreign total of $297.2 million and worldwide cume of $571.8 million. The super hero film is reportedly on track to eclipse 2008’s Mamma Mia! (which made $609.8 million at the global box office) to become the top-grossing female-directed live-action film of all time, not accounting for inflation.

Now finishing its sophomore weekend, Universal’s The Mummy landed in fourth place with $13.9 million from 4,034 theaters for a 10-day domestic total of $56.6 million. Starring Tom Cruise and directed by Alex Kurtzman, The Mummy continues to do solid business overseas, where it crowned the weekend with $53 million from 68 markets for a foreign total of $239.1 million and global tally of $295.6 million.

Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales came in sixth place for its fourth weekend out with $8.5 million for a new domestic total of $150.1 million. Overseas, fifth installment in the theme park attraction-themed film franchise has made an even $500 million to date for a total of $650.1 million globally.

DreamWorks Animation’s Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, came in eighth place for its third week in theaters, taking in $7.4 million from 2,968 locations for a new North American total of $58 million.

Directed by David Soren and produced for a very modest $38 million (by comparison, the budget for this year’s The Boss Baby was $125), Captain Underpants is the final DreamWorks Animation feature to be distributed by 290th Century Fox following DWA’s sale to Comcast-owned NBCUniversal. Overseas, the animated feature has made a total of $4.7 million from just a handful of markets for an early total of $62.7 million worldwide.

Now in its seventh week in theaters, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 landed in ninth place, earning $5 million domestically for a new North American total of $374.9 million. The James Gunn directed sequel has now made a total of $469.5 million internationally for a new global tally of $844.4 million.

Box office numbers were obtained at BoxOfficePro.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.