It won’t be a record book weekend, but this year’s July 4 box office is a big improvement over the 2020 edition.

The boost at the box office came from a trio of new films – the kid-friendly film “The Boss Baby: Family Business”, the gruesome thriller “The Forever Purge” and the satirical comedy “Zola” – each attracting very different cinema audiences. Several lingering titles, namely “F9: The Fast Saga” and “A Quiet Place Part II”, also support national revenue.

Since the box office still bounces after COVID-19, this year’s July 4 weekend bounty is significantly lighter than non-pandemic periods. Without the volume of blockbusters that traditionally populate movie theater marquees during the summer, combined with the fact that 20% of U.S. theaters are still closed, overall revenues only hit $ 71 million over the weekend. Historically, the party that celebrates everything America can fetch between $ 150 million and $ 200 million, according to Comscore. The exception was 2020, when the majority of sites were closed and revenue barely reached $ 1.5 million across the country.

Despite the three new domestic releases, “F9” again triumphed over the competition and clinched the top spot at the box office. The ninth entry in Universal’s “Fast and Furious” saga saw ticket sales drop 66% from its inaugural release, rising to $ 24 million over the weekend, which is the standard for the franchise. “F9” is expected to end Monday’s vacation with $ 32.7 million, which would bring its national total to $ 125.8 million.

At the international box office, “F9” has grossed $ 23 million this weekend and $ 374 million to date, supplanting the mast of Warner Bros. “Godzilla vs. Kong” as the highest grossing Hollywood film since the start of COVID-19. With worldwide revenues expected to exceed $ 500 million on Monday, “F9” is one of only three films (and the only one from a Hollywood studio) to exceed that benchmark since 2019.

In a rare feat, Universal Pictures took the top three spots on the North American charts. In second place, studio animated adventure “The Boss Baby 2” has raised $ 17.36 in its first three days in theaters and is set to end the four-day extended weekend with $ 23.07 million. of ticket sales. The follow-up film, featuring a voice cast of Alec Baldwin, James Marsden and Amy Sedaris, cost $ 82 million to produce.

While “The Boss Baby: Family Business” marks a solid start in a time of a pandemic, it is a drastic drop from the first film. The 2017 film “The Boss Baby” debuted at $ 50 million and ended its box office with $ 175 million in the United States and $ 527 million worldwide. Unlike the original, “The Boss Baby 2” isn’t just available in theaters. He also plays on Peacock, the recently launched NBCUniversal online platform, with the goal of increasing subscribers and competing with Disney Plus, HBO Max and Netflix in the streaming war.

In third place, “The Forever Purge,” the latest installment in Universal and Blumhouse’s dystopian horror franchise, grossed $ 12.75 million this weekend and is expected to post $ 15.86 million in revenue. Until monday. While in line with industry expectations, these numbers mark the lowest debut of the long-running and commercially successful R-rated series. “Purge” movies typically open between $ 20 million and $ 30 million. Abroad, “The Forever Purge” generated $ 3.6 million in 22 international markets, bringing its global total to $ 16.3 million. Still, with a price tag of $ 18 million, “The Forever Purge” shouldn’t have much trouble making a profit in theaters.

At the independent box office, A24’s acclaimed black comedy “Zola” debuted with a solid $ 2.4 million from 1,468 theaters. The film, directed by Janicza Bravo and inspired by an epic Twitter thread about a trip to Florida that takes a crazy turn, opened on Wednesday and was sold out at arthouse venues in New York. York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Austin. Taylour Paige and Riley Keough star in the film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020. Detecting “Zola” would be an enticing draw on the big screen, A24, the studio behind indie favorites such as “Lady Bird” “,” Uncut Gems “and” Minari, “have chosen to delay the theatrical release of the film rather than launch it on video-on-demand platforms. A24, in a note to the press on Sunday, reported that theaters Specialists saw some of their best recipes of the year.

Another specialty title, Searchlight’s musical documentary “Summer of Soul” racked up $ 650,000 in 752 theaters, for an average of $ 865 per location. According to the studio, this is the best first broadcast of a documentary this year. Directed by Questlove of the Roots, the film looks back on the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. In addition to its theatrical release, the much-loved “Summer of Soul” also premiered this weekend on Hulu.

Elsewhere at the box office, Paramount’s post-apocalyptic thriller “A Quiet Place Part II” grossed $ 4.2 million in its sixth weekend and is expected to gross $ 5.5 million through Monday. The film, starring Emily Blunt and directed by John Krasinski, was a hit in the era of the pandemic with ticket sales reaching $ 145 million.

Rounding out the top five is Lionsgate’s comedic action thriller “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” with $ 3 million between Friday and Sunday. As of Monday, the sequel is expected to hit $ 3.9 million for a nationwide total of $ 32.2 million.

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