Weekend Report: Can ‘Independence Day’ Surge Into First?


It’s going to be a crowded weekend before 4th of July, with a bit of something for everyone going into wide release. For the teen horror audience, there’s The Shallows. For the blockbuster audience, there’s Independence Day: Resurgence. For the adult history audience, there’s Free State of Jones, and finally The Neon Demon for the art house crowd. However, it’s still likely that Finding Dory is going to win the weekend.

A few months ago, it seemed like all but a guarantee that Independence Day would follow suit of other reboot/sequels of incredibly popular licenses and open in the $65-$70M+ range. However, the hype has been way below average for a film of this caliber, and due to a numer of different circumstances, expectations have been lowered into a far more modest $45-$50M range. For a $200M film, that wouldn’t be a great result, but it’s looking more and more likely. For starters, the film is sitting at a very mediocre 55% on Rotten Tomatoes. That isn’t really going to help or hurt the films performance, as its only a bit lower than its predecessor. Considering how drab most of the summer releases have been, don’t be shocked if Independence Day opens under $40 million for the weekend.

The Shallows could very possibly hit a surprisingly strong third place debut ahead of Free State of Jones this weekend. Surprisingly, the film has gotten a very strong 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, far above average for any sort of shark themed horror film.

Free State of Jones seemed like it could work as solid counter programming for adult audiences, but now that’s seeming less and less likely. The film has received a terrible 32% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a lack of marketing is also going to hurt. Don’t be shocked if Jones opens with under $10 million.

Also opening is The Neon Demon in a very surprisingly high 783 theaters. Considering the directors last film, Only God Forgives was released in about 1/10th of that, this result is very surprising. The film has very limited appeal outside of the art house crowd, and has had almost zero marketing, making it questionable as to why the studio chose to gave it such a wide release. Ultimately, expect The Neon Demon to only gross between $1-$2 million.

In limited release, A24’s very hyped Swiss Army Man is getting released in just 3 theaters this weekend. Supposedly the film will get a nationwide release next weekend, but it would be surprising to see such a bizarre, niche film getting released in over 1,000 theaters. Still, A24 has had a surprisingly successful track record recently, so don’t be surprised if they can turn this one into a hit.

Bar for Success

For a massive budgeted reboot of a very well known 90s film, Independence Day Resurgence really should be getting to at least $55 million this weekend. Free State of Jones is good with $15 million, while The Shallows is fine at $10 million. For a film that has very little appeal and zero marketing, The Neon Demon is okay if it can get past $2 million for the weekend.


  1. Finding Dory – $76M
  2. Independence Day Resurgence – $42M
  3. Central Intelligence – $18M
  4. The Shallows – $17M
  5. Free State of Jones – $11M

– The Neon Demon – $1.2M


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