The trouble-making Minions and Gru returned to theaters Thursday night, with Despicable Me 3 taking in in $4.1 million in previews.
In 2013, Despicable Me 2 also opened over the Fourth of July holiday frame, opening on a Tuesday to $4.7 million in previews. For the three-day period, Despicable Me 2 earned $83.5 million, and it earned $143.1 million in its first five days over the holiday.
Universal and Illumination Entertainment's animated threequel Despicable Me 3 should have a strong debut of the long holiday weekend, tracking to earn $90 million or more for the three-day frame before racking up more big numbers on Monday and Tuesday, the official holiday.
The third installment follows Gru (Steve Carell) as he meets up with his long-lost brother, Dru (also voiced by Carell). Together, they take on a diamond thief (Trey Parker).
Edgar Wright's Baby Driver, which opened on Wednesday, is tracking to earn $20 million or more over the five days. It was off to a strong start Wednesday when it earned $5.7 million, including $2.1 million in Tuesday night previews. The film, from Sony/TriStar and MRC, stars Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx as a group of bank robbers.
New Line and Village Roadshow's comedy The Housestars Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler as a couple that try to earn money to pay for their daughter's college by opening an underground gambling establishment. The R-rated comedy is tracking to debut in the $10 million-$12 million range.