After this weekend, we’ll most likely be able to add Minions to Universal Pictures’ long, long list of box office accomplishments this year. The tiny yellow sidekicks are on track to make about $100 million (or more) in their debut, adding to the more than $141 million Minions has made internationally so far. Only three other films have opened domestically in the nine-digit range this year, and two of them (Jurassic World and Furious 7) have been from Universal. Add that to the fact that the studio just reached $3 billion at the international box office for the year, setting an industry speed record, and yeah, it’s clear that Universal is having a pretty great year.
Minions is pretty much guaranteed to take the top spot, as this weekend’s only other wide releases are the sci-fi thriller Self/Less (which isn’t expected to crack the top five) and the horror flick The Gallows. Here’s how this weekend’s box office race might play out:
1. Minions — $100 million
While the studio is aiming for a debut somewhere around Despicable Me 2’s $83.5 million, early tracking predicts that Minions will become the fourth animated film ever to crack $100 million. It’s not expected to shatter Shrek the Third’s record of $121.6 million, but it could challenge Toy Story 3’s $110.3 million and Shrek 2’s $108 million. Wherever it lands on the list of top animated openers, it’s clear that the little yellow guys are going to do big things.
2. Jurassic World — $17.5 million
Inside Out managed to finally slip past Jurassic World to win the Fourth of July weekend, but the family-friendly Minions should hit Inside Out a little harder, allowing Jurassic World to pull ahead once again. A slightly smaller drop of about 40 percent would put Jurassic World in second place with $17.5 million.
3. Inside Out — $16.4 million
Inside Out finally scored the No. 1 spot in its third weekend, beating Jurassic World by only about $800,000, but it hasn’t faced much in the way of animated competition yet. (Max was really the only other family-friendly wide release, and that only opened to $12.2 million.) Minions should deliver a bigger blow, causing Inside Out to drop about 45 percent.
4. Terminator Genisys — $13.5 million
Genisys debuted to a lackluster $27 million, making it the weakest opening of any of the Terminator sequels. (To be fair, it opened on a Wednesday instead of a Friday, and its five-day total was $42.5 million. But still, it came in under expectations, and it’s not clear what that means for the next two planned Terminator sequels.) If Genisys sees a standard 50 percent drop in its second weekend, it’ll make about $13.5 million.
5. The Gallows — $11 million
The latest super low-budget Blumhouse horror film should perform somewhere close to other Jason Blum productions like The Lazarus Effect ($10.2 million) and Unfriended ($15.8 million). It’s expected to make somewhere between $10 and $12 million for the weekend, which should be enough to round out the top five.