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Notable Openings This Weekend: Independence Day: Resurgence, Free State of Jones, The Shallows, Neon Demon

I wish I could spend this whole article complaining about Central Intelligence’s opening weekend.  $35+ Million. Seriously? That’s infuriating. You people make me sick. Anyway, moving on from that garbage, let’s talk about our “independence.” Independence Day that is. When the summer began I thought this would be the most difficult movie to predict. I have no clue where we all stand on Independence Day twenty years later. Judging from the box office so far this summer, I’m guessing it’s not going to be pretty. There’s also three other wide releases that very few people care about.  I literally discovered four days ago that the director of Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn) has a new movie coming out.  HUH?!?  We got a lot to cover, so in the words of the immortal Jeff Goldblum: “Must go faster.”

ID4 Resurgence Poster

First of all, why isn’t Independence Day opening on July 4th weekend?  Are they really that scared of TarzanThe Purge: Election Year and The BFG?  Maybe Fox is thinking they can get a sweet opening weekend and then good momentum on the actual fourth of July holiday.  Let’s get back to that opening weekend though.

I suppose this film could flop.  Independence Day had its time and place.  In 1996, it was a monster.  The prototypical summer blockbuster that many other movies strived for.  The scale of destruction and explosions were unlike anything we had ever seen.  Here’s the problem – we’ve seen it.  Aliens coming to blow up Earth seems pretty whatevs compared to the hyper active CG-fests we get in superhero movies today.  Ultron and General Zod would look at these attacks and laugh their asses off.  There’s enough nostalgia to get this to a respectable opening, but not much else.  The buzz is somewhat there, but unfortunately it has to deal with a strong carry over in Finding Dory.  It doesn’t look good for a #1 finish, which I’m sure snarky movie blogs can’t wait to write the headlines for.

We also have Free State of Jones, a lifeless Civil War drama released in the middle of the summer.  Yay.  Matthew McConaughey is a huge name, so if the movie was any good, they would have actually marketed the film.  There’s a reason why they’re burying it.  It blows bags.

We also got a pair of horror/thrillers, The Shallows and Neon Demon.  The Shallows is Blake Lively trying to swim past a shark.  The end.  It’s actually getting decent word of mouth and should do surprisingly okay.  With Neon Demon, I’m obviously intrigued by law as its Mr. Drive himself, Nicolas Winding Refn.  Oh my Moses, I love Drive.  As I write this, Neon Demon is about 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Sounds like a Refn special – divisive as hell.

HOW WILL IT ALL BREAK DOWN…

Here’s the reality – Independence Day: Resurgence will open with passable numbers, but supremely disappointing.  It won’t finish #1, therefore everyone will present the false narrative that it’s a giant steaming flop.

1. Finding Dory – $78 Million

2. Independence Day: Resurgence – $52 Million

3. Central Intelligence – $18 Million

4. The Shallows – $11 Million

5. Free State of Jones – $8 Million

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.