“Cars 3” unseats “Wonder Woman” at top of box office

Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer) and Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) duke it out in Pixar's "Cars 3."

Pixar

LOS ANGELES -- "Wonder Woman" fell to second place in its third weekend in theaters, but it's still doing the heavy lifting for the otherwise lackluster summer box office.

As expected, the third installment in Disney and Pixar's $1 billion "Cars" franchise easily took the top spot, but its estimated $53.5 million in earnings told a more complicated tale.

"Cars 3" had the worst opening in the series' history and one of the lowest debut totals for the Pixar brand. "Cars" opened to $60.1 million in 2006 and "Cars 2" started with $66.1 million in 2011. 

"Wonder Woman" was knocked down to second place with $40.8 million, bringing its domestic total to $274.6 million, while holdover "The Mummy" slid to fourth place in weekend two with $13.9 million.

"It's been a challenging summer. I always say it comes down to product. Are the movies grabbing people?" comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said. "Before 'Wonder Woman,' we were about 9 percent behind last summer. We're now about even, but the industry would like to see better than even."

Amid the doldrums, lower-profile films were able to make a mark. The longtime-coming Tupac biopic "All Eyez on Me" earned $27.1 million to take third place on the charts. "It's always nice to exceed expectations," said David Spitz, the president of theatrical distribution for Lionsgate.

The Mandy Moore shark thriller "47 Meters Down" also exceeded low expectations, earning $11.5 million for a fifth place start. Raunchy comedy "Rough Night" opened in seventh place at $8.1 million, behind sixth place "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," which brought in $8.5 million. The fifth "Pirates" film has earned $150.1 million domestically and $500 million internationally.

Next week, another fifth installment -- "Transformers: The Last Knight" -- opens. Dergarabedian expects it follow suit with most of the summer's franchises and earn the bulk of its money abroad.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore:

1. "Cars 3," $53.5 million
2. "Wonder Woman," $40.8 million ($274.6 million total)
3. "All Eyez on Me," $27.1 million
4. "The Mummy," $13.9 million ($56.5 million total)
5. "47 Meters Down," $11.5 million
6. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," $8.5 million ($150.1 million total)
7. "Rough Night," $8.1 million 
8. "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie," $7.4 million ($57.96 million total)
9. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," $5 million ($374.9 million total)
10."It Comes At Night," $2.6 million ($11.1 million total)