Even with the flashy competition of Terminators and male strippers, the little feelings inside a young girl's head proved to be more of a draw for moviegoers going into the holiday weekend.
Disney and Pixar's "Inside Out" earned a chart-topping US$7.7 million on Thursday, according to Rentrak estimates. The animated family film has grossed $216.1 million to date and could become the first film since "Argo" to climb to No. 1 during its third weekend in release.
"Inside Out" had been trailing the gargantuan grosses of "Jurassic World" for two weeks, but might have the edge finally. Universal's record-busting dino film brought in $6.9 million Thursday, bringing its domestic total to $527.2 million.
New openers "Terminator Genisys" and "Magic Mike XXL" held the third and fourth spots, respectively with $6.5 million and $5.7 million.
But, this narrow advantage doesn't mean much for "Terminator's" bottom line, which looks destined for disappointment. The Skydance-Paramount movie was produced for an estimated $155 million. The "Magic Mike" sequel, meanwhile, only cost around $15 million.
With daily grosses this close, the long holiday weekend is still anyone's game.
While no film will be reaching the $80 million-plus heights of 2013's "Despicable Me 2," 2004's "Spider-Man 2" or 2011's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," this weekend is solid improvement over last year's disastrous Fourth of July weekend.
The 2014 Independence Day box office was the weakest in decades thanks in part to lackluster options, like "Tammy," and "Earth to Echo," bad weather and the competition of the World Cup.