Los Angeles — Wonder Woman fell to second place in its third weekend in theatres, but it's still doing the heavy lifting for the otherwise lacklustre summer box office.
While many worn-out franchises and franchise hopefuls continue to struggle to find a significant North American audience, smaller films such as the Tupac biopic All Eyez on Me and the shark thriller 47 Meters Down were able to break through the clutter and make a splash this weekend.
As expected, the third instalment in Disney and Pixar's $1bn Cars franchise easily took the top spot, but its estimated $53.5m in earnings told a more complicated tale.
Cars 3 had the worst opening in the series' history — Cars opened to $60.1m and Cars 2 to $66.1m — and it was one of the lowest debut totals for the Pixar brand.
Wonder Woman was knocked down to second place with $40.8m, bringing its domestic total to $274.6m, while holdover The Mummy slid to fourth place in weekend two with $13.9m.
Amid the doldrums, lower-profile films were able to make a mark. The longtime-coming Tupac biopic All Eyez on Me earned $27.1m to take third place on the charts.
Despite largely negative reviews, audiences gave the film an "A-" CinemaScore. Lionsgate's Codeblack division marketed the pic, which cost Morgan Creek Productions around $40m to produce. It opened to coincide with what would have been the late rapper's 46th birthday on 16 June.
The Mandy Moore shark thriller 47 Meters Down also exceeded low expectations, earning $11.5m for a fifth place start.
The raunchy R-rated comedy Rough Night is also facing some rough waters ahead with its ghastly "C+" CinemaScore. The film, about a bachelorette party weekend gone wrong, starring Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon and Jillian Bell, took in a paltry $8.1m against a $20m production budget.
Rough Night opened in seventh place, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which brought in $8.5m. The fifth Pirates film has earned $150.1m domestically and $500m internationally.
Next week, another fifth instalment — Transformers: The Last Knight — opens.
See the trailer here: