Toy Story 4 hung onto the top spot in its second week in theaters and the horror sequel Annabelle Comes Home opened in line with expectations, but the Cinderella story of the weekend was actually the third place movie: Yesterday. The Danny Boyle-directed musical romantic comedy featuring the music of the Beatles debuted well over industry expectations, earning an estimated $17 million from North American theaters. In a summer where most films have debuted either under or at industry tracking, which are often lowball projections, and original comedies have struggled to find audiences, Yesterday proved to be the exception. Starring relative newcomer Himesh Patel, Yesterday imagines a world where only one man remembers the music of the Beatles and decides to present their catalog of hits as his own.
Although critics were mixed, audiences, who were mostly female (56%) and over the age of 25 (75%), have embraced the film with an A- CinemaScore and a 90% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Universal's President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution Jim Orr says he tries to use the word "thrilled" judiciously, but that it applies here. "Among all of the sequels and all of the explosions of the summer, this is a very charming, original, whimsical musical romance with iconic music and amazing performances... (and direction)," Orr said. "All of that adds up to a great, great run at the domestic box office." As Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian put it: "It's not always the No. 1 film that's the big story." The No. 1 film was once again Toy Story 4, which added $57.9 million from domestic theaters, down 52% from its debut last weekend. Globally the film has already netted $496.5 million. (Click to read less-than-impressed critics' takes on Yesterday.)