A feeding frenzy broke out
Coming into the weekend the waters were looking calm. A new arrival might make a ripple, but it would be a challenge to sink last week’s champ who was expected to stay afloat and remain on the surface of the box office. But then from the depths came a surprise.
In sharp contrast to last summer when the overall field lagged, and the August frame was a tepid affair entirely, this year has been robust — and this month has shown some real strength. This weekend is showing a +20% increase over the same weekend last year. A person can go broke trying to predict movie audiences.
1. THE MEG – $44.5 Million
Jason Statham stars in a pure action sci-fi lark about a monolithic shark released from the ocean’s depths. It was science-be-damned in the romp with high production value and a fair dose of self-deprecation. (It has been described as a “thinking person’s Sharknado”). Initially projected to land below $25 million it has over-performed all weekend, and it stands as the biggest opening for director Jon Turteltaub, and for a Statham-starring movie. The previews were strong, and Friday was impressive, but what was most telling was the Saturday number was even better, as the larger films usually see a slight drop off. This means the title nearly doubled most predictions. It stands as the biggest opening for any shark movie.
2. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT – $20m
The critically-raved action piece from Tom Cruise is still performing strong. Coming slightly lower than expected, due to the shark gobbling up far more interest, it is still a solid third week as the title is about at the $180 million level. Overseas has been a boon as well, with an additional $275 million collected
3. DISNEY’S CHRISTOPHER ROBIN – $12.43m
Following a mild opening last week it is holding respectively, if not impressively. It fell less than -50%, and has made it to $50 million. Not a smash, by the studios’ own live-action “vault classics” standards, but there is respectability in the figures.
4. SLENDER MAN – $11.32m
Delivering slightly better than the sub-10mil projection it will not fare too well going forward. Based off of an internet video sensation from years ago this became a by-the-numbers horror release that impressed no one. Critics beat up on this with a meager 15% Favorable on Rotten Tomatoes, but worse than that the audiences HATED this. CinemaScaore exit polling gave this a dismal “D-minus” grade.
5. BLACKkKLANSMAN – $10.8m
Spike Lee’s version of a true-life story set in the 1970s of a black detective who infiltrated the Klan. It was favored by older audiences and showed strong interest. It placed this low due to a limited rollout in barely 1,500 theaters, but the very strong $7,000 screen average was beaten only by the massive shark this weekend.
6. THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME – $6.6m
Dumped onto the summer marketplace by Lionsgate this unfunny spy spoof is not finding any traction with ticket buyers. While it sports a respectable second-week drop (-45%) that is following a rather dismal opening last week.
7. MAMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN – $5.82m
Crossing the $100 million line it is still pacing slightly ahead of the original, which went on to finish with $144 million. The sequel is doing better overseas, but it remains to prove as strong globally — the original finished with a total of $600 million.
8. EQUALIZER 2 – $5.5m
Continuing its steady pace this is surprisingly approaching the $100 million mark as well.
9. HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 4: SUMMER VACATION – $5.11m
Gradually approaching the $150 million plateau, which will exceed the original.
10. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP – $4.04m
They have passed by the first film’s total and crossed the $200 million landmark.
For more political, entertainment, and bad movie coverage find me at @MartiniShark