I've had Waterloo stuck in my head for the better part of three days and it's all Mamma Mia 2's fault.
Friday Box Office Analysis
By Kim Hollis
July 21, 2018
Yes, this weekend was a true oddity, with a 10-years-in-making sequel to the musical Mamma Mia! and a why-the-hell-did-Denzel Washington-choose-this-as-his-first-ever-sequel in Equalizer 2. Even though neither film is a follow up to a big-time blockbuster, both performed extremely well yesterday and should have fine debut weekends.
We'll start with Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again, which earned $14.3 million yesterday, including $3.4 million from Thursday night previews. It's very clear that this was a girls' night out kind of movie, so it's going to have a bit of a slump for the rest of the weekend, I'd guess. The first Mamma Mia! had a 2.8 multiplier, but that was a long time ago and before the real advent of the Thursday night preview. So, I'm going to forecast $35 million, which is actually a bit high but I just don't see Universal going lower than that after they initially forecasted more than $40 million for the weekend based on early tracking and returns.
Equalizer 2 is right on Mamma Mia 2's heels, with $13.6 million on Friday. The Thursday night showings brought in $3.1 million, so it's looking like this is going to be a pretty darned close race to #1. I do think Equalizer is going to just miss, though, as its weekend total should finish right in the $31 million range.
Way down in ninth place is Unfriended: Dark Web, which earned just $1.4 million yesterday. The original Unfriended opened to $15.8 million in 2015, and even though it did well enough overall, I don't believe anyone was really clamoring for a sequel. I guess that's the difference between having Universal as your distributor versus BH Tilt. The weekend should come in at $4 million, perhaps a little less.
By the way, here's an interesting little stat - eight out of the top ten films this weekend are going to be sequels. The only outliers will be Skyscraper (a movie that feels like a sequel) and Sorry to Bother You, which is one of the indie stories of the summer.