Just when it seemed like summer was over, we get a good old fashioned surprise breakout.
by Tim Briody
August 12, 2018
In a big way, the #1 film of the weekend is The Meg, reeling in a solid $44.5 million, waking up a sleepy mid-August box office weekend.
An old running gag among the BOP staff (and we've all been doing this for a long time) is that Animals Eating People = $$$$$$. While there haven't been many entries in the Animals Eating People genre in the last few years (unless you count the Jurassic World movies), it's mostly been reduced to a B-movie genre, with lots of schlocky direct to DVD/Netflix entries, and of course the ridiculous SyFy classic Sharknado.
The Meg, unsurprisingly, got pretty mediocre reviews, rating only 49% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. It did, however, arrive at a good time as most of the bigger summer movies have run their course, and audiences were clearly in the mood for some turn-your-brain-off entertainment. And thus, we have the first non-sequel/spinoff to win the box office weekend since the third weekend of A Quiet Place in April.
Somehow based on a novel, The Meg also somehow cost upwards of $170 million to make, but the strong weekend domestically was also paired with a great overseas weekend, where it took in nearly $100 million. Should it have any sort of okay hold, this is probably the start of a franchise for Warner Bros.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout gets bumped down to second place, still holding as it's down 43% to $20 million and $161.9 million after three weekends. It's still well ahead of Rogue Nation (which had $138.3 million at the same point) and is now looking pretty likely to pass not only the $195 million total of that one, but the $209 million of Ghost Protocol and the $215.4 million of Mission: Impossible 2 from way back in 2000. It's always refreshing to see quality rewarded.
Christopher Robin lands in third, taking an un-family friendly drop of 49% in its second weekend to $12.4 million. The Winnie the Pooh tale has $50 million in two weekends. Disney was hoping for a better hold, so if this was an attempt to reboot the franchise, it's looking like a non-starter.
Fourth place belongs to Slender Man, with $11.3 million. The horror entry based on an internet meme arrived a couple years too late to really break out here, but this weekend total is a bit above expectations. Some reporting indicates that Slender Man cost close to $30 million to make, an amount that Jason Blum can make, like, eight movies with. So that's a bit of a damper on the opening; had it been made cheaper, we'd have more to talk about here. Otherwise, despite the better than expected weekend, it's going to trail off rather quickly from here (especially with a D- CinemaScore).
BlacKkKlansman is your third opener of the weekend, landing in fifth place with $10.8 million Directed by Spike Lee, it's his first wide release since 2006's Inside Man and also by far his biggest hit since then. Strongly well reviewed (97% Fresh) and extremely timely and topical (despite taking place in the 70s), this one opened on the one year anniversary of the Charlottesville white supremacist rally. BlacKkKlansman also makes a statement as an early Oscar contender, depending on the depth of the year. Also made for an economical $15 million and in just 1,512 theaters this weekend, I'd look for a very strong hold next weekend for the Spike Lee joint.
The Spy Who Dumped Me drops 45% from opening weekend to $6.6 million and $24.5 million in two weekends. That's better than expected, but it's still another disappointing comedy in 2018.
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! crosses a milestone with $5.8 million this weekend and $103.8 million, becoming the 16th $100 million film of 2018. It's headed to $120 million, a decline from Mamma Mia's $144.1 million in 2008. It's also significantly down worldwide; the first one somehow made over $600 million, while Here We Go Again is still under $250 million. Thankfully that means we won't have to worry if there are enough ABBA songs for a third one in 2028.
The Equalizer 2 adds $5.5 million in its fourth weekend, and looks to be next in line to cross the $100 million mark, with $89.6 million to date. From the opening weekend, the Denzel Washington sequel has been right in line with the box office trajectory of the first film, which had $89.1 million after four weekends and topped out at $101.5 million. The first one slowed down considerably from this point, needing six more weeks to get to the $100 million mark. The same is probably about to happen to the sequel, but late summer is a little better for it than mid-fall. It's still going to be a close one.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation earns $5.1 million in its fifth weekend, giving it $146.8 million to date. That puts it right under the $148.3 million of the first one and still leaving it around $20 million short of the $169.7 million total of the second, a figure it's not likely to reach anymore.
Ant-Man and the Wasp wraps up its top ten run by crossing $200 million, taking in $4 million in its sixth weekend and giving it $203.5 million in total. I will have no idea what to do next weekend when there's no MCU entry to talk about for the first time since February.
Buoyed by The Meg, your top 12 films this weekend tallied $132.2 million, well ahead of last year's $95.2 million when Annabelle: Creation topped the charts with $35 million.
Next weekend we have another film poised for a huge breakout, with Crazy Rich Asians arriving on Wednesday. The weekend also brings Mile 22 starring Mark Wahlberg and Ronda Rousey.