Weekend Wrap-Up

by Tim Briody

July 22, 2018

Denzel is supervising.

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The summer of the sequel continues as three new ones arrive in theaters, and eight out of your top ten films this weekend are sequels.

In a tight race, your number one film for the weekend is The Equalizer 2, earning an estimated $35.8 million. That's right there with the $34.1 million the original film had back in September 2014, where it was able to leg it out to $101.5 million. The Equalizer 2 is mostly notable in that it's the first time Denzel Washington has ever starred in a sequel. While it doesn't really expand much on the audience from the first one, The Sequelizer (eh? eh?) lands right in Washington's box office wheelhouse. One of the most consistent draws in history, Denzel rarely flops with his wide releases (his last wide release to not make $50 million? 2003's Out of Time) and has never truly experienced a blockbuster (he's only had five $100 million films, and his biggest film is 2007's American Gangster with $130.1 million).

The Equalizer 2 didn't win Friday, starting with $13.4 million, but frontloading by Mamma Mia (more on that in a moment) let The Equalizer slip ahead of it. I think it'll be interesting when the actuals come in. The Equalizer 2 is going to need a little bit of help to match the $101 million of the first one, but the summer release as opposed to September is in its favor.

Second place for the weekend is another sequel in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! This one was 10 years in the making, and there were seemingly plenty of people willing to wait for the same ABBA songs, as it earned an estimated $34.3 million on the weekend, ahead of the $27.7 million the first one opened to in July 2008. The musical comedy was excessively leggy, earning $143.7 million, so, uh, here we go again. Bringing back much of the original cast, save Meryl Streep (but adding Cher!), Mamma Mia started with $14.3 million on Friday, but faltered a bit over the rest of the weekend, letting The Equalizer 2 slip ahead of it.

Despite the bigger opening, I don't think Here We Go Again will duplicate the final total of Mamma Mia, but it's probably on pace for $100 million. The next weekend hold is key for both it and Equalizer 2, and the big new release (Mission: Impossibe - Fallout) is more likely to siphon off viewers from the Denzel film.

Hotel Transylvania 3 drops 49% from last weekend to $23.1 million and $91 million in two weekends. The summer release is paying off, as despite opening to a little bit less than Hotel Transylvania 2, it's actually now a little bit ahead of it thanks to the stronger weekdays, even with the big second weekend decline (the previous HT movies fell 36% and 32% in their second weekends, respectively). It's still headed to somewhere in between the $148.3 million of the first and the $169.7 million of the second, but it can't drop that much again next weekend.

Fourth goes to Ant-Man and the Wasp with $16.1 million (down 45%) and $164.6 million in three weekends. By next weekend it will have matched the $180.2 million of the first one, because Marvel movies can just do no wrong.


The Incredibles 2 matches on with $11.5 million in its sixth weekend and $557.3 million to date. $600 million is still theoretically in play, but it's starting to run out of time (also, Disney is suddenly very bad at reaching milestones. Black Panther is still kicking around in a hundred theaters, literally thousands of dollars shy of $700 million. Just freaking put it in 1,500 theaters for a weekend already!).

Sixth place goes to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, a film that is also inching closer to a milestone. It adds $11 million and has $383.9 million to date, and is looking at two more weekends before hitting $400 million, but it's going to start to shed a lot of those 3,000 screens it's still in.

A non-sequel is drop of the week as The Rock's Skyscraper takes a 56% hit to $10.9 million and $46.7 million in two weekends. It's a domestic disappointment for Universal (international grosses have already pushed it over its reported $125 million price tag) and a surprising rejection of The Rock as a leading action guy. It's high time he starts picking better projects outside of the Fast & Furious franchise.

The First Purge adds $4.9 million in eighth place, giving it $60.1 million in three weekends. It's not likely to challenge the $79 million earned by Election Year in 2016, but it's still a success, and I'm sure Universal will keep the cheap but profitable series going.

A third new release this weekend joins the sequel party as Unfriended: Dark Web takes ninth place with $3.4 million in 1,546 theaters. I had forgotten about the first one, which opened to $15.8 million in April 2015 off a $1 million budget, which is pretty much why this one exists. Also made for loose change found in couch cushions, Dark Web had the Jason Blum touch (and is released by Universal's BH Tilt wing), but the minimal promotion doomed it from the start. It'll vanish quickly from here.

The only other non-sequel in the top ten, Sorry To Bother You adds 245 theaters and earns $2.8 million (down 33% from last weekend) and has $10.2 million after three weekends. The decline shows it wasn't able to expand the audience after its buzzy performance last weekend, and at the risk of spoilers, it gets a little weird for mainstream audiences. It'll probably end up as a cult classic on Netflix, though.

Your top 12 films this weekend totaled $157.7 million, behind last year's $176 million when Best Picture nominee Dunkirk led the way with $50.5 million.

Next weekend is the summer's last hurrah with Mission: Impossible - Fallout, and Cartoon Network series Teen Titans Go! gets a theatrical adaptation.

Top Ten for Weekend of July, 20-22, 2018
Gross ($)
Weekly Change
Gross ($)
1 The Equalizer 2 Sony Pictures 35.8 New 35.8
2 Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! Universal 34.3 New 34.3
3 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation Sony Pictures 23.1 -49% 91.0
4 Ant-Man and the Wasp Walt Disney 16.1 -45% 164.6
5 The Incredibles 2 Walt Disney 11.5 -29% 557.3
6 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Universal 11.0 -32% 383.9
7 Skyscraper Universal 10.9 -56% 46.7
8 The First Purge Universal 4.9 -47% 60.1
9 Unfriended: Dark Web OTL Releasing 3.4 New 3.4
10 Sorry to Bother You Annapurna Pictures 2.8 -33% 10.2
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations



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