Weekend Wrap-Up

by Tim Briody

August 19, 2018

Even they are blown away by their prospects.

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It may not look like it when you just look at the numbers, in a year when two movies have made more than $600 million, but this weekend's box office contains not only one of the important films of not just this year, but perhaps the last several.

Crazy Rich Asians is indeed the #1 film of the weekend, taking in an estimated $25.2 million, giving it $34 million since its opening on Wednesday. Without discussing anything else, let us first note that leading the box office for a weekend is a romantic comedy, a genre that has become nearly extinct in the last decade. Crazy Rich Asians is the first romantic comedy to lead a box office weekend since Think Like a Man Too in June 2014 (the first one also won the weekend in April 2012, and before that, it's No Strings Attached from January 2011).

Of course, Crazy Rich Asians has garnered lots of headlines for its entirely Asian cast, which sounds like a gimmick, until you realize that the movie is actually adapted from a popular 2013 novel. Combined with excellent reviews (92% Fresh), this is a historic moment in representation for an underserved audience.

After taking in $8.7 million in its first two days (something I didn't think was necessary; while $25 million is a solid weekend, bigger numbers make for bigger headlines), Crazy Rich Asians pulled in $7.2 million on Friday, as reported yesterday by Kim Hollis. The impressive thing here is Crazy Rich Asians then improved on that significantly on Saturday, with $10.3 million. This is showing both strong word-of-mouth and the potential for legs. Not surprisingly, the movie managed an A CinemaScore.

Warner Bros. should be exceedingly ecstatic with this performance, as the reported budget was just $30 million, a figure it's already made back in just five days. In addition, turns out there are two additional novels that are sequels to Crazy Rich Asians, so should the bottom not completely fall out next weekend (which I think is unlikely), expect a sequel announcement any day now.

The Meg gets bumped to second after a big breakout last weekend, dropping 53% to $21.1 million. It's still got an impressive $83.7 million after two weekends. It's also now got over $300 million worldwide, because once again animals eating people (another nearly extinct genre, it's the early 2000s all over again at multiplexes this weekend, people!) = $$$$$$. The Meg is definitely headed to the $100 million mark by Labor Day, and while it was still super expensive to make (upwards of $178 million, even though Warner Bros. claims $130 million), international earnings may be enough to make it into a franchise.


New release Mile 22 lands in third on the weekend with $13.6 million. Starring Mark Wahlberg and future WWE Women's Champion Ronda Rousey, and directed by Peter Berg (most recently of Patriots Day, Deepwater Horizon and Lone Survivor, all of which also starred Wahlberg), the action thriller from STX Entertainment is definitely the sort of thing that does depend on reviews, and they were bad, with just rated 22% Fresh. The good news is that it only cost $35 million to make, the bad news is it may not make that back domestically, and foreign earnings may not be all that great either, so this one's a big miss on all accounts.

Our third opener on the weekend takes fourth as Alpha claws its way to $10.5 million, a bit ahead of expectations. Surprisingly well reviewed (84% Fresh), Alpha benefited as a decent family option on the weekend, but has a significantly higher budget (varying figures out there, anywhere from $50 to $80 million depending on who you believe) which means Sony's probably taking a hit on this one. To be fair, it's now mid-August, we shouldn't expect a whole lot of winners.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout adds $10.5 million in its fourth weekend, giving it $180.7 million to date. It remains well ahead of Rogue Nation ($157.5 million at this point) and franchise leader M:I 2 ($176.5 million) in its attempt to be the biggest film in the franchise's history. Based on past performances, this is going to take a while, so stay tuned.

Christopher Robin does a Tigger like bounce back after a bad second weekend drop, sliding only 32% this weekend to $8.8 million and giving it $66.8 million after three weekends. It's still going to go down as the rare disappointment for Disney in 2018, and I am certain that some executive somewhere is trying to figure out how to fit a Marvel superhero into the Hundred Acre Woods.

Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman holds pretty well, dipping just 35% from opening weekend to $7 million. It's got $23 million after two weekends, his biggest box office performance since 2006's Inside Man (something that was true after opening weekend). The social commentary and bizarre true story are both hooks here, and only cost $15 million to produce, so it's a winner for Focus Features.

Slender Man has the biggest decline among the top ten, with a 56% dip to $4.9 million. It's got $20.7 million after two weekends. Internet meme horror has a short shelf life, and this one was well past its prime by the time it hit theaters. Sony's company line is this one only cost $10 million, but there's conflicting information that puts it closer to $30 million (when I'm in charge, all film production budgets must be clearly stated). Either way, Slender Man is still a bit of a disappointment and it's not going to be in the top ten next weekend.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation clings to ninth place for the second weekend in a row (an impressive feat with three new releases) with a 29% decline to $3.6 million and $153.8 million after six weekends. It finally surpassed the first one midweek and after a promising start, it's not looking to top the $169.7 million of the second one.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! wraps up the top ten this weekend with $3.3 million and $111.2 million after five weekends. It fell well short of the $144.1 million the first one earned, and despite the diminishing returns ($615 million worldwide for the first film!), did well enough internationally that I'm sure they'll try again without waiting 10 years.

The top 12 films in the land totaled up $114 million, still well ahead of last year when The Hitman's Bodyguard led the way with $21.3 million.

Next weekend shows we're definitely getting into the dregs of August, with some R-rated sacrilege in The Happytime Murders, and if a real dog in Alpha wasn't good enough for you, we've got a robot one in A.X.L.

Top Ten for Weekend of August 17-19, 2018
Gross ($)
Weekly Change
Gross ($)
1 Crazy Rich Asians Warner Bros. 25.2 New 34.0
2 The Meg Warner Bros. 21.1 -53% 83.7
3 Mile 22 STX Entertainment 13.6 New 13.6
4 Alpha Sony Pictures 10.5 New 10.5
5 Mission: Impossible - Fallout Paramount Pictures 10.5 -46% 180.7
6 Christopher Robin Walt Disney 8.8 -32% 66.8
7 BlacKkKlansman Focus Features 7.0 -35% 23.0
8 Slender Man Sony Pictures 4.9 -56% 20.7
9 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation Sony Pictures 3.6 -29% 153.8
10 Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! Universal 3.3 -42% 111.2
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations



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