Weekend Wrap-Up

by Tim Briody

August 26, 2018

I'm not sure I'd let Awkwafina dress me.

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Crazy Rich Asians gives us one of the best box office stories of 2018 in a year full of them, and something interesting to talk about as the new releases underwhelm on a late August weekend.

As expected, holding at number one is Crazy Rich Asians. What wasn't expected was an estimate of $25 million for the weekend, no I did not cut and paste that figure from last weekend's article. That is a mere 5.7% weekend decline for the romantic comedy, with the actual figure coming in at $26.5 million last weekend (ahead of the $25.2 million estimate). This is the sort of thing that doesn't happen often, if ever. In fact, we have it as the eighth best weekend decline for films released in over 3,000 theaters that were not December releases (when things get weird because of Christmas):

Mother's Day +32.5% 4/29/16
The Blind Side +17.6% 11/20/09
Bolt +1.4% 11/21/08
Shrek +0.3% 5/16/01
Puss in Boots -3% 10/28/11
Brother Bear -4.5% 11/1/03
How the Grinch Stole Christmas -5.4%, 11/17/00
Crazy Rich Asians -5.7%, 8/15/18

The weekend hold looks even better when you realize that over half of those entries had their second weekends fall on holidays (Mother's Day's second Sunday was the titular holiday, Shrek's second weekend was Memorial Day weekend and three others had their second frames come over Thanksgiving weekend). What Crazy Rich Asians has done is exceedingly rare and something we only see once every several years.

In two weekends, Crazy Rich Asians has $76.8 million and is now an absolute lock for $100 million. Anyone who thought last weekend was a fluke and that the target audience for the film all came out opening weekend is now eating their words. The word-of-mouth for this one is absolutely off the charts and the quality (94% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, remember) is paying dividends. With next weekend being a holiday weekend and also devoid of any topline releases (much like this one), expect Crazy Rich Asians to once again dominate, and continue to hold strongly.

The Meg holds in second place, with $13.8 million, crossing the $100 million mark in the process (the 17th film of 2018 to do so), with $105.3 million in three weekends. Big dumb fun in the late summer paid off for Warner Bros. here, and it's also doing solid work overseas ($232 million), so despite the ridiculous budget, they might come out ahead on this one.




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Third brings us to our first opener in The Happytime Murders, with an underwhelming $10 million weekend. A hard-R film starring Muppets puppets who swear, do drugs and perform...adult activities (like pay bills), with Melissa McCarthy as the lead actor (who is clearly game for anything at this point in her career), this one went for shock value but I'm not really sure that sells anymore. Directed by Brian Henson (yep, son of Jim Henson), attempting to show the darker side of Muppets puppets did not pay off here. I think it's in for a big decline next weekend and will struggle to make back its reported $40 million budget.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout adds $8 million in its fifth weekend (down just 26%) and gets closer to $200 million, with $193.9 million in the bank to date. It should get there, if not next weekend then not long after that, but there's probably not enough left in the tank beyond that, to match Ghost Protocol ($209 million) or M:I 2 ($215.4 million). Fallout will pass Rogue Nation ($195 million) mid week, which is a solidly consistent performance for such an old franchise.

Christopher Robin earns $6.3 million (down 28%) and $77.6 million after four weekends. The rare Disney disappointment, it's taking advantage of a weak late August slate, but I'm sure they were banking on at least $100 million for the live action Pooh film.

Mile 22 makes it a big bummer of a weekend for STX Entertainment, dropping 56% from opening weekend to $6 million and $25.1 million after two weeks. That's the biggest drop among the top ten (it's like the anti-Crazy Rich Asians), and clearly not what the Mark Wahlberg action thriller was hoping for. It's headed to about $40 million total, and depending on the source you believe, that's either just ahead of or less than it's negative cost. Either way, it's not a winner.

Alpha earns $5.6 million in its second weekend, a 46% drop from it's opening weekend. It's got $20.1 million in two weekends. The family film hasn't really caught on, and it reportedly cost $50 million to make, so it's a late summer disappointment for Sony.

Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman adds $5.3 million in its third weekend, giving it $32 million to date. That's more than double its reported budget, which Focus Features is going to be happy about.

A.X.L. is the other opener this weekend, and it doesn't even match the lowest of expectations with just $2.9 million on the weekend. Global Road (who also brought disappointments Show Dogs, Hotel Artemis and Midnight Sun to theaters this year) could only get this in 1,710 theaters. The story of a robot dog (and not, unfortunately, a robot Axl Rose), A.X.L was released on a classic dumping ground weekend. Only costing $10 million, A.X.L. isn't going to even get that back domestically, and after this you'll never hear about it again.

Slender Man wraps up the top ten this weekend as the meme horror film earns $2.7 million and has $25.4 million after three weekends.

It's a sleepy $89.6 million for the top 12 films this weekend, but Crazy Rich Asians gives it a huge jump on last year's mere $50.7 million when The Hitman's Bodyguard won the weekend with just $10.2 million.

Labor Day weekend is next weekend, and while there will be some new wide releases, the main story will continue to be how well Crazy Rich Asians holds once again.


Top Ten for Weekend of August 24-26, 2018
Rank
Film
Distributor
Estimated
Gross ($)
Weekly Change
Cumulative
Gross ($)
1 Crazy Rich Asians Warner Bros. 20.0 -6% 76.8
2 The Meg Warner Bros. 13.0 -38% 105.3
3 The Happytime Murders STX Entertainment 10.0 New 10.0
4 Mission: Impossible - Fallout Paramount Pictures 8.0 -26% 193.9
5 Christopher Robin Walt Disney 6.3 -28% 77.6
6 Mile 22 STX Entertainment 6.0 -56% 25.1
7 Alpha Sony Pictures 5.6 -46% 20.1
8 BlacKkKlansman Focus Features 533 -28% 32.0
9 A.X.L. Global Road 2.9 New 2.9
10 Slender Man Sony Pictures 2.7 -42% 25.4
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations

     


 
 

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