Weekend Wrap-Up

by Tim Briody

September 2, 2018

Auspicious nose.

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Labor Day weekend is here and while they certainly tried with a couple of new releases and a notable expansion, the story remains the outstanding performance of Crazy Rich Asians.

Easily the number one film on the weekend again, Crazy Rich Asians earned $22.2 million in its third weekend, down just 10% from last weekend (when it only dropped 6%), and crossing $100 million in style, with $110.9 million to date. The holiday weekend clearly helped give it a third $20 million weekend, but Crazy Rich Asians didn't really need it. It should cede the top spot next weekend, but the drops should stay small, and by the end of the month we could be talking about a $200 million film, something that nobody was talking about at the start of August.

It's only three weekends in, but I can't add much more to this box office performance at this point. In a year with three (THREE!) $600 million films, Crazy Rich Asians may be the biggest box office story of the year.

The Meg holds in second place for another weekend with $10.5 million and $120.5 million after four weekends. While it's still under budget domestically, international earnings, especially from China, came through and have turned this into a $400 million film worldwide. I'd expect a sequel announcement at any time now. The Meg was certainly leggier than anticipated, nobody would have blinked had it fallen off a cliff immediately, but the weak late August slate kept it in the minds of audiences and turned it into a late summer hit.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout adds $7 million in its sixth weekend and crosses an important milestone as it has now earned $204.3 million to date. Only the eighth 2018 film to do so (there are now 19 $100 million films as both Crazy Rich Asians and The Equalizer 2 crossed it this weekend), Fallout is now just behind 2011's Ghost Protocol ($209.3 million) and 2000's M:I 2 ($215.4 million) for the best in the franchise. It's been a remarkably consistent franchise for the last 22(!) years, minus the time where we all rejected Crazy Couch Jumping Tom Cruise. Also a beneficiary of a weak August, Fallout will probably start losing screens to the higher profile September releases, but in two more weekends we're looking at the biggest Mission: Impossible film to date.

Our first opener is in fourth place on the weekend as Operation Finale musters $6 million on the weekend after an inexplicable Wednesday opening where it earned $1.7 million in the first two days of release. A post-World War II drama about the capture of former SS officer Adolf Eichmann (played by Ben Kingsley), MGM tossed this one out on a bad weekend for new movies, and this is the result.




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After an impressive limited release last weekend, Searching expands to 1,207 theaters and earns $5.7 million. Starring John Cho and using a gimmick of webcam/Facetime/social media footage as the visual, the thriller has very strong reviews (91% Fresh) and Sony tried to take advantage of the success of Crazy Rich Asians by pointing out that it is the first mainstream thriller headlined by an Asian-American actor. But again, it's essentially a new release over a weekend that's only good for holdovers, so I think there's money left on the table here had they gone with another release date. There's still room for Sony to expand Searching, but it's about to get a little bit busier at theaters in the next few weekends.

Christopher Robin continues to hang in there and become slightly less disappointing, dropping just 20% in its fifth weekend and giving it $85.4 million to date. Disney was surely banking on this hitting $100 million, and it still might, eventually, but they'll ease the pain by counting the earnings from Black Panther, Infinity War and The Incredibles 2 (which expanded back into nearly 2,900 theaters this weekend and crossed $600 million. See, Disney? It's not hard).

Alpha adds $4.4 million this weekend and has $27.3 million after three weekends. It's still a disappointment for Sony as it's not going to make the reported $50 million budget back.

The Happytime Murders is the big loser on the holiday weekend as it's got the largest decline in the top ten, falling 54% from last weekend to $4.4 million and $17 million in two weekends. The hard-R puppet comedy starring Melissa McCarthy was essentially a one-note joke and audiences weren't buying. The good news for McCarthy is next for her is Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which is getting her some of the best reviews of her career.

Spike Lee's BlackKklansman takes ninth, down just 19% from last weekend with $4.1 million and $38.3 million in three weekends. Again, Labor Day weekend is kind to the holdovers for one last week before they finish out their runs. This is a solid comeback performance for Lee, who's mainly done documentaries for the last decade.

Mile 22 wraps up the top ten this weekend with $3.5 million and $31.7 million in three weekends. The Mark Wahlberg action entry comboed with The Happytime Murders to make it a very sad August for STX Entertainment.

The top 12 films this weekend (as mentioned, 11th went to an expanding Incredibles 2 while 12th went to the other new release this weekend Kin, earning only $3 million) totaled $79.2 million for the 3 day weekend, while last year's Labor Day entries earned $53 million, one of the sorriest box office weekends in years.

Next weekend we keep on watching the ridiculous run of Crazy Rich Asians, with the biggest threat to its run being horror entry The Nun, a spinoff of The Conjuring series.


Top Ten for Weekend of August 31-September 2, 2018
Rank
Film
Distributor
Estimated
Gross ($)
Weekly Change
Cumulative
Gross ($)
1 Crazy Rich Asians Warner Bros. 22.2 -10% 110.9
2 The Meg Warner Bros. 10,5 -18% 120.5
3 Mission: Impossible - Fallout Paramount 7.0 -13% 204.3
4 Operation Finale MGM 6.0 New 7.7
5 Searching Sony Pictures 5.7 +1,366% 6.2
6 Christopher Robin Walt Disney 5.0 -20% 85.4
7 Alpha Sony Pictures 4.4 -26% 27.3
8 The Happytime Murders STX Entertainment 4.4 -54% 17.0
9 BlacKkKlansman Focus Features 4.1 -19% 38.3
10 Mile 22 STX Entertainment 3.5 -44% 31.7
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations

     


 
 

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