Weekend Box Office (July 6 - 8, 2018)
THIS WEEKEND The Marvel Cinematic Universe was back in the number one spot for the third time this year with its latest chapter, Ant-Man and the Wasp, which took the top position at the North American box office with an estimated $76M. The PG-13 sequel averaged a strong $18,077 from 4,206 theaters including IMAX and 4DX premium screens.
Wasp enjoyed a 33% bigger opening weekend than the first Ant-Man which debuted to $57.2M this same month three years ago. Coincidentally, both Ant-Man films followed Avengers and Jurassic World movies and opened a couple of weeks ahead of Mission: Impossible installments.
Critics and audiences both liked Ant-Man and the Wasp. Reviews were mostly upbeat and the CinemaScore was an A-. Studio demos were in line with other comic book pics with males at 55% and 58% being over 25. The one troubling part of the film's debut was the steep 30% drop on Saturday from Friday. Super hero movies opening in July and August tend to absorb lots of business on opening day with schools being closed and Thursday night pre-shows being more popular. But Wasp fell even more than all other past MCU movies from these two months. Disney is projecting a 21% drop on Sunday which is reasonable.
Ant-Man delivered the second lowest opening weekend among all 20 MCU films. Now, Ant-Man and the Wasp has posted the lowest opening weekend for any of the MCU sequels. The pic only launched in about half of the international marketplace due to the World Cup still going on. It grossed $85M this weekend from 41 territories for a $161M global start. Korea was by far the strongest with $20.9M.
The two other big sequels which have been dominating the box office in recent weeks followed with nearly idential grosses this weekend. If estimates hold, the Pixar smash Incredibles 2 will take second place again with an estimated $29M sliding only 38% in its fourth frame. The Disney release also smashed the half-billion mark propelling its domestic cume to $504.4M. This marks the Mouse House's fourth megahit to cross $500M domestic over the past seven months joining Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War.
This is an industry first and puts the super hero family at number 11 on the all-time domestic list. Finishing in the neighborhood of $575M seems likely. Globally, Incredibles 2 has hit $772.7M with 40% of the international marketplace still to open in the coming months on its way into the billion dollar club.
Soaring past the $1 billion mark, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was close behind with an estimated $28.6M dropping 53% in its third weekend. The North American cume has now climbed up to $333.4M and is running 33% behind the pace of the last Jurassic World. Overseas markets contributed another $27.6M this weekend boosting that sum to a towering $725.3M led by China which just broke the $250M mark. Global is $1.06 billion on its way to about $1.2 billion with one-third coming from domestic.
Opening in fourth place after its Fourth of July mid-week launch was the franchise thriller The First Purge with an estimated $17.2M over the weekend and a stellar $31.1M over five days. The Wednesday-to-Sunday gross was about even with the three-day openings this series normally sees and considering this is a prequel and the fourth lap in the franchise over the last six summers, that is a great start.
The R-rated low-budget film featured a very ethnically diverse cast and the turnout reflected that with two thirds of the crowd being non-white. Other demos showed it to play 54% male and 51% under 25. Reviews were mixed, but not too important to the box office performance on this one. The B- CinemaScore grade was pretty good for a fright film. The four-part Purge series has now grossed over $362M worldwide but cost less than $40M combined to produce.
A pair of sophomore releases followed tumbling by more than half from their opening weekends. Sony's Sicario: Day of the Soldado dropped 62% to an estimated $7.3M bringing the cume to $35.3M. The basketball comedy Uncle Drew saw a 57% slide to an estimated $6.6M putting Fox at $29.9M.
For the fourth consecutive weekend, Warner Bros. saw its two latest films rank one after the other on the box office charts. Ocean's 8 dropped 37% to an estimated $5.3M while Tag followed again with an estimated $3.1M, off 47%. New totals are $126.8M and $48.3M, respectively.
Focus expanded its hit documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor again and took ninth place with an estimated $2.6M, up 7% from last weekend as it now is playing in 893 locations. Now the year's top-grossing doc, the Mister Rogers pic could still climb past the $20M mark which would be exceptional for this genre. Rounding out the top ten was a more foul-mouthed hero - Deadpool 2 with an estimated $1.7M, down 53%, and $314.5M to date for Fox. Worldwide is now $727.3M.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $177.3M which was down 11% from last year when Spider-Man: Homecoming opened at number one with $117M; and down 14% from 2016 when The Secret Life of Pets debuted in the top spot with $104.4M.
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Read the NEW 4DX review of Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Hotel Transylvania 3 and Skyscraper open.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: July 8, 2018 at 1:40PM ET
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