Weekend Box Office (July 20 - 22, 2018)
THIS WEEKEND For the eighth time this summer, a sequel opened at number one at the North American box office. Denzel Washington was back in anti-hero mode with the actioner Equalizer 2 which bowed on top with an estimated $35.8M from 3,388 theaters for a strong $10,574 average edging out the Mamma Mia sequel which was widely expected to debut in first place.
Sony's R-rated entry saw a 5% uptick from the debut of its 2014 predecessor which did $34.1M in September of that year. Critics were not too keen on Equalizer 2, but the revenge pic did extend Washington's box office streak. Among films opening wide in 2,000+ theaters, his 14 movies over the past 14 years have all opened to over $20M each (many at $30M+) as his popularity has stayed consistently solid. Those who liked him in the first film certainly wanted to see the Oscar winner back in this role again. The CinemaScore grade was a glowing A which bodes well for the weeks ahead.
Universal's Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again anchored by Meryl Streep debuted close behind in the bridesmaid position with an estimated $34.4M from 3,317 locations for a strong $10,365 average. The PG-13 pic beat out the $27.8M launch of the first Mamma Mia from this very same week ten years ago. Of course, the average price of a movie ticket has risen over 25% since then.
Reviews were generally upbeat for the sequel and audiences had plenty of fun as they gave it an A- CinemaScore grade. Adult women led the charge with studio data indicating that the crowd was 83% female and 64% over 25. The first Mamma was 75% female and 64% over 30 and went on to a global haul of over $600M which was colossal at the time for anything outside the action genre.
The studio hopes that Mamma Mia will play throughout the rest of the summer weeks as counter-programming to the endless menu of testosterone flicks. The new installment also raked in an estimated $42.4M from 41 international markets this weekend for a $76.8M global premiere with many more territories still to come.
Falling from its number one launch was Sony's toon comedy Hotel Transylvania 3 which fared decently dropping 48% to an estimated $23.2M. The Adam Sandler-led pic has banked $91.1M to date and is running a bit ahead of the last film in the monster series which had collected $90.7M at the same point, although that was during the school year in the fall season. Hotel 3 is about to become Sandler's 16th film to gross over $100M domestic.
The sequel parade continued in fourth place with Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp which fell 45% to an estimated $16.1M in its third round for a new cume of $164.6M which is 24% better than the first Ant-Man at the same point in the run. Global is now $353.5M.
Again with the sequels, toon juggernaut Incredibles 2 took in an estimated $11.5M, down 29%, for a new sum of $557.3M domestic and $940.4M worldwide. Its summer tentpole pal Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was off 32% to an estimated $11M boosting the cumes to $383.9M from North America and $1.2 billion globally.
A rare original film followed in seventh place with Universal's action thriller Skyscraper declining by 56% in its second weekend to an estimated $11M pushing the cume to $46.8M. The worldwide tally has now risen to $131.8M. Franchise entry The First Purge grossed an estimated $5M, down 47%, and gave Universal a solid $60.2M to date.
The low budget horror flick Unfriended: Dark Web debuted in ninth offering something different but only collected an estimated $3.5M. BH Tilt's R-rated release averaged a disappointing $2,261 from 1,546 locations and skewed younger. The original film Sorry To Bother You slipped 33% to an estimated $2.8M putting Annapurna at $10.3M.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $154.3M which was down 11% from last year when Dunkirk opened at number one with $50.5M; and down 14% from 2016 when Star Trek Beyond debuted in the top spot with $59.3M.
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Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Mission: Impossible - Fallout and Teen Titans Go! To The Movies both 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 22, 2018 at 4:05PM ET
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