Weekend Box Office (July 27 - 29, 2018)
THIS WEEKEND Tom Cruise was back at number one with the latest installment of his signature spy series as Mission: Impossible - Fallout exceeded expectations to open in the top spot setting a new franchise record in the process. The Paramount release debuted to an estimated $61.5M from 4,386 locations for a sizzling $14,022 average. The previous record for the enduring series was $57.8M for the Friday-to-Sunday period of 2000's Mission: Impossible 2 which had an extended six-day holiday launch. Ticket prices were much lower back then when MI2 posted the third biggest opening weekend of all-time.
The Fallout launch was rock solid considering this is the sixth movie in 22 years. So many sequels these days are struggling to pull audiences back in with their second parts. Reviews were stellar and audiences had a blast as the CinemaScore grade was a terrific A - a franchise high.
Cruise and the studio specifically highlighted the incredible stunt work done for Fallout to differentiate it from the endless menu of super hero movies that have been dominating the box office which almost always rely heavily on visual effects. It helped the new Mission open 12% bigger than the last pic Rogue Nation ($55.5M), which also launched at the end of July in 2015 on its way to a $195M domestic final and $680M global haul.
Studio data showed that the PG-13 film skewed 55% male, 59% over 35, and 55% white. Overseas, Fallout bowed to an estimated $92M from 36 markets for a global premiere of $153.5M. Korea easily led all markets with a strong $24.6M. Many major markets are still to open like France, Australia, Germany, and Japan this coming week and China which is confirmed for August 31.
A string of summer sequels filled up most of the rest of the top ten this weekend. Sophomore Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again dropped a harsh 57% to an estimated $15M lifting Universal's total up to $70.4M. Denzel Washington fell from first to third with Equalizer 2 which grossed an estimated $14M, off a steep 61% in its second weekend. Sony has banked $64.2M to date which is identical to what the first Equalizer made at this same point in its run.
Taking fourth place with an estimated $12.3M in its third round was the toon comedy Hotel Transylvania 3 which declined by 48%. Sony's cume is $119.2M which is 2% better than the last film in the franchise at this point.
The other new major studio release this weekend was a super hero movie, but of a different kind. The animated comedy Teen Titans Go! To The Movies bowed to an estimated $10.5M from 3,188 locations for a lackluster $3,297 average. Based on the popular television series, this PG-rated entry (which also comes with a DC Super Hero Girls short film attached) played mostly to its fan base of viewers and did not connect much with the broader comic book audience. It was not a good debut for Warner Bros., but the well-reviewed pic connected with younger ticket buyers with hopes of continuing to engage them during the dog days of August.
Marvel and Disney followed with Ant-Man and the Wasp which took in an estimated $8.4M, down 49%, for a new sum of $183.1M domestic and $394.2M worldwide with many territories to come. On the Pixar front, Incredibles 2 dipped 40% to an estimated $7.2M boosting the total to $572.8M putting the super hero toon at number nine on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters. It also brings the total number of Disney releases over the last three years to break past $500M to an astonishing seven. Global is knocking on that billion dollar door at $996.5M.
Also posting muscular numbers this summer is Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom which dropped 40% down to an estimated $6.8M for $397.6M from North America and $1.24 billion globally. Universal also took the next two spots with Dwayne Johnson's Skyscraper at an estimated $5.4M and the thriller prequel The First Purge with an estimated $2.2M. Totals stand at $59.2M and $65.5M, respectively.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $143.3M which was up 7% from last year when Dunkirk stayed at number one with $26.6M; but off 18% from 2016 when Jason Bourne debuted in the top spot with $59.2M.
Compared to projections, Mission: Impossible - Fallout opened below my $66M forecast while Teen Titans came in with less than half of my $24M prediction.
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Watch the trailer for Aquaman.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Christopher Robin, The Spy Who Dumped Me and The Darkest Minds all 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 29, 2018 at 12:40PM ET
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