Weekend Box Office (August 17 - 19, 2018)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Movie fans rushed out to see Crazy Rich Asians which revived the struggling comedy genre by opening at number one at the North American box office beating industry expectations in the process. The Warner Bros. hit grossed an estimated $25.2M from 3,384 theaters this weekend generating a sturdy $7,457 average. Launching mid-week on Wednesday to kickstart audience buzz, the PG-13 pic collected an impressive $34M over its first five days of release.

The only comedy this year to open bigger than CRA was the star-studded Mamma Mia sequel which was more of a musical. New comedies this year from established stars like Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer, and Jason Bateman all opened below the Crazy Rich Asians weekend numbers. Reviews were phenomenal and audiences have been spreading electric word-of-mouth which has been key in getting a broader audience in. The CinemaScore grade was a glowing A and moviegoers excited to see more diversity on screen came out in healthy numbers.

Studio data showed that Crazy played similar to other romantic comedies. Females made up 68% of the crowd on opening day and 66% were over 25. Summer is usually dominated by testosterone films so opportunities exist to counter-program for a more female audience, as long as the product is rock solid. That happened with CRA and with sparkling buzz and weak competition over the next couple of weeks, this $30M production might be able to leg its way past the $100M domestic mark.

So far, Crazy Rich Asians has performed in a pattern similar to the 2013 comedy hit We're the Millers which Warner Bros. also launched in about 3,300 locations with a Wednesday start in August. That film did $26.4M on the weekend and $37.9M over five days and its final gross of $150.4M quadrupled the five-day opening take thanks to late summer legs throughout August and past the Labor Day holiday. CRA has substantial potential ahead of it and may hold onto its number one spot for a while.

Warner Bros. ruled second place as well with its shark smash The Meg which fell an understandable 53% in its second weekend to an estimated $21.2M. After a much larger than expected opening frame, the Jason Statham actioner fell by a normal rate for this genre and has now banked an impressive $83.8M after ten days. China, Meg's top market anywhere in the world, enjoyed a better hold dropping 40% to an estimated $30.5M this weekend boosting the local cume to a robust $117.2M. With $230.4M from overseas markets, the film has watched its global take rise to $314.1M.

Mark Wahlberg often sells in military-themed action films, but his latest project Mile 22 failed to live up to previous numbers with an opening weekend of an estimated $13.6M from 3,520 theaters (the most of any new film this weekend) for a lackluster $3,870 average. The result was in line with the actor's last film with director Peter Berg Patriots Day which did $11.6M when it opened nationwide a year and a half ago. There were no surprises in the demos for the audience - 60% were male and 73% were over 25. The R-rated film earned negative reviews and a disappointing B- CinemaScore grade.

The new adventure film Alpha generated a moderate opening with an estimated $10.5M from 2,719 locations for a so-so $3,862 average. Sony's PG-13 offering earned positive reviews but audience interest was only so much especially after so many flashier films hitting screens all summer long.

Also reporting a weekend estimate of $10.5M was Mission: Impossible - Fallout which declined by 46% in its fourth frame. Paramount has amassed $180.7M thus far from North America plus $320.7M from international markets breaking the half-billion mark with $501.4M worldwide. China opens on August 31 and if it delivers like the last Mission did, then a final of about $750M could be in the works - the best ever for the 22-year-old franchise.

Playing very well with family audiences during these dog days of summer, Disney's Christopher Robin saw only a 32% dip in its third round to an estimated $8.9M. The studio has banked $66.9M to date and could be headed to $95M or more.

After a strong debut, Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman expanded a bit adding 276 theaters and saw its weekend gross slide only 36% to an estimated $7M giving Focus $23M to date. The critically-acclaimed film is on track to become Lee's third highest grossing film ever behind only Inside Man and Malcolm X which both starred Denzel Washington. Sony's thriller Slender Man fell a disturbing 56% to an estimated $5M in its sophomore session putting the cume at only $20.7M.

Sony's hit toon Hotel Transylvania 3 did an estimated $3.7M, off just 30%, for a new total of $153.9M. On Thursday it became the sixth film for Sandler to break $150M domestic. Global is now $426M after a solid launch in China this weekend. Another summer sequel rounded out the top ten as Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again followed with an estimated $3.4M, down 42%, putting Universal at $111.2M domestic and $319M worldwide.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $108.9M which was up a healthy 44% from last year when The Hitman's Bodyguard opened at number one with $21.4M; but off 3% from 2016 when Suicide Squad stayed in the top spot for a third weekend with $20.9M.

Compared to projections, Crazy Rich Asians surged ahead of my five-day forecast of $27M. Mile 22 came in below my $18M prediction and Alpha debuted above my $6M projection.

Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when A.X.L. and The Happytime Murders open.

# Title Aug 17 - 19 Aug 10 - 12 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Crazy Rich Asians $ 26,510,140 3,384 1 $ 7,834 $ 35,276,909 Warner Bros.
2 The Meg 21,151,012 45,402,195 -53.4 4,118 2 5,136 83,760,074 Warner Bros.
3 Mile 22 13,710,825 3,520 1 3,895 13,710,825 STX
4 Mission: Impossible - Fallout 10,773,347 19,352,090 -44.3 3,482 4 3,094 181,012,068 Paramount
5 Alpha 10,352,512 2,719 1 3,807 10,352,512 Sony
6 Christopher Robin 8,861,530 12,960,057 -31.6 3,602 3 2,460 66,878,940 Disney
7 BlacKkKlansman 7,383,195 10,845,330 -31.9 1,788 2 4,129 23,392,685 Focus
8 Slender Man 4,801,712 11,371,866 -57.8 2,358 2 2,036 20,578,291 Sony
9 Hotel Transylvania 3 3,768,479 5,210,815 -27.7 2,187 6 1,723 153,962,179 Sony
10 Mamma Mia 2 3,405,405 5,861,715 -41.9 2,270 5 1,500 111,222,895 Universal
11 Equalizer 2 2,863,549 5,408,237 -47.1 1,888 5 1,517 94,782,433 Sony
12 Ant-Man and the Wasp 2,646,856 4,103,636 -35.5 1,520 7 1,741 208,392,506 Disney
13 The Spy Who Dumped Me 2,617,298 6,462,612 -59.5 2,409 3 1,086 29,998,313 Lionsgate
14 Incredibles 2 2,302,020 3,429,388 -32.9 1,238 10 1,859 594,100,868 Disney
15 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 1,157,380 1,986,530 -40.3 814 9 1,422 411,754,745 Universal
16 Dog Days 868,664 2,554,766 -66.0 2,387 2 364 5,929,487 LD
17 Teen Titans Go! To The Movies 750,127 1,824,852 -58.9 590 4 1,271 27,301,479 Warner Bros.
18 Eighth Grade 735,239 1,587,299 -53.7 542 6 1,357 11,638,783 A24
19 Three Identical Strangers 502,144 734,314 -31.6 276 8 1,819 10,567,548 Neon
20 Skyscraper 314,860 674,430 -53.3 370 6 851 66,772,705 Universal
Top 5 $ 82,497,836 $ 99,931,538 -17.4
Top 10 110,718,157 126,978,553 -12.8
Top 20 125,476,294 143,320,397 -12.5
Top 20 vs. 2017 125,476,294 91,655,985 36.9

Last Updated: August 19, 2018 at 2:05PM ET

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