Weekend Box Office (May 18 - 20, 2018)
THIS WEEKEND Mixing brutal action with raunchy comedy, the super hero sequel Deadpool 2 opened at number one with the second largest debut of all-time for any R-rated film. The Fox hit generated an estimated $125M this weekend from 4,349 locations for a potent $28,742 average.
Only the first Deadpool had a bigger opening weekend among all R-rated movies with a Friday-to-Sunday score of $132.4M, though that was helped by the double holidays of Presidents Day and Valentine's Day when it launched in February 2016. Those holidays helped that film's Sunday generate sales that were basically even with Saturday instead of witnessing the usual decline.
The Deadpool 2 audience was 61% male, 62% over 25, and split evenly between whites and non-whites. A big 24% of the gross came from premium-priced screens such as IMAX. Reviews for the Ryan Reynolds tentpole were generally positive and ticket buyers had a great time as evidenced by the A grade from CinemaScore. The mercenary's daily breakdown came out as $53.3M for Friday, which was a new record for R-rated films, $40.5M for Saturday falling 24%, and $31.2M for Sunday dropping another 23%. As expected, sales were more front-loaded this time since it is a sequel with more of a built-in audience.
Deadpool 2 shot up another $176M this weekend from overseas markets putting the global opening weekend at a healthy $301M and that is with no China release. It was the biggest international debut ever for Fox edging out X-Men: Days of Future Past as well as the R-rated Logan, and both of those included grosses from a China launch. Budgeted at a reasonable $110M, Deadpool 2 will try to surpass the $784M global gross of its predecessor.
Following its three week reign, the super hero juggernaut Avengers: Infinity War took the bridesmaid position this time with an estimated $28.7M. That represented a 54% decline which was not too bad considering the arrival of another massive comic book movie this weekend. Disney's domestic total to date is $595M which puts Thanos and pals at number eight on the all-time list behind another recent Disney-owned smash sequel - Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($620.2M). A domestic final in the $660-670M range might result.
International markets contributed another $84.4M boosting the cume to a remarkable $1.22 billion. China dropped sharply by 73% in its second weekend but has still amassed a giant $302.5M over ten days. All other overseas markets together declined by 62% this weekend. The next top market cumes are $89M in Korea, $87.8M from the U.K., $60.8M in Brazil, $57.7M from Mexico, $43.3M in Australia and $42.8M from India. The global haul rocketed up to $1.81 billion making it number four all-time on the worldwide list behind Avatar, Titanic, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens which all crossed $2 billion.
Mature women powered the new comedy Book Club to a third place debut with an estimated $12.5M from 2,781 theaters for a good $4,495 average. Starpower was a big factor in bringing in ticket buyers, especially since reviews were mixed. Book Club featured an all-star cast including Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen. Interest was strictly with its target demo as 80% of the audience was female, 60% was over 50, and 76% was white. Paramount earned a nice A- CinemaScore and expects solid legs over the weeks ahead as word-of-mouth drives in business from more people.
Falling a sharp 57% in its second weekend was the Melissa McCarthy comedy Life of the Party with an estimated $7.7M boosting the total for Warner Bros. to $31M. Fellow sophomore Breaking In also took a nosedive in the second weekend tumbling 63% to an estimated $6.5M. Universal has captured $28.8M to date.
The kidpic Show Dogs opened softly with an estimated $6M from 3,212 locations for a poor $1,879 average. The PG-rated film from Global Road played only to families and had generated little interest in the leadup to its release. Home entertainment prospects are much better.
MGM and Lionsgate saw their comedy remake Overboard fall 52% to an estimated $4.7M with a sum of $37M overall. Only one holdover in the top ten declined by less than half and that was the horror smash A Quiet Place which witnessed a 37% slide to an estimated $4M putting Paramount at a hefty $176.2M to date with the global tally at a robust $296.5M after its nice China debut this weekend.
Rampage followed with an estimated $1.5M, off 57%, to a cume of $92.4M for Warner Bros. Global is now $407M. The acclaimed documentary RGB expanded again and jumped into the top ten with an estimated $1.3M giving Magnolia $3.9M to date.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $197.9M this weekend which was up 72% from last year when Alien: Covenant opened at number one with $36.2M; and up 54% from 2016 when The Angry Birds Movie debuted in the top spot with $38.2M.
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Compared to projections, Deadpool 2 opened right on target with my $125M forecast. Book Club went a little higher than my $10M prediction and Show Dogs was very close to my $7M projection.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Solo arrives as the only wide release.
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: May 20, 2018 at 1:55PM ET
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