As has been hammered home these past few weeks, August is generally miserable – the dying gasp of summer box office, for the pessimistic of you. These past few years have contradicted that, giving us blockbusters like Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy ($333.18m) and Warner Bros./DC’s Suicide Squad ($325.1m), mainly because studios realized fuck all is released in August and it’s just ripe for the taking.
In fact, it’s kind of surprising how studios cram movies so close to each other when August is, like, right there and empty. But that’s a story for another day, perhaps. This weekend continued an okay month (a great one for Warner Bros., as we’ll see) and gave a deserved victory for a mid-budget movie catering to an underserved demographic. High fives, then.
Taking first, Warner’s Crazy Rich Asians came in well ahead of its tracking, which anticipated figures in the mid-teens, grossing $26.51m over its 3-day debut and $35.28m over its 5-day. Strong figures from the best-selling book adaptation, which cost a reported $30m to produce – a.k.a. this opening sets Crazy Rich Asians on a breezy road to profit. Crazy Rich Asians’ ability to pierce a cultural nerve isn’t rocket science to deduce, given it’s right in the title. Asian audiences are rarely given top billing in Hollywood cinema and hopefully this’ll cause something of a shift, since there’s clearly interest – as per Deadline, 38% of Crazy Rich Asians’ audience was comprised of Asian-Americans.
As for Crazy Rich Asians’ end game, things are looking well. The movie’s apparently excellent and this coming weekend’s biggest release features ejaculating puppets, so you could say it’s ideally positioned for swell holds. Whether it can eclipse $100m remains to be seen; regardless, this is a great success and shows mid-budget movies (and inclusive movies) can be lucrative ventures.
Overseas, Crazy Rich Asians debuted in 6 markets, gathering $652k. Top hauls came from Holland ($208k), the United Arab Emirates ($196k), and Italy ($159k). Global is $35.93m.
It was a Warner Bros. weekend with The Meg taking second, falling an alright -53.4% to gross $21.15m. Domestic cume after two weeks is $83.76m, roughly double what some were anticipating its final gross to be. Now, this hold isn’t good per se, but it could’ve been much worse, what with the movie’s lukewarm notices. Luckily, as touched on above, August tends to be threadbare and if a movie can manage healthy grosses it’s set for a good amount of time. There’s a decent chance The Meg will eclipse Warner’s current 2018 champion, Gary Ross’ Ocean’s 8 ($138.78m as its run winds down), barring a collapse from here.
Internationally, the $130m Jason Statham movie added $67m from 55 markets for a $232.2m cume. Global is a strong $315.96m. Top markets are China ($117.2m), Mexico ($13.6m), the U.K. ($11m), Russia ($10m), and Spain ($6m).
Debuting in third, STX’s Mile 22 fell short with $13.71m from 3,520 hubs ($3,895 per-theatre average). Mile 22’s the fourth collaboration between star Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg and holds the displeasure of possibly being their lowest-grossing, depending on whether it passes 2016’s Patriots Day ($31.89m).
Given the movie cost $50m to produce, it’s safe to say Mile 22’s verging on flop territory, probably not the result STX – who were hoping to spawn a multi-media franchise from this – was anticipating. But after some nasty reception and relatively uninspired marketing, the writing was on the wall here. Mile 22’s pacing +4.4% ahead of STX’s last actioner, 2016’s The Foreigner with Jackie Chan, suggesting a final total around $35m (Foreigner clocked out with $34.39m, albeit with stronger reviews). Still, an unfortunate misfire for all involved.
Overseas, Mile 22 opened in 6 smaller markets, gathering $538k for a $14.25m global cume. Top debuts come courtesy of Singapore ($137k) and Taiwan ($124k).
In fourth, Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout declined -44.3% for a $10.77m fourth weekend take. Domestic on the sixth installment in the Mission franchise stands at $181.01m, running +13% ahead of 2015’s Rogue Nation at the same point in release. Keeping that lead gives Fallout a $220.4m haul, just enough to come ahead of 2000’s Mission: Impossible II ($215.41m) to take the series crown.
Abroad, Fallout nabbed $20.5m from 61 markets. International and global cumes are $320.9m and $501.91m, respectively. These are strong numbers, with the only caveat being Fallout cost an eyebrow-raising $178m to produce. Variety reports Fallout needs $560m to break even – probably locked, yeah – but some believe $650m is the real mark. Shouldn’t be too much of an issue since Rogue Nation earned $682.71m, though it isn’t an ideal position for Fallout to be in. Alas, the top markets for Fallout are South Korea ($48.6m), Japan ($30.8m), the U.K. ($26.1m), France ($19.1m), and Australia ($11m).
Rounding out the top five, the weekend’s final new wide release disappointed. Sony’s Alpha earned $10.35m from 2,719 venues ($3,807 per-theatre average), especially middling when accounting for the movie’s $51m production cost. Despite surprisingly glowing reviews, it was too little too late for a movie that shifted release dates three times – leaping from September 2017 to now. The movie’s first trailer launched in July of last year. Most interest generated then hasn’t carried over, though it seems Sony was more or less expecting this (look at that theatre count).
Hey, maybe people will turn out for this one over time. Perhaps not enough to save it in its theatrical life, but there’s always after.
Overseas, Alpha made a reported $404k from an unspecified number of markets. Global is $10.76m.
6. Christopher Robin (Disney) – $8.86 million (-31.6%), $66.88m cume
7. BlacKkKlansman (Focus) – $7.38 million (-31.9%), $23.39m cume
8. Slender Man (Sony) – $4.8 million (-57.8%), $20.58m cume
9. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (Sony) – $3.77 million (-27.7%), $153.96m cume
10. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Universal) – $3.41 million (-41.9%), $111.22m cume
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