Weekend Box Office: The Meg Washes Up Mammoth $45M

The Meg
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Usually, August is something of an ether – nobody truly expects much from a majority of the month’s offerings. And, sometimes, a movie or two breaks that mold. Like a Jason Statham movie. What a time to be alive.

Debuting in first, Warner Bros.’ The Meg chomped $45.4m from 4,118 hubs ($11,025 per-theatre average), a stellar result coming in well above tracking, and my prediction ate shit. This is the best-case scenario for a giant shark movie that cost upwards of $130m to produce; apparently, it’s easy to forget that America has a particular fondness for monsters of the finned variety, resulting in no less than six Sharknado movies.

The Meg received rather lukewarm reviews, but late summer offerings tend to be leggy, especially if they manage to initially lead the pack. Meg offered pure escapism, marketing this ridiculous horror-comedy with elements of movies like Jurassic World ($652.27m) and Kong: Skull Island ($168.05m). It wouldn’t be shocking if Meg managed to tap in on a small bit of Jaws nostalgia as well – anything helps these days. Plus, there’s something extremely gratifying about a disposable (yet expensive, to be fair) B-movie rocking cash registers these days. There really isn’t a ton looking to crash The Meg’s high this month, so a final tally somewhere around $150m isn’t out of the question. Big kudos to a movie with such little hope that a fellow on Reddit vowed to eat a bull testicle should it cross $45m (I’m also very happy the U.S./Canada rallied to get it over that mark. I like to think it was for this reason. Bless all of you).

Overseas, The Meg earned $101.5m from 42 markets for a $146.9m global debut. Given the picture’s an American-Chinese co-production, it’s no surprise that it earned a healthy $50.7m from Chinese venues. Aside from China, Meg’s top markets were Mexico ($6.3m), Russia ($5.3m), the U.K. ($4.4m), Indonesia ($2.7m), and Malaysia ($2.4m).

Falling to second, Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout declined -45.2% to add $19.35m to its bounty. Total cume is $161.32m, or +14.3% ahead of Rogue Nation, the franchise’s prior entry, at the same point in release. Fallout’s on pace to become the highest-grossing movie in the Mission series (not adjusted for inflation), eyeing $222.9m if it maintains its lead over Rogue Nation.

Internationally, Fallout swept $38.4m from 59 markets – overseas and global hauls are $275.6m and $436.92m, respectively. China is the next big market on tap, where the movie ought to increase over Rogue Nation ($135.65m total). Top markets for Fallout are South Korea ($46.4m), the U.K. ($22.4m), Japan ($18.7m), France ($14.4m), and Taiwan ($11.9m).

In third, Disney’s Christopher Robin fell a little farther than expected, dropping -47.3% in its sophomore frame for $12.96m. Domestic cume is $50.55m, an okay total for the $75m nostalgia flick. Interestingly, this drop is on par with that of Disney’s 2016 live-action Pete’s Dragon (-47.2%), though Robin’s playing +15.2% ahead of that movie thus far, suggesting a final tally somewhere around $88m. Still fine numbers on their own, but they pale relative to the movie’s production cost.

Overseas, Christopher Robin added $3.8m from 25 markets for a $12.4m cume. Global figure is $62.95m. Still awaiting updated figures, but Mexico ($1.5m) and Russia ($1.4m) were the movie’s top markets as of last weekend.

Debuting in fourth, Sony’s spectacularly late Slender Man spooked up $11.37m from 2,358 hubs ($4,823 per-theatre average), which isn’t exactly terrible. Horror movies are fairly lucrative since studios have tried emulating the Blumhouse model (and frankly, it’s not too hard to succeed with it) – make movies cheaply, reap rewards. Slender Man cost a reported $10m to produce, so this debut is a decent start when bearing that in mind.

Unfortunately, the movie’s apparently heinous so don’t expect big things from it going forward. Conversely, Slender’s not going to face any direct competition until September 7th’s The Nun, so it could show something mildly resembling legs. When in Rome.

Overseas, Slender Man reportedly earned $445k from a yet-unnamed market that I believe to be Mexico. Will update when more info comes in.

Rounding out the top five, Focus’ BlacKkKlansman grossed $10.85m from just 1,512 venues ($7,173 per-theatre average), successfully riding a wave of buzz and intrigue, with particular thanks to stellar reception.

Spike Lee’s latest joint came in +34.3% ahead of the wide debut of Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit ($7.13m), which boasted double the theatres. Focus marketed BlacKkKlansman as a biting commentary – humourous but with a chip on its shoulder, something that played a bit smoother than Detroit’s grim presentation (not to knock Detroit, it’s a fine film). This is an early awards contender and the sole one for a little bit, so expect decent things from the $15m-budgeted BlacKkKlansman.

Internationally, BlacKkKlansman earned $400k between Central America, Finland, and Israel.

Outside the top ten, newer distributor LD Entertainment’s Dog Days lived up to its title, taking #12 and grossing $2.55m from 2,442 hubs ($1,046 per-theatre average). The 5-day cume for the movie is $3.6m, a.k.a. if you’re itching to see this do it soon.

 

HOLDOVERS

6. The Spy Who Dumped Me (Lionsgate) – $6.46 million (-46.6%), $24.42m cume
7. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Universal) – $5.86 million (-34.9%), $103.87m cume
8. The Equalizer 2 (Sony) – $5.41 million (-38.2%), $89.55m cume
9. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (Sony) – $5.21 million (-34.9%), $146.99m cume
10. Ant-Man and the Wasp (Disney) – $4.1 million (-35.5%), $203.57m cume