Giant sharks, supernatural creepypasta, and the Ku Klux Klan. It’s a weird and wonderful weekend of film for U.S. audiences, and the Box Office shouldn’t disappoint either, as four wide releases look to enter the top ten biggest grossers. The hunt will be led by ‘The Meg’, the sci-fi-horror, action, adventure, thriller(?) about the endeavors to stop a Megalodon shark from causing chaos on a beach. The film stars Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, and Ruby Rose.
The joint-Chinese production was originally meant to be Disney’s, who bought the rights to the 1997 book ‘Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror’, but by 2015 it was owned by Warner Bros, who will benefit from a higher financial return from its Chinese gross.
This is especially welcomed news; the film should make a huge splash with international audiences, and like monster film ‘Rampage’ from April, its middling reviews (48% on the Tomatometer) won’t give it much bite in the U.S. Unlike ‘Rampage’, it doesn’t have the star power of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and with more competition, it won’t emulate ‘Rampage’s $35.8m either, but will likely open at around $25m.
Still, this’ll be enough to top the charts and swim above ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’, which continues to hold impressively as the days go by. In its third weekend, the Tom Cruise-fronted spy-thriller looks to earn just under $24m, and aims to reach close to $170m by day 17 of its release – around $15m more than its nearest franchise competitor, ‘Mission: Impossible II’.
‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’ is next, and it should benefit from having limited Box Office competition, to gross close to $15m. Trailing in its wake is horror, ‘Slenderman’, based on a near-decade old meme about the ‘Slender Man’, a supernatural being characterized by incredibly long, slim limbs, and lack of facial features.
Why Sony Pictures are releasing the film now is a mystery; like last week’s ‘The Darkest Minds’, its popularity peaked years ago, and there’s a sense of missed opportunity with this late entrance. A 13% on Rotten Tomatoes could mean the writing’s already on the wall, but as with a lot of youth-aimed recent horrors, poor ratings doesn’t always equal a poor Box Office showing.
Lead actress Joey King’s (‘The Kissing Booth’) last horror, ‘Wish Upon’, opened in a similar number of cinemas with $5.5m and a similar gross could be in store, but we’re placing our bets on it making something like 2017s ‘The Bye Bye Man’s $13.5m, with a $10m opening.
Now here’s a tricky one: Spike Lee’s first wide release ‘joint’ in 10 years, ‘BlacKkKlansman’. Opening in just 1,500 cinemas but with 98% on the Tomatometer, it’s one of the best reviewed films of the year, but it’s tiny theatre account offsets a potential breakout opening. Its unflinching subject matter – a black policeman infiltrating the KKK – is both controversial and appealing, and we just can’t tell what this’ll do.
The film stars John David Washington as the aforementioned detective Ron Stallworth, as well as Topher Grace, Adam Driver, and ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Laura Harrier. Per-cinema-averages on other biographical crime dramas, like ‘Black Mass’ ($7,100) and ‘Molly’s Game’ ($4,264), leave the film earning anywhere between $6.4m and $10.7m. An average gives us around $8.5m, but the hype train could push this to potentially over $10m, so who knows?
In its second weekend, ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ will earn roughly $6m, just above ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ with $5.7m, and ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ with $5.5m. Antoine Fuqua’s ‘The Equalizer 2’ should hit the $90m domestic total, with a $5m take.
Coming in at number 10 is ‘Dog Days’, the romantic family comedy directed by Ken Marino. It includes a pretty packed cast, with Eva Longoria, Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, and Finn Wolfhard starring in the film that was released on Wednesday. Its Wednesday gross of $635k drastically reduced my original 3-day weekend estimates, as this should just manage to scrape in over ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ with $4.5m.
In a tight weekend across the chart, will we see ‘The Meg’ top the list, or will it be a weekend hattrick at number one for ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’? Let us know your thoughts, we’re on Instagram and Twitter at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.