Weekend BO Report: ‘The Meg’ Lands With A Splash To Finish First

Written by Dapo Olowu

It was a mega weekend for some in the U.S. Box Office, as Jason Statham-led shark horror, ‘The Meg’, blew all prior estimates and predictions out the water, delivering a meaty $45.4m from its first 3 days. With most industry trackers forecasting an opening in the low-20s, it ended up being a timely reminder of just the sheer popularity of sharks among cinemagoers; Sony’s ‘The Shallows’ made a whopping $119.1m worldwide in 2016, and last year’s ’47 Meters Down’ impressed with a $61.7m global total, off just a $5.5m budget.

The Meg’ is now Warner Bros. biggest domestic opening of the year, beating out the $41.8m earned by Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ in March – which had the added benefit of being based of a book that wasn’t 21 years old. Add in the fact that the film also earned roughly $101.5m from 42 countries for a global opening of $146.9m, and it’s a truly staggering start for the joint-Chinese production.

The film, that marks Jason Statham’s biggest non-franchise (‘The Fast and Furious’ films) opening, now aims to keep up its run in the coming weeks. An opening weekend multiplier like ‘Rampage’s of 2.78x has ‘The Meg’ finishing in the region of $126m, truly a remarkable total.

The Meg’s over-performance meant that last weekend’s leading movie, ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’, was hit harder than expected, dropping by 45% to earn $19.4m – tracking $3m above the franchise’s biggest domestic hit, ‘Mission: Impossible 2’, at the same stage of its run, with $161.3m. Although it doesn’t open in China until the end of the month, ‘Fallout’s already on $436.9m worldwide, with more than enough in the tank to near ‘Rogue Nation’s $682.7m total.

Next is ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’, which brought in a disappointing $13m, a 47% fall from its opening last weekend. This was a shade above ‘Slender Man’s impressive $11.3m, even in the wake of its D- on Cinemascore (the 2nd-lowest grade to get). It’s a solid opening from a $10m budget, but it’s expected to fall off a cliff in coming weeks with such a poor critical reception, alongside the lingering effects of the tragic events in 2014 (where two friends stabbed a 12-year-old girl in an attempt to impress the eponymous title character) that continues to provide negative PR.

Still, it marginally beat Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’, that saw $10.8m grossed by an audience made up of mainly over-25s (77%) and males (56%). From just 1,500 cinemas, the film was Lee’s biggest opening in 12 years, since 2006s ‘Inside Man’ made $29m. The A- on Cinemascore should see the crime drama leg out for the rest of August. The same can’t be said for ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon, which earned just $6.5m in its second weekend for a domestic total of $24.4m thus far. Its inflated $40m budget means this is a guaranteed flop, along with other comedy misfires of the year, ‘Life of the Party’ and ‘I Feel Pretty’.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ saw the smallest drop of the weekend, with 35%, to earn $5.9m. Its domestic total now stands at an impressive $103.9m, and its global gross at $282m. This was closely followed by ‘The Equalizer 2’ with $5.4m, ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ with $5.2m, and finally ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ with $4.1m.

With ‘The Meg’ surprising everybody this weekend in the Box Office, has this been the biggest shock of the summer so far? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Report: Disney Fails To Reach Number One As ‘M:I – Fallout’ Retains Top Spot

Written by Dapo Olowu

It promised to be a close weekend at the top of the charts, but ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ ended up well clear of the competition, grossing over $10m more than ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’ in second place. ‘Fallout’ posted $35.3m in its second weekend, just a mere drop of 42% from last week’s opening, for a domestic running total of $124.8m.

It’s the first time in the franchise where a second weekend has grossed over $30m domestically, and ‘Fallout’s good fortune continued overseas; a $76m take from 56 international countries ballooned its overseas total to a whopping $205m. The film lies just $3m short of being Paramount’s biggest film of the year after only 11 days of release, and will overtake ‘A Quiet Place’s worldwide total of $332.6m by the time you’ve finished reading this sentence.

Christopher Robin’s original estimates of around $30m proved to be quite bearish, as its actual $24.6m opening falls right in line with February’s ‘Peter Rabbit’. While the Winnie-the-Pooh adaptation had the slightly sweeter critical reception (68% vs. 63% on the Tomatometer, and an A vs. A- on Cinemascore), the sheer amount of competition this week limited the Disney film’s audience – and with a budget of $75m, ‘Christopher Robin’ will hope to better ‘Peter Rabbit’s $115.3m domestic gross, and at least mirror its $350.7m worldwide total.

One film that won’t get anywhere close to that number is action-comedy, ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’, starring Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, and Justin Theroux. The film, directed by Susanna Fogel and skewed heavily (62%) towards female viewers, failed to put up a fight with only $12.1m, just under our $14m Friday prediction.

The real story here, is its inflated $40m budget that would require well over a $100m gross for the film to break-even – a target that only one out-and-out comedy has managed this year (‘Game Night’ with $117.4m). It’s the same story with other comedies this year, with ‘Life of the Party’, and ‘I Feel Pretty’’s similar-sized budgets failing to set the Box Office alight. What ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ will hope for is to leg it out, as only ‘The Happytime Murders’, featuring Melissa McCarthy and coming out at the end of August, provides any R-rated comedy competition for Kunis & co.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ found its voice this week to earn $9.1m, leaving it just $9m away from reaching $100m domestically. Denzel Washington’s ‘The Equalizer 2’ grossed $8.8m, and is tracking at exactly the same pace as the first film, with $79.8m after the second weekend. Losing 850 cinemas, but still coasting along with a solid $8m this weekend, was ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’, coming in ahead of ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’s $6.4m.

If there was any hope for a YA dystopian revival, then Jennifer Yuh Nelson’s bomb ‘The Darkest Minds’ killed it off with just $5.8m off a $34m budget. Stars Mandy Moore, Amandla Stenberg, Bradley Whitford, and Gwendoline Christie couldn’t save this adaptation of Alexandra Bracken’s popular book, which will be lucky to even finish at $20m domestically. Fox’s dreams of a potential sequel are now dashed, and they’ll want to save face in the ancillary markets of the Box Office, with any hopes to at least break-even resting on Blu-Ray and digital sales.

Disney’s ‘Incredibles 2’ will have no such worries, after earning $5m to close to in on that $600m domestic mark. The top ten is then rounded off by ‘Teen Titans Go! To The Movies’, losing its power with just $4.8m, as expected. Other wide releases, A24’s comedy-drama ‘Eighth Grade’ and Dinesh D’Souza’s controversial documentary ‘Death of a Nation’ battled for 12th and 13th place; ‘Eighth Grade’ earning $2.9m from 1,084 cinemas, while ‘DoaN’ made just $2.4m from 1,005.

How impressed are you with ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’s second weekend hold? Did Christopher Robin disappoint, or was it in-line with your expectations? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: Close Finishes Expected In This 5-Star Weekend

Written by Dapo Olowu

We may be cooling on the summer blockbusters, but that doesn’t stop the competition from hotting up, as five (yes, five) new films enter wide release in the U.S. this weekend. Leading the bunch is Disney’s ‘Christopher Robin’, starring Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, and directed by ‘World War Z’ and ‘Finding Neverland’s Marc Forster. The comedy-drama follows Winnie-the-Pooh and friends teaming up with an older Christopher Robin, who has lost his sense of imagination.

While the film aims to please both critically and commercially, its middling reviews (60% on the Tomatometer coupled with a 59 Metascore) may see it open similarly to another ‘so-so’ animal-based CGI/live-action mix from earlier this year, ‘Peter Rabbit’. That opened to a solid, but unspectacular $25m back in February, alongside ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ and ‘The 15:17 to Paris’. Although the increased competition could be a hindrance, Disney’s brand power could see an opening for ‘Christopher Robin’ hit close to $28m.

This would mark McGregor’s 2nd biggest non-franchise opening, behind only 2005s ‘Robots’ ($36m). It won’t be enough for the top spot, however, as Christopher McQuarrie’s action-thriller ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ hopes to manage a drop under 50% for its second weekend, a feat that ‘Rogue Nation’ accomplished back in 2015. While ‘Fallout’ should earn just under $32m — to push it well over the $100m domestic mark and the $200m global total, the hope now is for its stellar reviews to help it leg out as the summer tentpole season comes to an end.

Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis team up for ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’, an R-rated action-comedy that hopes to better the former’s last effort, ‘Rough Night’, which opened to just $8m on its way to a $22.1m domestic gross and a $47.3m worldwide total. A 40% on the Tomatometer and having 4 other new films vying for a general audience could see this open to less than ‘Tag’, which earned $14.9m in its first 3 days just a month and a half ago. A $14m gross will be enough for third place, ahead of ‘The Darkest Minds’, which is caught in a tight battle with ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’.

It’s safe to say that the YA dystopian era of films has been left behind. While young adult movies are broad enough to encompass everything from ‘Harry Potter’ to ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, the YA dystopian genre peaked with ‘The Hunger Games’, fell with ‘The Divergent’ series, and finally ended this year with the last ‘Maze Runner’ film. This raises the question as to why Amandla Stenberg’s ‘The Darkest Minds’, directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and featuring a group of teens with special powers running from the government, wasn’t released years ago.

Still, this is a Box Office article so I’ll leave the reviews to the better-equipped JUMPCUT team. It features a poor 39 Metascore, and just 15% on Rotten Tomatoes (with only 6 positive reviews), meaning I can’t even see this reaching the numbers of 2016s ‘The 5th Wave’ ($10.3m opening), let alone getting close to Stenberg’s biggest hit, ‘The Hunger Games’ ($152.5m opening). An $8.5m opening will just be enough to clear ‘Mamma Mia 2’, which should earn around $8.3m.

The Equalizer 2’ aims to stabilise this weekend after its 62% fall 7 days ago, to earn $7m, while ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ should reach $300m worldwide this weekend with a $6.5m domestic take. Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ finally opens in the U.K., which should pad its already-comfy $212.2m international gross., and in the U.S. it aims to earn $5m more to bring it closer to a $200m domestic total. Animation ‘Teen Titans Go! To The Movies’ looks to make around $5m too, and ‘Incredibles 2’, which recently became the fastest animated film to reach $1bn, will continue its journey with a $4m gross.

Finally, although both won’t reach the top ten, it’s a race for the better finish between the last two wide releases of the weekend, with A24s coming-of-age comedy-drama, ‘Eighth Grade’, boasting 98% on the Tomatometer, facing off against Dinesh D’Souza’s controversial documentary, ‘Death of a Nation’. ‘DoaN’, which aims to emulate ‘RBG’ and ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ by joining the club of successful 2018 documentaries, carries an impressive 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, and has been dubbed one of the worst films of the year. Still, this won’t stop it from beating out ‘Eighth Grade’s first-time director Bo Burnham, with a $3m gross compared to the latter’s $2.9m.

But what do you think? Will ‘Death of a Nation’ succeed? Will ‘Christopher Robin’ rise above ‘Mission: Impossible 6’? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Ant-Man & The Wasp

Year: 2018
Directed by: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Laurence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Forston

WRITTEN BY CHRIS GELDERD

This 2018 American superhero film is the sequel to 2015’s ‘Ant-Man’ and the twentieth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It is directed by Peyton Reed and stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Michael Douglas, Hannah John-Kamen, Walton Goggins, Laurence Fishburne, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park and Michelle Pfeiffer.

One of the most under-rated Marvel superheroes launched in 2015 with his big-screen debut, bringing together a solid cast and adding more pieces to the MCU puzzle. In ‘Captain America: Civil War’, Ant-Man stole the show by becoming Giant-Man in an all to brief but highly entertaining appearance. Now it’s time for the inevitable sequel; one that not only surpasses the original, but lets core Marvel values shine brightly in a franchise currently clouded by recent doom and gloom.

Grab your popcorn and kick back. It’s time to have some fun once again.

This film belongs to Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly – it’s a film about partnership, about family, friendship and being. It’s ‘Ant-Man & The Wasp‘; equal heading, equal footing on marketing and everything in-between. Rudd doesn’t need to try too hard to be humorous, but he still manages to do it in a very heartfelt and endearing way, making Scott Lang stand out as one of the Marvel heroes simply wearing a super suit and uses his heart, head, and honour to fight evil, rather than gifted God-like superpowers.

On the other side of this duo, Evangeline Lilly holds her own across the whole film. She is ballsy, brainy and badass.  She’s a real humane hero who doesn’t become a damsel in distress. She clearly takes care of herself when the heat is turned up and, along with Rudd, shows some real heart and emotion that pushes the core themes forward. Rudd and Lily are equal, neither have greater ability than the other when it comes down to fighting the good fight, and none of them are there as a spare tool. It’s equality, and then some, and so much more enjoyable for it with them being together. The trailer used lyrics It takes two to make a thing go right. It takes two to make it outta’ sight.” Never a truer phrase in this case.

With a stellar supporting cast including veterans Michael Douglas (who has even more to do this time around thankfully) and the amusing guilty-pleasure comedy of Michael Peña who all add to the story rather than be expendable, new faces also add to the overall quality. Laurence Fishburne helps expand character relations and morals, Walton Goggins as our charming black market bad guy for hire and Michelle Pfeiffer as the original Wasp and wife of Hank.

Young Abby Ryder Forston as Cassie, Lang’s daughter, shines with as much warmth and wit as Rudd in her scenes and is a joy to see on screen. But it is Hannah John-Kamen who strikes a chord as Ava Starr – our ‘Ghost’ – who has a molecular instability thanks to reasons left to be discovered. She’s pushed as the villain of the piece, but is she? Director Peyton Reed tiptoes towards MCU cliché in her goals and actions, but each time pulls back from the brink to give us something a little different and unexpected. Her story is a sad one and while she is highly dangerous in what she does and why, it’s the journey she takes mirroring the heroes that add some great moments and thrills, thrills that come thick and fast, and help define “popcorn entertainment”.

We have a brilliantly choreographed car chase that involve trucks, motorbikes, Pez dispensers and Hot Wheels racers. We have a hotel lobby and kitchen fight, once more perfectly choreographed, that showcases Lily in full force. We also have eye-popping ‘Doctor Strange’-esque quantum realm travel and bone-crunching hand to hand combat. The whole pace of the movie is perfect, and the action compliments each development and progresses everything and everyone without being pointless.

There isn’t the need for city-wide destruction and mass genocide here. It’s a family-friendly film, but one that harkens a little more to classic Marvel themes before the stakes were as high as they could be and it felt things had peaked. ‘Ant-Man & The Wasp’ takes the threat of Thanos out of the equation for a couple of hours and reduces all pointless cameos and Avenger interaction to give Ant-Man both a fair stand-alone sequel but also presenting new ideas for the future of the franchise.

The humour is on top form where you will find yourself chuckling along a lot of the time without even knowing it thanks to the snappy character exchanges. Yet, fear not, the movie isn’t stupid nor does it rely on infantile humour to get the laughs. There is a lot of heart to this film – the narrative is more about family and faith over Infinity Stones and nuclear wars – so you will certainly be able to invest in the characters, what they do and why.

Another strong reason this film seems to make great leaps forward to Marvel is the visual effects that stand amongst the best in the current franchise. There is no need for constant green screen and masses of CGI locations thanks to keeping things Earth based with practical sets and effects. The stand-out moments are the shrinking and enlarging of Ant-Man and Wasp. Split second transformations in the middle of breakneck fights are seamless and fluid, with the environment and characters reacting accordingly. Nothing feels jarred or loose. It’s tight, imaginative, entertaining and exciting. And when Ant-Man loses control of his suit’s regulator, there’s just more good fun to be had.

Ant-Man & The Wasp’ doesn’t try to compete with the juggernaut of ‘Infinity War’, it instead does the wise thing and distances itself far from it. If the bar to judge all MCU films hinges on ‘IW’, then you’ll find you miss out on these smaller gems that expand the forgotten heroes and their own stories.

However, for the ones who are worried, then don’t be. Events of ‘Infinity War’ are referenced in the film. How? When? You’ll have to find out for yourself and watch that Marvel cloud of doom and gloom smother the care-free fun you just had.

CHRIS’ RATING:

5

Weekend BO Report: ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ Delivers Franchise-Best Opening As Other Films Fall Out Of Love

Written by Dapo Olowu

It’s been a mixed year for Paramount Studios so far, with the studio delivering Box Office flops in Johnny Knoxville’s ‘Action Point’, ‘Sherlock Gnomes’, and critical darling ‘Annihilation’, but also releasing Box Office bombshells, ‘A Quiet Place’ (6th biggest horror movie of all time) and leggy rom-com, ‘Book Club’. The introduction of ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’, starring Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, and Simon Pegg, makes it an even split in the disappointments vs. successes battle, as its $61.2m opening means it’s not only the studios biggest opening of the year, but the franchise’s biggest too.

The potential for this to beat the $57.8m of ‘MI2’ was evident; ‘Fallout’s franchise-best 98% on the Tomatometer was coupled by an A on Cinemascore, the only time the series has bettered an A-. Its gender-split of 55% male was an improvement on the more skewed audience profile of ‘Rogue Nation’s opening and, although the opening itself is only the 8th biggest of the year so far, it marks Tom Cruise’s 2nd best – just behind 2005s ‘War of the Worlds’ ($64.9m). Globally, ‘Fallout’ has hit $155.8m off a $178m budget, a fantastic start for the star-studded action-thriller.

In one of the biggest drops of the weekend, ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ made just $15.1m (-57%) in a classic case of sequel-itis. The seemingly front-loaded musical now sits on a strong $70.5m in the U.S., and a whopping $167.9m worldwide, after just 2 weekends in release. Blasting in with $14m is ‘The Equalizer 2’, which was hit hard by ‘Fallout’, resulting in a 61% drop. ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ earned $12.3m and is now just $50m away from franchise-best ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’s domestic total of $169.7m.

If ‘Fallout’ was a success, then ‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies’ was the opposite, pulling in just $10.4m in its first 3 days (although its $10m budget means Warner Bros. won’t lose too much sleep over it). The issue here was two-fold: there were already two major animated films out this week, in ‘HT3’ and record-breaking ‘Incredibles 2’, and the film has a very specific audience (i.e. fans of the TV show) making this a tight squeeze. What this resulted in was ‘Teen Titans’ becoming the first superhero movie since ‘Fan4stic’ not to debut at number one. The film that did sit atop the charts back then, in August 2015? ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’.

Ant-Man and The Wasp’ continues to fly high, earning $8.8m to close in on the $200m domestic mark, and it is currently just $4m away from $400m worldwide (without China, Japan, Germany, or the U.K., mind you). ‘Incredibles 2’ is now just under $1m away from reaching $1bn globally, after earning $7.3m this weekend in the U.S., while ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ made $6.7m. Finally, ‘Skyscraper’ and ‘The First Purge’ round off the top ten with $5.3m and $2.2m alike.

So, ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ reached the $60m mark, but ‘Teen Titans Go! To The Movies’ disappointed in a weekend with big weekend drops. What were you expecting? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ To Cruise To A Franchise Best Opening

Written by Dapo Olowu

The last weekend in July sees Tom Cruise’s first film in a year, ‘Mission: Impossible  – Fallout’, come up against a nice dose of counter-programming in ‘Teen Titans Go! To The Movies’. While it’s inevitable that ‘MI6’ will cruise to a win against the animated comedy (and to first place this weekend), the real question is, what will this film open to?

After the semi-death of the ‘Transformers’ franchise last summer (although its reboot this December may mean there’s life in it yet), Paramount’s only real profit-churning franchise is the ‘Mission: Impossible’ series. They’re a group of films that have all increased steadily in budget with each sequel, but have opened to a high of just $57.8m, achieved 18 years ago with ‘MI2’. The same film earned the franchise’s biggest domestic gross of $215.4m, while Brad Bird’s 2011 release ‘Ghost Protocol’ made $694.7m worldwide — the highest to date.

Now, with a production cost of at least $180m (Cruise’s injury actually ballooned the budget to well over $200m, but an insurance payout deflated this), ‘MI6’ needs to be the franchises big breakout, and boy do they deserve it. ‘MI6’ is coming after two films with a 93% rating on the Tomatometer, and its own 98% (and 86 on Metacritic) means it’s supposedly the best yet.

‘MI6’ sees Cruise back as the iconic Ethan Hunt; alongside Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, and Simon Pegg, we see Angela Bassett and Henry Cavill added to the Impossible Mission’s Force — and, hopefully, we’ll also see it becoming the first film to do the impossible and open to over $60m. We’re foreseeing a $63m gross, which’ll serve as Cruise’s second biggest opening, just behind ‘War of the Worlds’ in 2005 ($64.9m).

It’ll be another second place finish for ‘Mamma Mia 2’, as it aims for a similar drop to 2012s ‘Les Miserables’, to bring in around $20.6m. Just behind will be one of 3 animations in the top ten, ‘Teen Titans Go!’, which proved quite difficult to predict. Based on the TV show, and starring beloved superheroes like Robin, Cyborg, Raven, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Nicholas Cage (!) as Batman, this could go as high as ‘The Lego Movie’ ($69.1m), or as low as, well, anything. Its 88% on the Tomatometer hints towards the former and a $10m budget means a small opening may not spell trouble, but it’s most likely that these young bucks will fight their way to a $20m opening.

After the shock debut of Denzel Washington’s ‘The Equalizer 2’ last week, it’ll be back to normal in the next 3 days with a 50%+ drop, to post just under $17m. The introduction of ‘Teen Titans Go!’ may lead to some audience crossover with ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’, but the latter should hold strong to earn over $14m, clear of ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’s $10.4m. The MCU sequel will pass the domestic gross of 2015s ‘Ant-Man’ this weekend and could even pass the entire worldwide gross of Disney flop ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’, if its international markets perform well.

Incredibles 2’ will continue its superb run as it closes in on the $1bn worldwide mark with over $8m this weekend, just ahead of ‘Jurassic World 2’ with $7.5m. Finally, ‘Skyscraper’ and ‘The First Purge’ round off the top ten, looking to gross $5.7m and $2.5m each.

Is ‘Teen Titans Go!’ to become a hit like ‘The LEGO Movie’? Will ‘MI6hit that magical $60m mark, or will it fall just short like the rest? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Report: ‘The Equalizer 2’ Guns Down The Competition In A Tight Finish

Written by Dapo Olowu

It’s weekends like these that remind me why I love the Box Office. Just when you thought ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!’ would dance away with the number one spot, it was Antoine Fuqua’s ‘The Equalizer 2’ that had the last laugh — earning $36m in its opening weekend, just $1m above ‘Mamma Mia 2’s $35m. ‘E2’, Denzel Washington’s first ever sequel, went into Saturday $1m below MM2’ but had the benefit of not being as front-loaded, with Friday making up just 37% of its weekend gross (compared to ‘MM2’s 41%). This may be down to ‘MM2’s skewed opening audience (83% women) but nevertheless, it’s a solid start for both.

The opening of ‘E2’ marks Denzel Washington’s 3rd biggest ever, behind 2007s ‘American Gangster’ ($43.6m) and 2012s ‘Safe House’ ($40.2m); it’s also Antoine Fuqua’s biggest, beating another Denzel-collab, 2016s ‘The Magnificent Seven’ ($34.7m). Meanwhile, ‘MM2’s officially the third biggest musical opening of all time, just ahead of ‘Enchanted’ ($34.4m), and although the film probably won’t reach a 5.19x opening weekend multiplier like ‘MM’ did in 2008, a strong finish is still expected. The musical also opened to $42.4m overseas, including $13m from the U.K.

On a studio level, this marks a second consecutive weekend at the top for Sony, whose last double triumph was back in January, when ‘Jumanji 2’ brought in the new year at number one for three straight weeks. Looking forward to next weekend, Sony would be lucky to remain in the top 3, with the introduction of Tom Cruise’s ‘MI6: Fallout’ and DC animation, ‘Teen Titans Go! To The Movies’.

On the topic of Sony, ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ had the biggest 2nd week drop in the franchise, falling nearly 50% to post a $23.8m gross. It’s already made $208.1m worldwide since its release, marking a very prosperous few weeks for the company who’ve had a mixed year so far. In fourth place was ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ earning a solid $16.5m to leave it $15m shy (in just its 3rd weekend) of equalling the $180.2m domestic total made by ‘Ant-Man’ 3 years ago.

With the smallest drop of the weekend, ‘Incredibles 2’s $11.9m gross (a fall of just 27%) leaves it under $50m away from being the 3rd film of the year to reach $600m in the U.S., and just $60m away from making $1bn worldwide. The Rock’s ‘Skyscraper’ only just made it past ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’, making $11.4m compared to ‘JW2’s $11.3m. Although the former was able to open in China to $47m (during the Chinese cinema’s Hollywood blackout period, too), this still won’t be enough to save it from being a flop.

Horror, ‘The First Purge’, produced no shocks, earning in-line with our expectations ($5.1m), while BH Tilt’s ‘Unfriended: Dark Web’ grossed just $3.7m from 1,546 cinemas. Finally, Boots Riley’s ‘Sorry to Bother You’ added nearly 250 cinemas to its roster, but couldn’t improve its total from last week, finishing with just $2.9m.

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Weekend BO Predictions: Two New Releases Go Head-to-Head For Top Spot, But Only Will Be Crowned The $30m Dancing Queen

Written by Dapo Olowu

Three new sequels aim to please U.S. audiences this weekend, with star-studded ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!’, Denzel Washington’s ‘Equalizer 2’, and Blumhouse’s ‘Unfriended: Dark Web’ dropping into thousands of cinemas each. ‘Mamma Mia 2’, the successor of the 2008 bombshell that hit a high note of $615.7m worldwide (4th biggest musical ever), is set exactly 10 years on from the first and sees the return of (but not limited to) Donna (Streep) and Sophie (Amanda), and the introduction of Andy Garcia and Lily James.

Hoping to better ‘Mamma Mia’s unspectacular $27.8m opening, ‘MM2’ will also be aware that any opening above $30m would ensure it’s one of the 5 biggest Musical openings ever – and with a warm reception (80% on the Tomatometer), this may just happen. We’re expecting a gross around $36m, to sit comfortably between 2007s ‘Enchanted’ ($34.4m) and 2008s ‘High School Musical 3’ ($42m), but a far cry from 2017s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in number one ($174.8m).

It’s not the size of the opening that matters here, however, as musicals generally have strong Box Office lungs (‘The Greatest Showman’ is still in U.S. cinemas 8 months on). The previous film in 2008 achieved a phenomenal 5.19x opening weekend multiplier, for a domestic finish of $144.1m. ‘MM2’ is destined to be more front-loaded, but a domestic finish over $100m is almost ensured, and a huge worldwide gross to offset its $70m production cost is a guarantee, leaving many wondering, why didn’t this film come sooner?

Two Sony films battle for second place in ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ and ‘Equalizer 2’, and it’s looking like a close fight between the pair. While ‘HT3’ is looking to check in ahead of its prequels at just over $26m, Denzel Washington’s first ever sequel ‘E2’ is failing to hit ‘The Equaliser’s target of $34.1m – a target that then reached $101.5m in the States and $192.3m worldwide. ‘E2’s underwhelming RT score pales in comparison (41% vs. 60%), and is looking at a drop similar to ‘London Has Fallen’, which opened at 29% under director Antoine Fuqua’s ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ back in 2016. A similar-ish drop gives both Fuqua and Denzel (in their 4th film together) a $25.5m opening, a long-shot away from original tracking of over $30m.

The shoot-em-up sees Denzel back as Robert McCall, the retired CIA Blacks Ops operative, avenging the death of an old friend. It stars Pedro Pascal and Ashton Sanders, as well as Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo. It’s cast, like ‘MM2’ is stacked with talent, but unlike ‘MM2’, which is opening in 41 markets worldwide, news on ‘E2’s international release is limited, and with ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ opening next weekend, ‘E2’ may find itself outgunned very quickly.

This weekend also sees ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ in its 3rd weekend, and this looks to stabilise after a heavy 2nd weekend fall with $14.8m. The disappointment of ‘Skyscraper’ looks to continue, as it’ll earn just over $10m, just above ‘Incredibles 2’ as the latter continues its impressive run. Universal’s ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ will aim to earn close to $9.7m, and ‘The First Purge’ and ‘Sorry to Bother You’ will gross $5.1m and $4m each.

Rounding off this weekend is Blumhouse Tilt’s ‘Unfriended: Dark Web’, the $1m-budgeted horror looking to cause a scare In the top ten. Opening in just 1,500 cinemas (like most of BH Tilt’s releases), the film acts as a stand-alone sequel to 2014s ‘Unfriended’, with a completely different cast, including ‘Get Out’s Betty Gabriel, and Colin Woodell. Opening in over 1,000 cinemas less than ‘Unfriended’ means any chances of ‘U2’ opening close to the former’s $15.8m is near impossible, and should earn around $4m, in-line with BH Tilt’s other releases.

With one of the first weekends ever where 8 sequels making up the top ten is upon us, what do you think will be the biggest surprise? Will ‘Mamma Mia 2’ dance ahead of the pack, or will ‘Equalizer 2’ hunt down the competition? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Report: ‘Skyscraper’ Fails To Hit Predicted Heights

Written by Dapo Olowu

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ coasted to first place in the domestic Box Office this weekend, marking the third time a film in the franchise debuted atop the U.S. charts. Its $44.1m gross, in-line with the $42.5m made by ‘HT1’ and the $48.5m earned by ‘HT2’, came from an audience which gave the animated-comedy an A- on Cinemascore (exactly the same as its predecessors).

Its domestic gross was also complimented by an overseas total of $46.4m across 44 countries (including topping the charts in over 30 territories), making enough to top the international charts too. Made on an $80m budget, the film follows Dracula (Sandler) and his family (Samberg and co) taking time off from running the hotel to get a holiday of their own. They can’t rest too easily, however, as competition, in the form of ‘Teen Titans Go! To The Movies’, hits cinemas in just 2 weeks.  

Earning $15m less than ‘HT3’ was ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’, dropping like a fly in its second weekend, to post $29.1. Its 62% fall was reminiscent of MCU-fan favourite ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, which saw a similar drop in its second weekend, after the release of ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’. ‘SM:HC’, of course, rebounded for a domestic finish of $334.2m. A similar multiplier for ‘Ant-Man 2’ gives a U.S. total of $216.8m — a healthy return for a film yet to open in China, and for one not expected to truly break-out at all.

If ‘Ant-Man 2’s performance this week was disappointing, then The Rock’s ‘Skyscraper’ was all but a flop. Earning just $24.9m in its first 3 days from a $125m budget, it marks Dwayne Johnson’s worst opening since last May’s ‘Baywatch’. While a year may not seem long for us mere humans, it actually marks a period in which 4 (yes, 4) films starring The Rock have been released. It’s average B+ on Cinemascore, nor its 50% on the Tomatometer, can save ‘Skyscraper’ from being a domestic bomb.

The film only made $40.4m in international markets, as numbers across the globe continue to make for a depressing viewing. The film (co-financed by a Chinese-owned company) now relies heavily on the Chinese market, where it doesn’t open until Friday, to recoup the large amounts of money spent. The hope here is that Dwayne Johnson-fatigue hasn’t set in, unlike in the U.S., where audiences may just be a little too used to his presence on the big screen.

Incredibles 2’ held well against strong competition to gross a remarkable $16.3m in its 5th weekend, for a domestic total of $535.9m. This makes it the 9th biggest domestic film of all time, taking the place of ‘The Dark Knight’ (which started 2018 in 7th place). Its global take of $858.5m is the most impressive figure here, as the film hasn’t yet opened in countries such as Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Italy. The aim now is for ‘I2’ to join the list of only six (‘Frozen’, ‘Minions’, ‘Toy Story 3’, ‘Despicable Me 3’, ‘Finding Dory’ and ‘Zootopia’) animated films to break $1bn.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ continued to perform well this weekend, earning $16.2m in the U.S., as well as a Universal Studio-record $12.7m opening in Japan — making a $364m domestic and $1.14bn global total respectively. Horror, ‘The First Purge’, delivered well against expectations, dropping by just 46% to earn $9.3m. Possibly the biggest surprise this week was Boots Riley’s ‘Sorry to Bother You’ earning $4.2m to reach 7th place, beating our $2.6m predictions by Saturday afternoon. This was more than enough to leapfrog ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’ ($3.9m), ‘Uncle Drew’ ($3.2m), and ‘Ocean’s 8’ ($2.9m), who are likely to leave the top ten after this week.

Just how badly will ‘Skyscraper’ do? Was it to be expected? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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