Weekend BO Predictions: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ To Splash The Cash With An Opening Above $20m

Written by Dapo Olowu

As the summer comes to an end and the blockbusters become few and far between, herein lies the opportunity for a breakout film to end the season strongly, compared to this time year, when ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ spent the last 3 weekends of August atop the charts with a combined gross of just $42.3m.

This year feels different, however, as ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, ‘Mile 22’, and ‘Alpha’ all aim to land big in the U.S. this weekend. It’ll be a 3 days to remember for Warner Bros especially, as their surprise hit ‘The Meg’ looks to bring in around $22m this weekend, just ahead of the $30m-budgeted ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, to give the studio a 1-2 finish.

The latter film, based on a novel and directed by Jon M. Chu (Now You See Me 2, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) looked to cash in early, opening on Wednesday to a solid $5m. It marks a great first day for the romantic-comedy that becomes the first Hollywood film since 1993 (Disney’s ‘The Joy Luck Club’) to star an almost-entirely Asian cast, a feat that will (hopefully) continue a trend of greater diversity on our screens.

The film stars Constance Wu as Rachel Chu, who discovers on a trip to Singapore that her boyfriend, Nick Young, is part of a one of the country’s richest families. We also see Ken Jeong, Gemma Chan, and ‘Ocean’s 8’ star Awkwafina. The ‘fish out of water’ story is one that’s well-known in the comedy circles, but it hasn’t stopped the film from a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and an A on Cinemascore.

Ticketing site Fandango have apparently reported the film’s pre-sales to be above that of ‘Girls Trip’ at the same time of release, although the early release may throw a spanner in the works. The aforementioned film opened to a magnificent $31.2m last summer, on its way to earning $115.2m domestically. Although such an opening is likely for ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ first five days, we’re predicting a modest $21.6m for its Friday-Monday.

Trailing in its wake is the fourth Mark Wahlberg-Peter Berg collab, ‘Mile 22’. Coming after biopics such as ‘Lone Survivor’, Deepwater Horizon’, and ‘Patriots Day’ (which opened to an ever-decreasing $37.8m, $20.2m, and $11.6m alike), ‘Mile 22’ marks the first time the duo have made a film not made a film based on real life, with Wahlberg reportedly saying that they ‘wanted to do something less intense’. With each previous film being positively rated on the Tomatometer, all carry some goodwill into this latest action-thriller, that cost around $35m to produce.

The goodwill can only carry them so far, however, as ‘Mile 22’ carries a rotten 21% on the Tomatometer. The film stars Mark Wahlberg and John Malkovich as CIA operatives, and are joined by Ronda Roussey, Lauren Cohan, and ‘The Raid’s Iko Uwais. Although ‘Mile 22’s audience will differ massively from ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, its opening will still be on the lower side of the Wahl-Berg (ha) group, with around $14m. This’ll be enough to become STX Entertainment’s third biggest opening of the year, below ‘I Feel Pretty’s $16m and ‘Den of Thieves$15.2m, so at least there’s decent news for some.

Paramount’s ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ should earn just under $12m to close in on the $200m domestic total, a mark only 2 ‘M:I’ films (‘M:I2’ and ‘Ghost Protocol’) have ever reached. Following this is ‘Christopher Robin’ which, like Disney’s ‘Pete’s Dragon’ 2 years ago, should see a drop in the mid-30s to gross $8.4m. The final new release of the week is Albert Hughes’ ‘Alpha’, starring Kodi Smit-McPhee. The pre-historic adventure film has a good 80% on the Tomatometer, and looks to make an (albeit small) impression from around 2,700 cinemas. The film shares similarities with 2008s ’10,000 B.C.’, but its $35m+ opening offers no help, so we’re looking at this year’s ‘Early Man’ as comparison. A $7m-ish gross looks likely for the Sony Pictures film, which has suffered from animal abuse investigations, and multiple release delays.

Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’ looks to continue its solid start with a $6.7m gross, while ‘Slender Man’ is expected to fall by the wayside, with just over $4m to be made. ‘Mamma Mia 2’ and ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ round off the weekend’s top ten, with close to $4m from both.

In a tight weekend, who will prevail as the victor? Will ‘The Meg’ hold out, or will ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ take first place? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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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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