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.