It was always going to be a close fight, but this weekend saw Jon M. Chu’s ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ outgross shark-thriller ‘The Meg’ for first place. The U.S. Box Office saw Warner Bros take the top two spots for the first time in just over a year, when ‘Annabelle: Creation’ and ‘Dunkirk’ brought in $35m and $10.9m alike last August. This time around, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘The Meg’ brought in $26.5m and $21.2m, with the latter having a total gross of $35.3m after its early Wednesday release.
The opening marks the second biggest start for a romantic comedy in 2018, just behind ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’s $35m in July, with the big difference being that ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ wasn’t coming off the back of a $614m global phenomenon, but a well-renowned novel from 2013. Regardless of the origins, this is a clear win for the film that was heavily-skewed towards women (68% of the opening weekend audience) and over-25s (66%). The aim now is to push on with this solid opening, and its A on Cinemascore should help the film leg out to a domestic total over $100m.
Abroad, however, it was ‘The Meg’ that continued to dominate, bringing in around $67m from international screenings to take its global total to $316m, compared to the $730k brought in by ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ from just 6 countries. It was a similar story for the Mark Wahlberg release ‘Mile 22’, which saw just $538k from 6 overseas countries, and a disappointing $13.7m in the U.S. Audiences (60% male and 73% over-25) were seemingly put off by the ‘thrill-deficient’ action flick from Wahl-Berg (ha), which opened in-line with another middling STX-thriller ‘Den of Thieves’ ($15.2m) from January. A similar opening weekend multiplier would leave ‘Mile 22’ with a domestic total in the region of $40m – a poor return off of a $35m budget.
The biggest surprise of the weekend goes to Sony’s ‘Alpha’ ($10.4m), which squared up to Paramount’s ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ ($10.8m) in a close encounter. Although ‘Alpha’s $51m budget puts more emphasis on its international gross for any chance of it breaking-even (especially with its B- on Cinemascore harming chances of a potential leggy run), the opening marks a semi-respectable start compared to forecasts that saw the film making around half as much.
Disney’s ‘Christopher Robin’ earned $8.9m for 6th place, narrowly beating out Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’, which brought in $7.4m to take its domestic total up to $23.4m. Horror ‘Slender Man’ performed better than expected, with $4.8m in its second weekend, while ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ and ‘Mamma Mia 2’ earned $3.8m and $3.4m respectively to round off the top ten.
So, with ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ topping the charts this weekend, what’s next for the film? How will it do next week against ‘The Happytime Murders’, and ‘A.X.L.’? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.