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.