The Crazy Rich Asians crazy-good box office streak continues. Most pundits were pretty sure that Jon M. Chu’s film would hold its number 1 spot this week against a challenge from a bunch of dirty puppets, but even the most optimistic estimates did not plan on CRA nearly equaling its opening weekend with $25 million. That’s the best second weekend, in terms of drops, for a box office winner this year. With the upcoming Labor Day weekend – which it pretty much has all to itself – the first chapter of what we assume will now be a cinematic trilogy is headed towards numbers that live up to its title.
As of Friday, Crazy Rich Asians was on par with where 2013’s We’re the Millers and 2011’s The Help were sitting at this stage in their runs (both August releases earned $57.1 million in their first 10 days; CRA had $58.8 million). We’re the Millers, which would have been sixth on that drop list above, with a solid -32%, had grossed $69.6 million by the end of its second weekend, and finished with over $150 million. The Help had $71.3 million by the end of its second weekend and went on to earn $169.7 million. Crazy Rich Asians is at an estimated $76.8 million as of Sunday. If the pattern holds, Warner Bros. should be smiling.
Global Road, formerly known as Open Road Films, continues its streak of box office disappointments. As reported here before, it has not opened a film to $10 million since Halloween weekend 2014, with Nightcrawler, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Of the 31 films the studio has opened in over 2,000 screens in its nearly six-year history, only six have reached that $10 million opening mark. This weekend Global Road released A.X.L. (22% on the Tomatometer) in just 1,710 theaters, and it grossed $2.9 million. That is a per-theater-average of just $2,060. On the bright side, it is the best opening-weekend PTA under the Global Road banner for the year: their 2018 releases include Show Dogs ($1,875 PTA), Midnight Sun ($1,843), and Hotel Artemis ($1,343).
For the second week in a row, STX put out a film that will come up significantly short of its cost. Last weekend’s Mile 22 took a 56% tumble and is barely going to get over $30 million when all is said and done. Now The Happytime Murders, with a reported $40 million budget (not including prints and advertising), opened to just $10 million. Laying this at the feet of Melissa McCarthy is a little unfair, since this is more of a dirty-puppet vehicle, but her previous lowest opening as a leading human was this summer’s Life of the Party with $17.8 million. The average gross of films opening in the Happytime range in August is $35.2 million, but word-of-mouth coupled with its 23% Tomatometer score may make even that goal unattainable.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout will be crossing the $200 million line next weekend. It has earned over $538 million worldwide and is well into profit for Paramount with China coming next week. Warner Bros.’ big-budgeted The Meg crossed the $100 million mark domestically and $400 million worldwide, and is likely to keep swimming forward with big earnings across Labor Day domestically. Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman took in another $5 million this weekend after Focus expanded it once again to an additional 126 theaters. At this rate it should become the third highest-grossing film of Lee’s career and amongst the 15 biggest domestic grossers for Focus Features. Bleecker Street’s 546-theater release of the remake of Papillon (54% on the Tomatometer) grossed just $1.1 million, which is less than their 2016 August release of spy film, Anthropoid, which made $1.23 million in just 452 theaters.
The final weekend of August was led by holdovers, The Hitman’s Bodyguard and Annabelle: Creation. The best of the new releases was the second-to-last wide release of the disgraced Weinstein Company. Animated ballet flick Leap! grossed just $4.7 million on its first weekend, but had a reasonable final turnover with nearly $22 million in the U.S. The Bruce Lee tale, Birth of the Dragon, mustered $2.7 million, just $80,000 more than the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight grossed on 532 screens. Last year’s total top 10 box office for this weekend came to $46.1 million; this year’s estimates come to $85 million.
Summer limps into Labor Day weekend with its widest release in Kin, Lionsgate’s modern answer to Laserblast, co-starring Miles Truitt, James Franco, Dennis Quaid, Jack Reynor, and Zoë Kravitz. The highly acclaimed Sundance Audience Award winner, Searching, with John Cho and Debra Messing, expands into over 1,000 theaters. The thriller currently sits at 92% on the Tomatometer and grossed $360,000 this weekend in just nine locations – that’s a killer average of $40,000 per theater. Finally, Focus puts The Little Stranger, Lenny Abrahamson’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning Room, into limited release.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]