Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Equalizer Delivers Justice Over Mamma Mia

Plus Eighth Grade and Blindspotting draw indie crowds on the weekend of July 20-22.

by | July 22, 2018 | Comments

The first Equalizer had been Antoine Fuqua’s greatest domestic success to date, and his only to (barely) make over $100 million. Mamma Mia, on the other hand, was a $144 million domestic hit – with nine years of theatrical sing-alongs leading up to its sequel – with a worldwide tally that bests Fuqua’s King Arthur, Equalizer, The Magnificent Seven, The Replacement Killers, and Bait combined. In this weekend’s battle of the sequels, the headline was set to read “ABBA Beats Denzel.” But then the tides turned.


King of the Crop: Equalizer 2 Give’s Fuqua His Best Opening Ever

(Photo by Glen Wilson /© Columbia Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection)

Sony was on the low-end of expectations this weekend for Equalizer 2, preparing for a decent if unremarkable number around $27 million. The Equalizer started with $34.1 million, but the sequel safely beat it with $35.8m. Antoine Fuqua may not have set the box office on fire in the past but Denzel Washington certainly has, with Equalizer 2 is now the third highest opening of his career, behind American Gangster and Safe House. It is also the third collaboration (out of four) between actor and filmmaker to open between $34-$36 million. 

Only two of Denzel’s seven films to open over $25 million have managed to do a 3x multiple upon their first weekend (Safe House and Inside Man). And only one of them (The Book of Eli) had a lower critical score (47% on the Tomatometer) than The Equalizer 2 (51%).

Seven films since 2014 have opened to less than $36 million during the summer and managed to hit $100 million: Baby Driver, Central Intelligence, and Edge of Tomorrow were three, and you may notice something in common with the other four (Girls Trip, Bad Moms, Trainwreck, and Spy). With Mission: Impossible – Fallout set to take over next weekend, Fuqua and Denzel may still not have the numbers to equal their previous success and are not expecting a big international tally either. But stay tuned.


(Not-So) Fresh Surprise: Mamma Mia Narrowly Misses #1

(Photo by Jonathan Prime /© Universal Studios /Courtesy Everett Collection)

Mamma Mia opened on July 18, 2008 to $27.7 million. Though hardly a critical favorite, with just a 54% Tomatometer rating, it had a 10-week stay in the Top 10. Critics have given in to the sequel a bit more, with a 79% on the Tomatometer. Despite falling back from initial estimates of a $40+ million weekend, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’s $34.3 million is nothing to sneeze at given how musicals have been doing recently.

Both Les Miserables and Mamma Mia had incredible final multiples – over 5x – finishing with $148 and $144 million, respectively. La La Land grossed over $151 million. This past December, The Greatest Showman opened to just $8.8 million in 3,006 venues and ended up with the second highest-multiple ever (19.79x) for a film to open on over 2,500 theaters in that month. (Highest ever is Titanic‘s 20.97x). So, with basically only The Spy Who Dumped Me and Crazy Rich Asians geared towards women next month, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again should be enjoying healthy returns until at least mid-August, if not past Labor Day. It has grossed an additional $42.4 million outside the U.S. already.


Rotten Returns: The Dark Web Put Back In The Shadows

(Photo by Blumhouse)

Universal got Blumhouse’s Unfriended: Dark Web into just 1,546 theaters this weekend, considerably fewer than the 2,739 the first film opened with in 2015, where it grossed $15.8 million on its opening weekend. That three-day start is likely going to be more than what Dark Web finishes with in total after just a $3.49 million weekend. It’s 57% Tomatometer is not much lower than the first film’s 63%, but this is a low-end departure for the production company whose recent releases include Insidious: The Last Key ($29.5 million opening), Happy Death Day ($26 million), The First Purge ($19.9 million from Wednesday-Friday), and Truth or Dare ($18.6 million), all of which opened in over 3,000 screens. Perhaps it was a smart move for Sony to move its Sundance pickup (and computer-windows narrative), Searching, from August 3 to August 24. The John Cho-starring thriller currently stands with a 95% Tomatometer.


Beyond the Top Ten: Eighth Grade Keeps Momentum and Blindspotting Opens Strong

Eighth Grade (A24)

Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade moved from 4 into 33 theaters this weekend and grossed another $794,370 at $24,072 per theater, boasting the second-highest per-theater-average of the weekend behind documentary McQueen (which had a $24,232 average from four theaters). Lionsgate’s Blindspotting pulled in a $23,750 average in 14 theaters, and a total of $332,500 in its first weekend. As for documentaries, Neon’s Three Identical Strangers added 166 theaters and has now grossed $4.5 million; Focus’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is now at $18.4 million and is now the 14th highest-grossing doc ever.


This Time Last Year: Dunkirk and Girls Trip Succeeds, Valerian Fails

(Photo by Warner Bros)

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk took the top spot with a $50 million opening, Girls Trip struck gold with over $31 million as well. Dunkirk would become the 5th highest-grossing film of the summer while Girls Trip would finish a surprising 10th. Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets opened to just $17 million on its way to becoming the second-biggest loser of the summer, behind King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Last year’s Top 10 haul of $172.9 million for this weekend, with an average critical score of 77.3% on the Tomatometer, is well ahead of 2018’s $154.2 million and 67.4%, but this is still the strongest summer for Hollywood since 2015. And that’s without the first week haul of Avengers: Infinity War being factored in.


On the Vine: Mission: Impossible Set To Rule Into August

(Photo by Paramount)

Next week is the action film everyone is waiting for. Skyscraper was a local bust and Equalizer 2 did fine, though neither were embraced roundly by critics. Mission: Impossible – Fallout is likely to get the money along with the good reviews. Also opening is Teen Titans Go to the Movies, which has only generated 10 reviews so far (compared to M:I’s 67) but they add up to a perfect 100% so far. Will families show up or will it follow suit with most late summer animated titles?


The Full Top 10: July 13-July 15

  1. Equalizer 2 – $35.8 million ($35.8 million total)
  2. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – $34.3 million ($34.3 million total)
  3. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation – $23.1 million ($91.0 million total)
  4. Ant-Man and the Wasp – $16.1 million ($154.6 million total)
  5. Incredibles 2 – $11.1 million ($557.3 million total)
  6. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – $11.0 million ($383.9 million total)
  7. Skyscraper – $10.9 million ($46.7 million total)
  8. The First Purge – $4.9 million ($60.1 million total)
  9. Unfriended: Dark Web – $3.4 million ($2.4 million total)
  10. Sorry to Bother You – $2.8 million ($10.2 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

Tag Cloud

Christmas crime thriller comic books 45 comiccon WGN E! Heroines dogs ID harry potter Lionsgate Pop YouTube Premium Discovery Channel golden globe awards canceled TV shows Superheroes adaptation CNN Masterpiece PBS GoT Summer elevated horror ITV political drama Tarantino Peacock DC streaming service period drama cops ABC Family Sneak Peek Cannes justice league DirecTV Calendar nbcuniversal travel based on movie Disney Channel Nominations 21st Century Fox war NYCC anime The Walt Disney Company hist Mary Tyler Moore OneApp TBS venice game show miniseries festivals australia Comics on TV psychological thriller video on demand Sci-Fi USA A24 jurassic park TCA Winter 2020 Red Carpet doctor who Rock christmas movies talk show The Walking Dead Winners comedies joker versus Netflix directors rom-coms cancelled TV series Winter TV Animation halloween foreign crime drama romance Sundance Now franchise Quiz Drama Mary Poppins Returns Tubi biography 2019 Country mockumentary best Netflix Christmas movies Trophy Talk witnail true crime Teen Toys Warner Bros. renewed TV shows Lucasfilm MCU Mary poppins Nat Geo See It Skip It television Hallmark Baby Yoda series dramedy finale Marvel zombies CBS Arrowverse Spring TV name the review SXSW Cosplay spinoff laika 2018 2017 New York Comic Con screenings historical drama singing competition Disney streaming service Lifetime Song of Ice and Fire football BAFTA comic revenge Amazon Hallmark Christmas movies cancelled criterion die hard Logo Fox News all-time Sundance TV asian-american Academy Awards Awards Tour DGA Emmy Nominations YouTube Spectrum Originals adventure National Geographic satire Holidays Paramount fresh Watching Series discovery BBC America Rom-Com social media cats spanish APB slashers casting X-Men Oscars Polls and Games children's TV Trivia Western remakes docudrama LGBT deadpool unscripted latino Showtime blaxploitation ABC The Arrangement IFC Films italian CW Seed Schedule black Apple TV Plus 007 BBC Mudbound Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt transformers blockbuster worst movies Elton John Fall TV TruTV Opinion TIFF Super Bowl Cartoon Network TV renewals Universal Rocketman Anna Paquin medical drama Video Games TV One stand-up comedy festival theme song Pet Sematary Film reviews Podcast Fantasy jamie lee curtis TNT Fox Searchlight Comedy Infographic Musicals RT History Marvel Studios Nickelodeon french Music streaming Thanksgiving emmy awards Valentine's Day OWN Mystery Food Network Marvel Television Britbox space scary movies Creative Arts Emmys twilight 71st Emmy Awards dark Writers Guild of America anthology BET The Witch TCA Awards Comedy Central james bond Brie Larson sports Paramount Plus critics Hulu chucky cancelled TV shows Marathons Captain marvel nfl Amazon Prime Star Wars films Pirates 99% superhero ABC Signature Sony Pictures Turner Classic Movies scorecard cooking Columbia Pictures Lifetime Christmas movies canceled crossover TCM sequel SundanceTV DC Comics 72 Emmy Awards Alien spy thriller Family Holiday boxing screen actors guild ghosts cinemax Year in Review VH1 Comic Book Television Academy independent MSNBC Mindy Kaling Tomatazos Dark Horse Comics A&E Starz Pop TV pirates of the caribbean romantic comedy movies Extras ratings Adult Swim Shondaland TV Land Vudu Classic Film Funimation book reboot dc Ellie Kemper rt archives spider-man FOX binge The Academy archives FX IFC Action BET Awards 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Countdown Election Amazon Studios HBO Go fast and furious zero dark thirty 2015 spanish language Kids & Family CBS All Access cars comics vampires free movies universal monsters NBC Best and Worst Ovation Avengers Superheroe Paramount Network movie TLC History cancelled television worst Turner El Rey Grammys PaleyFest Walt Disney Pictures Chernobyl San Diego Comic-Con sequels concert rotten kids Film Festival Martial Arts technology Shudder stoner sag awards quibi animated The CW green book Character Guide Crackle Endgame Apple TV+ Premiere Dates what to watch Black History Month werewolf south america documentaries politics Freeform toronto Pixar boxoffice 20th Century Fox rotten movies we love TV Chilling Adventures of Sabrina dceu stop motion breaking bad Tumblr mutant Interview Crunchyroll First Reviews Amazon Prime Video Biopics Acorn TV Certified Fresh award winner 2020 game of thrones Esquire classics Ghostbusters police drama Disney+ Disney Plus news VICE Set visit First Look Reality Competition robots disaster Pride Month WarnerMedia Apple child's play ViacomCBS indiana jones Women's History Month aliens spain PlayStation thriller Travel Channel diversity science fiction a nightmare on elm street Emmys The Purge indie YA halloween tv Binge Guide psycho Rocky Disney Plus American Society of Cinematographers nature E3 4/20 teaser RT21 Disney tv talk Television Critics Association japanese USA Network zombie Photos cartoon hispanic dragons facebook DC Universe Black Mirror toy story 24 frames documentary AMC Box Office HBO Max strong female leads FXX MTV video TCA LGBTQ Syfy supernatural richard e. Grant composers golden globes mission: impossible Reality natural history Spike parents serial killer BBC One TCA 2017 obituary SDCC Sundance Awards hollywood CMT VOD Trailer FX on Hulu crime Hear Us Out GLAAD Epix HBO President Bravo GIFs trailers batman 2016 Horror ESPN sitcom Stephen King Musical Star Trek cults YouTube Red