The female crooks of Ocean’s 8 made off with an estimated $41.5 million and the top spot in their debut at the North American box office over the weekend and did it in high style.
In the franchise’s return to the big screen after 11 years, Ocean’s 8 easily left the previous two weeks’ No. 1 movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, holding the box office bag, according to Box Office Mojo. The opening of the glitzy heist film with the ensemble cast led by Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, and Anne Hathaway is the best, before adjusting for inflation*, of the four films that have followed the 1960 original starring Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin. That includes the 2001 remake starring Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and George Clooney, who produced Ocean’s 8, written and directed by Gary Ross (The Hunger Games).
Women made up a whopping 70 percent of the audience for the first female-fronted tentpole release of the summer, which was rated PG 13–rated came in with a lukewarm 67% Tomatometer score. It followed the familiar formula of the previous Ocean’s films, with Bullock as Danny Ocean’s just-out-of-jail sister, who assembles a posse of crime specialists — played by Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, and Helena Bonham Carter — to plunder the New York Met Gala.
Ocean’s 8 should ultimately bring a healthy haul for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, since its production budget was a relatively modest $70 million. Its debut was the sixth-best of the year, just ahead of Ready Player One, and should only intensify Hollywood’s recent fascination with remakes featuring females in key roles. Ocean’s 8 added $12.2 million from a 12-market foreign debut.
The well-reviewed horror movie Hereditary translated its glossy 93% Tomatometer score into an impressive $13 million debut, the best ever for distributor A24, which acquired the film out of Sundance in January. It finished fourth, behind holdovers Solo ($15.2 million) and Deadpool 2 ($13.6 million). Toni Collette tops the cast of the chiller, which marked the directing debut of writer Ari Aster. Horror fans, notorious for tough grading, gave it a 63% audience rating.
The weekend’s other wide opener, the action-thriller Hotel Artemis starring Jodie Foster, disappointed with $3.2 million and eighth place for Global Releasing. Jeff Goldblum, Zachary Quinto, Sofia Boutella, and Dave Bautista co-star in the feature directing debut of writer Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3). A 44% Audience Score amplified its soft 58% Tomatometer rating.
That rumbling you heard may have been the leaping lizards of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, who stomped their way to $151 million from 48 territories for Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment in their foreign debut. It rolls out next week in China and June 22 in the U.S. and Canada, and hopes to follow in the giant footsteps of 2015’s Jurassic World and 1993’s Jurassic Park, which together generated $2.6 billion worldwide.
Avengers: Infinity War will cross the $2 billion worldwide mark for Disney and Marvel, after adding $10.9 million from overseas this weekend.
At 99%, the highest Tomatometer rating of any release this weekend belonged to Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, and indie film fans got the word. The documentary about Fred Rogers, host of the long-running kids TV show Mister Rogers Neighborhood, brought in $470,000 from just 29 theaters for Focus Features, and generated a 96% Audience Score (as of this writing). It’s powerful $16,207 per-screen average was second only to well-reviewed specialty release Hearts Beat Loud, which has a 92% Tomatometer score. The Nick Offerman–Kiersey Clemons father-daughter drama managed $74,053 from four theaters for an $18,513 per-screen average for Gunpowder and Sky.
Females fueled the box office on the second weekend in June last year as well, driving Wonder Woman to a repeat $58 million win for Warner Bros. The top 12 films brought in $139 million.
Look for the animated kids film from Incredibles 2, written and directed by Brad Bird, to knock the larcenous ladies of Ocean’s 8 from the top perch next week. It will be the first release from Pixar after word of the exit of studio chief John Lasseter. Disney announced Friday that he will leave at the end of the year, following sexual harassment allegations.
Also making wide debuts will be the R-rated ensemble comedy Tag from Warner Bros., starring Hannibal Buress, Jon Hamm, Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, and Jeremy Renner, and the action film from India Race 3, starring Anil Kapoor and Salman Khan. The wave of indie films continues — there will be roughly 30 released this month — continues. Rolling out Friday will be the IFC documentary Eating Animals; the R-rated John Travolta crime drama Gotti, based on the life of New York mobster John Gotti; and the Brazilian action drama Gabriel and the Mountain.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]