Commentary pieces are longer, stream-of-consciousness style essays about a particular topic. They can and will take many forms, are randomly organized, and are deeply saturated with personal bias.


So much has happened in the last week that I haven’t even begun to talk about – especially in the world of video games. Gamescom and QuakeCon 2018 happened recently, so there’s plenty of Doom: Eternal and Fallout 76 material out there to discuss. Life Is Strange 2 finally released some gameplay, there’s news about the Resident Evil 2 remake. The list literally goes on and on and it’s exhausting so let’s talk about how a puppet movie opened $20 million less than my estimate and threw a wrench in my predictions from last week. I’ll throw in some crap stock photos and the other box office results.

Okay? Okay.

As you may remember, Crazy Rich Asians debuted last week after an avalanche of positive media to a rock-solid $26.5 million. Meanwhile, Mile 22 and Balto Alpha debuted to less than expected results. One, because Peter Berg’s brand of filmmaking probably involves straight shots of whiskey and drunk-texting Mark Wahlberg; and two, because apparently adorable dogs can’t save clich√©, sentimental filmmaking that would make Spielberg nauseous. Everything else in theaters was a holdover.

This past weekend, however, we got ourselves a new muppet movie. Sort of. Apparently there are scenes of puppets ejaculating white string. Raunch comedy was fun while it lasted, I guess. Give it another ten years and they’ll remake Animal House to rave reviews. Until then, I’m staying home.

Anyways, before I get ahead of myself, we also saw the release of A.X.L., Papillon, and Searching – the latter two in limited release.

Overall, weekend box office receipts were about 22% below the week prior, barely surpassing $100 million domestic as this dismal August continues. That’s every movie in theaters. Anyone remember when Summer saw the largest releases? Not Winter? Anyone? Thanks Disney.

Let’s look at my predictions from last week:

  • The Happytime Murders debuts, using it’s significant 3,000 screens, puppet ejaculate, star Melissa McCarthy, and the fact that there were no other major new releases to compete with to pull in north of $30 million.
  • A.X.L. debuts similarly to Alpha and fetches $10 million.
  • Crazy Rich Asians has a small drop and earns $18-22 million.
  • The Meg drops to third place and earns $10-13 million.
  • Mile 22 falls to fourth with $8.5 million.
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout drops to fifth place with $7.5 million.
  • Alpha falls to sixth with $7 million.
  • Christopher Robin earns $6 million.
  • BlacKkKlansman earns $5.5 million.
  • Slender Man falls several spots with $2 million.
  • Hotel Transylvania 3 and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again fight it out for tenth place on the roster, each earning around $2 million.

With that in mind, let’s hop into the new batch of numbers provided by our lovely box office overlords at BoxOfficeMojo.com and their weekend-update ringleader, Brad Brevet. It’s their world, ladies and gentlemen, we just use their spreadsheets.


The Numbers

black calendar close up composition
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Yes, that’s a calendar.

In first place, dropping a phenomenal 5.7%, Crazy Rich Asians nearly mirrored its opening weekend by taking in over $25 million. That’s incredible, folks. It’s very rare to see such a prominent film drop less than 30%, let alone less than 10. Still, Asians dominating compared to its competition. It’s domestic total is nearing $78 million, and that $100 million domestic is looking more and more like a foregone conclusion. International numbers will be updated soon, hopefully.

In second place is the surprisingly leggy fish feature, The Meg. It reeled in another $13 million, a 38.4% drop, for a domestic total of about $105 million. Internationally it’s earned about $303 million so far, totally $408 million worldwide. It’s a hit, people, and Warner Bros. has owned the top two slots at the domestic box office for two weeks running.

In third place – third place – is puppet feature-failure, The Happytime Murders. Roger Rabbit this is not. Bad reviews and low interest, it seems, led this to earn only $10 million domestic over the weekend. So, I whiffed that one, but I’m undeterred. Let’s keep going.

In fourth place, with sturdier legs than Tom Cruise’s snapped ankle can claim, Mission: Impossible – Fallout earns another $8 million domestically, a 25.7% drop. Which brings its total in North America to about $193 million and I can’t wait for it to usurp M:I:II as the box office champion of the franchise. Globally it’s hovering at around $540 million.

In fifth place is a surprise: Christopher Robin. Jumping up a slot from last week, due mainly to the lack of interest in other newer releases and Disney keeping a stranglehold on major theater-chains, the film managed to drop only 28.5% with $6.3 million more in the bank. It’s domestic total is sitting pretty at $77 million, but worldwide it’s accrued only $114 million. Not quite a hit internationally, but it’s clinging to American theaters with a vengeance.

In sixth place is Mile 22, boring it’s way to a meager $6 million – a 56% drop from last weekend’s earnings. Internationally it’s pulled in about $6 million total, so Wahlberg and . . . Berg, can both put this in the win column. It’s global total after two weekends is $31 million on a budget of $50 million. Maybe their next film should be called Breaking Even, but I doubt they’ll make it.

In seventh is Alpha, earning $5.6 million off a respectable 45.9% drop. It’s domestic / international / global cume now stands at $20 million / $7 million / $27 million. With a $51 million budget, things are looking rough.

In eighth place is Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, which officially has legs. Why? Because it only dropped 27.6% and earned a solid $5 million. Word of mouth is keeping this film around, as well as an added 126 screens for people to check it out. It’s domestic total currently sits around $32 million, with $8 million international. The film was made on a budget of $15 million, so this is all just icing on a giant “Fuck Racism” cake.

In ninth place we have my second whiff: A.X.L. debuting with a piss-poor $2.9 million from 1,700 theaters. This thing will disappear as quickly as it fumbled into the cinema.

In tenth place, Slender Man almost surprises me with a 42% drop and $2.7 million. It’s hanging in with a domestic total of $25 million, and a global total of $33 million. Spooky still makes money.

The next five films have all refused to go away. They have legs and they’re still in this race, god damnit. Places eleven through fifteen are the following:

  • Hotel Transylvania 3: 33.7% drop, $2.5 million weekend. $158 million domestic total, $301 million international, and $460 million global.
  • The Equalizer 2: 30% drop, $2 million weekend. $98 million domestic total, $47 million international, and $145 million global.
  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again: 43.9% drop, $1.9 million weekend. $115 million domestic total, $230 million international, and $345 million global.
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: 31.8% drop, $1.8 million weekend. $211 million domestic total, $333 million international, $544 million global.
  • Incredibles II: 28.2% drop, $1.6 million weekend. $597 million domestic total, $545 illion international, and $1.14 billion global.

Outside the top fifteen movies we have nothing but good news. Papillon opened to a decent $1.1 million from 544 theaters. The Spy Who Dumped Me is fading away. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom finally made less than a million. Eighth Grade is still alive. Searching made a whopping $360,000 from nine theaters. And none of the other movies really matter.

So, how did I do?

Well, I don’t think many expected Crazy Rich Asians to repeat so strongly. Most movies don’t, but the hype machine wasn’t generating maximum output until right after the opening weekend, so it makes sense that there would be a massive second week and weekend. I correctly predicted it would drop less than 40%, but was $3 million short on the estimate. It also held number one.

The Meg earned $13 million, which was my high estimate, but didn’t fall to number three. The Happytime Murders was dead on arrival, so I completely misjudged that one. Didn’t get a single thing right about it. Mile 22 dropped way further and harder than I anticipated. Mission: Impossible outperformed even my high expectations. Alpha failed to meet my expectations. With Christopher Robin and BlacKkKlansman, I was only a few thousand off. I hit Slender Man right on the nose, if a few thousand short, as well as films placed 11-15 all hovering at around $2 million in earnings.

Alright, let’s put our thinking caps on for next week.


Speculation

man with hand on temple looking at laptop
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Like last week I’ll attempt to keep this fairly short. Summer ends next week, at least as far as movies are concerned. We’ll see a wider release for Searching and the release of Lionsgate’s Kin to 2,100-ish theaters. Smaller releases include Focus’s The Little Stranger and Pantelion’s Ya Veremos. If those names don’t ring a bell for you, don’t feel bad. Just don’t go see the fucking puppet movie.

Anyways, here’s what to expect for next weekend:

  • Crazy Rich Asians will continue earning well. Expect a 25% drop and a domestic pull of about $15-20 million.
  • Searching has been getting buzz, and in limited release had a $40k dollar theater average – which is amazing. So, I’m going to get a little risky and say this takes the number two spot from The Meg and earns about $15-20 million. It could surprise us all and take number one, but I don’t see its theater-count providing that much.
  • Kin has some names attached to it. I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt and say that it has a shot at number one, but that it will more than likely fight for the number two spot with Searching. Expect a $15-25 million opening. Wide birth, I know.
  • The Meg sits happily at number four with another 38% drop and a $10 million pull.
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout moves down to fifth and earns about $6 million.
  • Christopher Robin keeps it’s legs and earns about $5 million.
  • Alpha sinks to about $4 million.
  • BlacKkKlansman stays strong with $4.8 million.
  • A.X.L. disappears from tour collective memories.
  • Slender Man falls like The Spy Who Dumped Me and struggles to make $1.5 million.
  • Hotel Transylvania, The Equalizer 2, Mamma Mia!, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Incredible II all make $1-1.7 million.

And that’s it! Please like and share and all of that nonsense. You can find widgets to like the Murphy’s Media Blog Facebook and Twitter pages at the bottom of this page.

Tune in next Monday or Wednesday to see if I’m any good at predicting the box office, or if you have nothing better to do than read some snark interspersed with ironic stock images.

Until then.

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