BOX OFFICE: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ owns Labor Day weekend; ‘M:I-6’ opens in China

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.


 

It’s Wednesday, my dudes [aaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!], so let’s get to talking about the weekend box office.

BUT WAIT – a disclaimer.

It was Labor Day weekend here in the states, so the totals I’ve pulled from stat-daddy Brad Brevet and BoxOfficeMojo.com represent a four-day total as opposed to the normal Friday through Sunday. I’ll add in the Fri-Sun totals for comparison. You’re welcome.

Now, were there any major releases over the weekend? Meh. Searching opened in the top five, as did a movie I had literally never heard of, Operation Finale. I need to read more news – these films keep sneaking up on me. There was also the teen sci-fi Kin and Pantelon’s Ya Veremos, neither of which opened to much enthusiasm, but I’ll get into that in a second.

Last week we were treated to a vulgar puppet-movie with The Happytime Murders and it bombed, Mark Wahlberg and dogs (both feral and robotic) weren’t appeasing audiences, and a few other films hit the scene in limited release.

This past weekend, however, the box office is still in decline. Total receipts are sitting at $98 million across the board, a few million below the previous weekend. Even with the extra day it’s proving difficult for studios to coax us out of our living rooms and into the theater. Might it have something to do with studio monopolies? The vanishing middle class? Stagnant wages? The Last Jedi? Colin Kaepernick? Who knows. It certainly doesn’t have to do with the rock-bottom standards of modern filmmaking. Anyone else wish we’d get a year as good for film as 1994? Anyone, at all?

Moving on. Let’s take a look at my domestic predictions from last week. You’ll notice that Operation Finale is absent:

  • Crazy Rich Asians continues to earn well, pulling in another $15-20 million.
  • Searching rides its early buzz and opens wide at number two, earning $15-20 million.
  • Kin debuts with $15-20 million.
  • The Meg stays in the top five, earning $10 million.
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout earns another $6 million.
  • Christopher Robin proves it has legs and earns another $5 million.
  • BlacKkKlansman pulls in $4.8 million.
  • A.X.L. disappears from our collective attentions.
  • Slender Man falls further down the chart, earning $1.5 million.
  • Hotel Transylvania 3, The Equalizer 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Mamma Mia! 2, and Incredibles II all make $1-1.7 million.

As you can see, I had some high hopes for the new releases. Let’s see if they panned out. Cue the ironic stock photos.


The Numbers

round silver and gold coins
Photo by David McBee on Pexels.com

[Dr Benjamin Bitcoin, inventor of the dial-up modem and credited with introducing syphilis to silicone valley]

Alright, as I mentioned above, the box office has been down recently, but a few movies continued their dominance in North America. Here’s the top ten over the three and four-day weekend.

Crazy Rich Asians continues to defy expectations. Its Friday – Sunday earnings represented an 11.5% drop from the previous weekend. That’s insanity. Very, very rarely does a studio film perform like this. Clearly Warner Bros. has tapped into the cultural zeitgeist here. It’s traditional weekend gross was $21.9 million, and its four-day total was $28.5 million. That’s a $6 million Labor Day. Just awesome. It’s domestic gross now sits at $117.3 million, way beyond studio estimates and that $30 million budget.

In second place is, still, The Meg, which dropped a stellar 17.8% to bring in $10.5 million. Its four-day take was $13.8 million, a $3.3 million Labor Day. Its domestic total is a respectable $123.8 million, about $10 million shy of its budget. Not that that matters, as its worldwide gross is north of $467 million.

Retaking third place from lesser films is Mission: Impossible – Fallout with a 13% drop, three-day total of $7 million, four-day total of $9.3 million, $2.3 million Labor Day. It’s domestic total is sitting pretty at $206.6 million – SO CLOSE TO TOPPLING M:I:II. The film also opened in China, finally, to a wonderful $77.3 million – 84% higher than Rogue Nation’s debut in the territory. Rogue Nation went on to earn $135 million in China, so this is huge news. We could be looking at the first Mission: Impossible to creep within spitting distance of $1 billion worldwide, but for now it’s sitting pretty at $668 million worldwide.

In fourth place, Searching broke wide to a $6.06 million three-day. However, it fell to fifth place on Labor Day, with a four-day total of $7.6 million – $200k behind our next film. Its domestic total is $8.1 million.

In fifth is a movie I’ve never even heard of  MGM’s Operation Finale, a thriller set fifteen years after the end of World War II. It debuted to a three-day of $6.02 million, and a four-day fourth-place ranking $7.8 million. It simply had a better Labor Day than Searching – considering the audiences each of those films cater to, it makes sense.

Staying put in sixth place is Christopher Robin, which dropped a tiny 15.7% (sensing a pattern here in the late-year doldrums?) to earn $5.2 million Fri-Sun and $7.2 million Fri-Mon. Its domestic earnings may finally cross the $100 million mark if it holds up like this. As of right now its total sits at $87 million.

In seventh place is Alpha, holding firm with a 24.2% drop and making $4.5 million Fri-Sun and $6.04 Fri-Mon for a domestic total of $28.9 million – a little over half the film’s production budget.

In eighth / ninth is The Happytime Murders, the puppet movie starring Melissa McCarthy. It dropped five places and earned a Fri-Sun total of $4.3 million off of a 54% drop. A drop like that is actually pretty normal for big movies. It would’ve placed much higher had it legs like the other films on this list. It had a Fri-Mon total of $5.3 million, falling a slot behind BlacKkKlansman on Labor Day. Its domestic total sits at $18 million, less than half the budget. A flop, ladies and gentlemen.

In ninth / eighth is BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee’s recently controversial film about a black cop infiltrating the Klan. It earned a Fri-Sun of $4.2 million, a 17.6% drop, and a Fri-Mon of $5.6 million for a domestic total of $39.8 million.

Rounding out the top ten in both the three-day and four-day lists is Mile 22, the latest Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg collaboration. It dropped a better-than-it-deserves 40.8% for a $3.7 million Fri-Sun and a $4.8 million Fri-Mon. Its domestic is around $33 million and it’ll sink from our attention soon don’t even bother.

Outside the top ten are some surprises. I’ll list them:

  • Disney added like 1,800 theaters to Incredible II to push the domestic total over $600 million – which worked. It surged from 15th place to 11th and $4.7 million over Labor Day weekend. It’s at $602.5 million domestic and $1.16 billion worldwide.
  • Hotel Transylvania made $2.9 million over the four-day. Woo. $162 million domestic total.
  • Slender Man is still alive after it added another $2.2 million. $28 million domestic total.
  • Kin opened to $3.8 million domestic. I literally laughed when I saw that, considering my prediction.
  • Universal added 800 theaters to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom probably just to spite me, allowing that travesty to earn another $1.6 million. $414 million domestic and fuck-all worldwide.
  • Mamma Mia! 2, A.X.L, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and The Equalizer 2 each earned $1.6 million, $1.8 million, $1.8 million, and $1.8 million respectively. Equalizer 2 passed $100 million domestic, which Ant-Man and Mamma Mia! did ages ago, and A.X.L. doesn’t have a shot at breaking $10 million. I’m serious. It’s Monster Trucks all over again.

Those are pretty much all the movies I’m worried about, nothing else made over a million save for Juliet, Naked. Do you know what that film is? Neither do I.

So how did my predictions pan out? Kind of all over the place. Not my best week.

  • I accurately predicted that Crazy Rich Asians would continue to do well, but had it dropping 25%, which it clearly did not. It earned $8 million over my high estimate at close of business Monday.
  • I expected better of the newcomers, Searching and Kin. The former of which had a stellar per-theater average when in limited release. Searching opened $8 million less than my low estimate, and Kin opened $12 million below. Shame.
  • I saw The Meg finally taking a substantial hit, but it refuses to lay down and die, much to Warner Bros.’ excitement. I predicted $10 million and it delivered $13 million.
  • I had Mission: Impossible – Fallout at $6 million, but again I was low-balling. Here’s hoping it passes M:I:II in the coming week.
  • I didn’t even know what Operation Finale was….
  • Christopher Robin is another pesky film that’s rooted itself in the top ten. I had it earning $5 million and it delivered $7 million.
  • Alpha earned $6 million while I predicted $4 million.
  • I was close with BlacKkKlansman. I predicted $4.8 million and it showed up with $5.6 million.
  • A.X.L. didn’t quite disappear, like I wanted, but give it another week.
  • I was a little short on Slender Man.
  • Lastly, I nailed Equalizer 2, Mamma Mia!, and Ant-Man with each earning north of $1.5 million. I did not expect Disney to squeeze theater owners into showing Incredibles II until it broke its record, or for Hotel Transylvania to keep chugging along, but whatever. There’s always next week.

Speaking of….


Speculation

photo of a man sitting near the windoww
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

[He’s a thinker, I’m a thinker, we’re all thinkers. Don’t you think?]

Alright, just like last week, I’m aiming for expediency. We have some notable releases coming our way. The Nun will debut in 3,700 theaters; Peppermint will see Jennifer Garner kick some serious ass across 2,850 screens; and God Bless the Broken Road will open in over 1,200. I’ve never heard of that film, but Brad Brevet put it in his weekend recap so, there you go.

My predictions:

  • The Nun will kick The Meg from its second place slot, earning a respectable $20-25 million.
  • Peppermint will earn maybe $8-12 million. It’s been too long since anyone has seen a prominent Jennifer Garner film – not to mention the fact it’s opening in less than 3,000 theaters and its name is *Peppermint*. Come on.
  • I don’t know what God Bless the Broken Road is and I’m too lazy to look it up so, uh, $4 million?
  • Crazy Rich Asians drops around 15% for a cool $16-18 million.
  • The Meg drops to $8 million.
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout finally surpasses M:I:II and adds another $5 million.
  • Searching and Operation Finale both earn around $4-5 million.
  • Christopher Robin takes in $4 million.
  • Alpha takes in $3.2 million.
  • The Happytime Murders is accidentally deleted from the STX servers and can no longer be shown to paying audiences. $0 million.
  • BlacKkKlansman keeps its sturdy legs and pulls in $3.5 million.
  • Mile 22 over-pronounces its “wh”s and falls to $2 million.
  • I don’t know if Disney is keeping the theater count high, but if it does expect Incredibles II to earn another $2.5 million.
  • Kin is going to crash and burn. No one’s interested, apparently. $1.5 million.
  • I’m done talking about Hotel Transylvania and Mamma Mia! and all of those. They’ll pitter out over the next few weeks, but it’s time to focus on the newcomers. If they pass a significant milestone I’ll keep you guys updated.

Alright everyone! That’s all I have / care to write about. These pieces are too long as it is. I have some interesting stuff in the works regarding video games so please, keep your eyes peeled. And of course, like and share using the widgets and social platforms. It helps me somehow.

Until next time!

Box Office: Crazy Rich Asians dominates, Happytime Murders is DOA

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 cliché, 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.

Box Office Recap: Crazy Rich Asians battles a crazy big shark (and wins)

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.


It’s Wednesday, which means I’m done procrastinating and ready to write about the previous weekend’s box office results. I’ve nabbed a few stock photos of money and have scoured the numbers from our favorite box office website, BoxOfficeMojo.com. Mojo’s Brad Brevet does us all the honor of contextualizing those numbers here, and we’ll see how my predictions from last week played out against them.

Do you remember last week? Me either, but bear with me. I made some predictions and a popular little film that definitely isn’t taking over the world or already getting a sequel wasn’t even included on my list: Crazy Rich Asians. Truth be told, I’d never even heard of the film, and all I really do to inform myself is check future showtimes on IMDb via weekend, and seeing as Asians opened on a Wednesday . . . well, you get the point.

To refresh everyone’s memories (and my own), here are last week’s predictions:

  • The Meg has a second weekend at $20 million.
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout will fall to the three or four spot with $12-14 million.
  • Slender Man will fall below BlacKkKlansman, out of the top five, and earn $4.5 million.
  • BlacKkKlansman will fall several places, but earn $5.7 million.
  • Christopher Robin will fall from the top five, and earn $6.3 million.
  • Mile 22 will premier alongside Alpha and fight for the top two slots in the pecking order. Mile 22 earning around $25 million, with the potential for $40-45 million.
  • Alpha will premier to a solid $30 million, but tank soon after.
  • Crazy Rich Asians was totally off my radar. My apologies. Some journalist I’ll turn out to be.

Alright, let’s talk shop.


The Numbers

money calculator cents coins
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ticket sales were down about 12% over the weekend, with total receipts at around $129 million – or about $100 million less than The Last Jedi’s opening weekend last December.

Crazy shit.

Leading the pack was Crazy Rich Asians with a $26.5 million Friday-Sunday. Since it was released on Wednesday, however, the tally is boosted to a budget-recuperating $35.2 million five-day opening haul. Impressive stuff. According to Mr. Brevet, this is the first Asian-led major Hollywood studio film to grace the cineplex since The Joy Luck Club released 25 years ago. And, as mentioned above, a sequel for the new film has already been greenlit. It’s been a great week for director Jon Chu. A $100 million domestic total seems well within the realm of possibility.

In second place is The Meg, which pulled in a modest $21.1 million sophomore weekend – a 53.4% drop. No hard feelings, as it was enough to push it’s domestic total up past $80 million. Soon it’ll be chowing down onto a $100 million domestic cume. Internationally, the film gained another $67 million, bringing the global total to over $310 million – $117 million of that from China alone.

In third is Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg’s latest “everyman-patriot-dude-shoots-a-gun-or-gets-dirt-on-his-face” picture, Mile 22. It premeired below expectations to $13.7 million. Perhaps the world needs less of Mark Wahlberg’s . . . I don’t know, I think I’d settle for less in general. The film has yet to open in most major international markets, so we’ll see what happens.

In fourth is my favorite movie of the summer, Mission: Impossible – Fallout with a solid $10.7 million – a 44.3% drop. These are legs people! Sort of, anyways. Drops of less that 50% are always a good sign. It grossed another $20.5 million overseas, which brings it’s totals up to $181 million domestic and over $500 million globally. Say it with me folks: This film must make more money that M:I:II.

In fifth place is family-friendly film, Alpha, with a debut of $10.3 million. That’s apparently in-line with studio expectations, but far below the $50 million budget. Keep your eyes on the international market, if you care enough to do so, because that’s where Alpha may need to hedge its bets.

Outside of the top five we have Christopher Robin holding on tight with a promising $8.8 million, just a 31.6% drop from the weekend prior. Legs. It’s domestic total now sits at $69.4 million, $23 million international, $92.5 million global.

In seventh place is Spike Lee’s BlackKkKlansman with a super-sturdy $7.3 million, or a 31.9% drop. LEGS. It’s domestic currently sits at $25.2 million, international at $2.2 million, and $27.4 million global.

In eight-place, Red Letter Media’s favorite home-town horror film, Slender Man, dropped 57.8% and earned $4.8 million.

Hotel Transylvania 3 is still a thing. It earned another $3.7 million, and it’s domestic / international / global now sits at $155.1 million / $272.1 million / $427.3 million.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is stretching it’s marvelous legs to earn another $3.4 million domestic. In North America it sits north of $111 million.

The Equalizer 2 continues the pace with it’s predesessor, forever galvanizing our faith in the box office draw of Denzel Washington kicking people’s asses. IT earned another $2.8 million to bring it’s domestic total over $94 million – only a matter of time before it crosses $100 million.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is still buzzing around (fuck me for saying that), and dropped only 35.5% from the previous weekend for a pull of $2.6 million. IT’s domestic / international / global currently sits at $209 million / $257 million / $466 million. Disney is having a very, very good year despite Solo‘s box office bomb.

Oh look! The Spy Who Dumped Me made $2.6 million. Looks like Mamma Mia! finally gave it a good kick in the pants. Its domestic total is hovering around $30 million.

Incredibles II is still kicking ass, dropping only 32.9% for $2.3million. IT’s domestic / international / global now sits at a massive $594.8 million / $527.1 million / $1.12 billion. Give it anothe week or so and you have another Disney film crossing $600 million domestic this year. Christ alive.

Other than those, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is still pulling a few million a week. Considering it’s currently made over $1 billion worldwide, I’m not too happy about it.

Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade is barely alive, pulling in $735,239 over the weekend. I wish everyone would go see it. A24 deserves your money.

Oh, and all of those indie film’s I mentioned last week? All opened south of $110,000. Gotta love it.

So how’d I do?

Not bad. I was $1 million shy on The Meg, a few million short on Mission: Impossible, correct on the placement of Klansman, Slender Man, and Christopher Robin, but only nailed the dollar amount on Slender Man. I was far too generous to both Mark Wahlberg and wolves. Not a mistake I’m likely to make again.

Enough of all that. Let’s get to predicting next weekend!


Speculation

man wearing brown jacket and using grey laptop
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Okay, I’m keeping this short and simple.

We have one major release debuting this coming weekend, and that’s the puppet murder-comedy The Happytime Murders starring Melissa McCarthy. It’s showing up in about 3,000 theaters, so my money’s on a pretty solid opening. Just for the novel concept alone I can see this debuting between $30-50 million. There isn’t much else to watch out there, so this could be the only real draw for the average person.

Other than that we have that robo-dog movie A.X.L., which looks like robo-dog shit, but I’m not the target audience. I’ll predict something along the lines of Alpha, with a $10-15 million opening.

There are two limited releases, Sony’s Searching and Bleecker Street’s Charlie Hunnan prison-escape feature Papillon. We’ll see what those look like when they break wide, but I haven’t heard or seen much buzz about either.

As for what’s currently in theaters:

  • Crazy Rich Asians drops less than 40% for a strong second weekend around $18-22 million. I expect to be surprised by this one. Expect this to fall to second place below the puppet murder movie.
  • The Meg drops to third place and picks up another $10-13 million.
  • Mile 22 drops to fourth place 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 and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again duke it out for tenth place, both earning around $2 million.

And that’s it! Keep an eye out next Monday or Wednesday to see how these predictions played out! Follow on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, or by email using the widgets at the bottom of the page. To the fifty of you who have liked the Facebook page and the handful of you that follow via email / WordPress: THANK YOU.

More reviews, commentary, and stock photos to come.


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The Meg [shark-pun]ed its way to the top of the Box Office

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.


Hello, everyone. I hope you’re ready to enjoy some more ironic stock photos of money and finance. I know I am.

After a weekend spent avoiding any and all personal responsibilities, it’s time to take a look at my box office predictions from last week and see how they played out. I didn’t head to the multiplex myself, but apparently attendance was up due to a slate of anticipated new releases. Summer is dying down, kids are getting ready for school, and the remaining films left on the docket are festival favorites, campy horror flicks, and too-earnest family films. We probably won’t get anything meaty until October, but as far as numbers go I doubt we’ll see anything as exciting as Black Panther or Infinity War until next year (if at all). Anyways, let’s recap.

Last week’s predictions:

  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout earns north of $18 million
  • Black Panther disappears from the news
  • Christopher Robin earns $10-12 million in the third or fourth spot
  • The Spy Who Dumped Me stays in the top five, battling neck-in-neck with Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
  • The Meg takes number one, debuts with well-north or just-north of $25 million
  • Slender Man has potential to open in top five
  • BlacKkKlansman opens below top five

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s grab some info from our favorite box office reporting website, boxofficemojo.com, and get to work.


The Numbers

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Box Office receipts were up over four percent this past weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. Which is good. July numbers were down compared to last year, but thanks in large part to Disney, Marvel, and Pixar, 2018 has been a record-setting year.

We can get into the ins and outs of whether or not blockbusters are more harmful overall to the film-industry, but so long as the coffers are full and people have movies to see, let’s not grow weary just yet. Epsecially not if A24 continues pumping out crowd-pleasing Best Picture nominees.

As for last weekend, Friday August 10-12, it took a prehistoric monster to distract us all from Tom Cruise’s personal vendetta against self-preservation. I have to say, though, what an ecclectic group of films in the top ten.

In first place, The Meg opened to an impressive $44.5 million dollars domestically. “Shark” has never been much of a genre. Box Office Mojo generously includes Finding Nemo in the category thanks to the Bruce character, but aside from Nemo, Jaws, and Shark Tale, no film starring one of these apex predators has earned over $100 million at the domestic box-office. The fact that Warner Bros. greenlit The Meg with a budget of $130 million would seem a bit risky. Its $44.5 million domestic and $97 million foreign grosses of this past weekend should build some confidence, though – which covers that hefty budget. Director Jon Turteltaub has a habit of siphoning crowd-pleasing fun from okay actors and wacky plots. Hang your hat on that, sir.

In second place is ol’ reliable itself, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, with a third-weekend gross of $20 million. That brings its domestic total up to $161.9 million – or, as I like to think of it, only $55 million away from surpassing Mission: Impossible II’s domestic cume. What’s that? Why do I care that the best film in a long-running franchise surpasses the total gross of the worst? Because I have to, that’s why. I have to. Worldwide the film is sitting pretty at $437.5 million. On a weekly basis it’s tracking closer to Ghost Protocol than to Rogue Nation, which bodes well for Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie.

In third place, Christopher Robin hangs on tightly with $12.4 million, bringing it’s domestic total up to $50 million.

In fourth place, Slender Man opens to $11.3 million. ScreenGems has earned back its production budget in a single weekend.

In fifth place, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman debuted with $10.7 million – only $4 million shy of its budget. Which is impressive considering Legendary Pictures opened the film on a modest 1,500 screens.

In six and seventh places we have The Spy Who Dumped Me and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, respectively. Spy earning $6.6 million to total $24.5 million domestic; Mamma Mia! earning $5.8 million for $103.8 million domestic. People are still turning out to see these movies, as their respctive drops of 45.5% and 35.4% indicate.

In eighth place we have Denzel Washington’s head-cracking The Equalizer 2, which is playing astonishingly close to the first film. It earned $5.5 million over the weekend, dropping just 37.2% for a domestic total of $89.6 million – half a million up from its predesessor in the same timeframe.

Ninth place sees the Adam Sandler spook-toon Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation earning $5.1 million, totaling $146.8 million domestic.

Rounding out the top ten is Ant-Man and the Wasp with $4 million. Which pushes its domestic cume to $203.5 million. So far it’s earned more than $20 million over its predesessor in North America, but still needs a little time to catch Ant-Man‘s worldwide gross of $519.3 million.

Incredibles II was finally nudged from the top ten. It still earned $3.5 million, and is sitting on a massive pile of cash. It’s domestic gross is $589.8 million; worldwide it sits at $1.08 billion.

Fun fact: The Dark Knight was the first superhero film to gross over $500 million domestically and over $1 billion worldwide (it was the fourth film to ever do so). It remains the lowest grossing billion-dollar earning movie at $1.008 billion. It has dropped thirty places on the chart of highest-grossing films of all time since it left theaters.

A few other movies are still clanging around theaters out there. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is still making money, somehow. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is still alive. Dwayne Johnson’s Skyscraper sank like a stone – don’t @ me for that – and is circling the drain. Eighth Grade made $1.6 million over the weekend, which is lovely – please see it before it’s nominated for several Oscars.

And that’s just about all I want to talk about. Time to make some predictions.


Speculation

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So how did I stack up? Pretty well, actually. Mission: Impossible – Fallout earned over $18 million, The Meg opened at number one “well-north” of $25 million, Christopher Robin stayed at number three with around $12 million, and Mamma Mia! is duking it out with The Spy Who Dumped Me.

Where I got it wrong? BlacKkKlansman. I didn’t expect people to turn out for this one, not fully. I’m glad it has some attention and good word of mouth, which could result in a few more screens.

Going forward I see The Meg taking a pretty decent hit. Expect a second weekend take of around $20 million. From what I’ve heard, it’s big and dumb, but not enough fun to warrant repeat business.

Mission will fall further from the top, but don’t expect it to fall from the top five. I’m guessing it’ll land around $12-14 million in receipts, maybe at the number three or four spot.

Expect Slender Man to fall below BlacKkKlansman and for Christopher Robin to fall from the top five, as well. I give those $4.5 million, $5.7 million, and $6.3 million respectively. Specifics? I know – ballsy.

I fully expect new releases Mile 22 and Alpha to fight over the first two spots this coming weekend. One has Mark Wahlberg and the other is about dogs – don’t bet against either of those if you don’t have to. I would guess Mile 22 to open similarly to Wahlberg’s other ventures of the last five years sans Transformers – somewhere north of $25 million, maybe even $40-45 million. Alpha looks like a solid family picture, the type that has a decent opening over $30 million and drops like Dwayne Johnson the subsequent weekend.

We have a live-action The Little Mermaid coming out, but not one headlined by Disney, so I don’t expect to hear about it. Other new releases this weekend are the Christian Slater and Glenn Close film The Wife; Rose Byrne and Ethan Hawk vehicle Juliet, Naked; Down a Dark Hall, starring Uma Thurman; two films I’ve never heard of, Blaze and Breaking & Exiting; and an indie movie, We the Animals.

Let’s see if I can get a streak going. Be sure to let me know what you’re excited to see in the comments or on the Facebook and Twitter Pages. In order to stay up to date with everything blog-related, please use the widgets at the bottom of the page to follow along.

I’ll be back next week with more prognostication and all things box office.

BOX OFFICE WEDNESDAY: Aug 8th, 2018

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.


It’s about time I indulged in one of my favorite pastimes: Examining and extrapolating on the week’s current film box office numbers (and I’m going to get creative with the stock photos I use, so enjoy them ironically.)

History was made and a few other films either debuted or continued box office dominance. I was at the movies this past weekend, so some of my own money is included in the tally – how neat! It may seem strange to some that people like me obsess over a movie’s performance with the public, but those ticket-sales are often indicative of a number of things. Not the least of which is whether or not a movie that you saw and loved, or vehemently disliked, is either finding an audience or repelling the masses – fists clutching their hard earned cash as they flee the repugnant stench emanating from the theater.

The information here is pulled from Box Office Mojo, specifically the weekend recap by Brad Brevet, so be sure to head there for more in-depth information on all things ticket-sales.

Let’s get started with this week’s numbers.


The Numbers

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It’s no secret that theater-attendance peaks and falls around giant tent-pole features released in the summer. Most people schedule their viewership around them and with ticket-prices being as they are, it comes as no surprise. Most people aren’t going to see the smaller artsy-fartsy type films that garner most of their acclaim and viewership on the festival circuit. That being said, it does look like overall viewership is up fifteen percent this year compared to 2017, when duds the likes of The Dark Tower hit theaters and decidedly snuffed the so-called McConaughey-Renaissance (maybe it was those god-awful Lincoln commercials, but still.)

But, if there’s two things you can count on to get people’s butts in the movie theater, it’s Disney and Tom Cruise putting his life in danger.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout won Friday to Sunday viewership with a second-weekend pull of around $35 million, earning its second number one spot on the charts. As of today, Wednesday August 8th, it’s tracking above its predecessor Rogue Nation at the eleven-day mark, having earned an estimated $129 million domestically; $334 million worldwide. This is still a hair below the fourth entry in the franchise, Ghost Protocol, during the same frame, but Protocol had a limited release before going wide. Still, with a production budget of $178 million, don’t expect to hear any complaints when its domestic haul alone earns back its cost.

I’m really hoping that Fallout stays at number one for long enough to beat out the current top-earner in the franchise, M:I:II, which has a domestic total of $215 million. Tom Cruise can’t have broken his ankle for nothing, people. Should this latest outing fall short, I hesitate to imagine what will happen to him while shooting the next one. It has yet to release in China or Italy, so we’ll see if it can match Rogue Nation‘s $682 million worldwide by the end of its run.

[Fun Fact: As of this writing, the entirety of the decades-long Mission: Impossible franchise has earned, domestically, a bit over $1 billion. Star Wars: The Force Awakens alone earned $936 million domestically in 24 weeks. Crazy town.]

Speaking of crazy domestic hauls, Disney and Marvel’s Black Panther finally squeaked into the $700 million domestic-earner club. Disney managed to strong-arm enough theaters into keeping it open, long past home-release, and now it joins the ranks of The Force Awakens and Avatar as the third film to ever gross this insane amount of cash domestically. It’s the only film of 2018 to remain in theaters for 25 weeks, and there might not be another, as films continue to land on streaming services and BluRay more quickly. Still, mighty impressive. Wakanda Forever.

In second place, Disney’s Christopher Robin debuted short of expectations, earning around $25 million – below expectations. I honestly couldn’t be less interested in Disney’s mission to regurgitate all of its existing intellectual property into live-action remakes. As charming as Pooh is, and as much as I love Ewan McGregor, I’m not at all surprised to hear that the film is underperforming. Part of the charm of cartoons is the fact that they’re, well, cartoons.

In third place is the Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon spy-comedy, The Spy Who Dumped Me, which delivered a little over $12 million. There’s been a deluge of R-rated buddy-style comedy actioners the last few years. There’s an audience for them, yes, but without much innovation (at least with the advertising) I don’t know if this brand of filmmaking can avoid the same diminishing returns that Apatow’s suffered. At one time it was easy to chuck together a couple of SNL-alumni and a known star turning a new comedic leaf and expect to earn your budget back. We’ll see.

The sequel to Mamma Mia!, the aptly titled Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, landed in fourth place with $9 million. It’s domestic is nearing $100 million total, proving yet again that long awaited sequels to passably entertaining movies is a sure-bet in today’s Hollywood. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’m still waiting on a sequel to Jingle All the Way. Someone pull Jake Lloyd out of retirement.

The Equalizer 2 came in fifth place, dropping just 37% to earn around $8.8 million. It, too, may eventually break $100 million should Sony decide to keep it in theaters.

In sixth was Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation with $8 million, bringing its total to around $135 million.

Seventh: Ant-Man and the Wasp with $6.3 million, totaling $195 million.

Eighth: Fox’s The Darkest Minds with a $5.8 million debut.

Ninth: The charming Incredibles 2 with $4.9 million, totaling an insane $583 million.

And rounding out the top ten is Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, with $4.7 million, totaling a modest-but-profitable $20 million.

Some other highlights include my least favorite movie of the year, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom earning $3.9 million, bringing its total to about $405 million domestic. I’m literally jumping for joy that such a heaping shit-pile of a movie is earning so much money.

Bo Burnham’s A24-produced Eighth Grade has expanded nationwide and earned $2.8 million. Its domestic total sits just shy of $7 million and god damnit please go see that movie you won’t regret it, I promise.

There are some other, smaller releases piddling around in a handful of theaters out there, but I’ve never heard of them. You have a Dinesh D’Souza documentary out there, and if you’re familiar with his work I’d suggest forgetting you ever heard the name Dinesh D’Souza.

Okay, on to this coming weekend.


Speculation

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I fully expect Mission: Impossible – Fallout to earn over $215 million by the end of its run – the word of mouth is just too good and the movie too well made to fade from the public’s attention. Going into Friday it’ll be knocking on $150 million’s door. It’s feasible that it earns north of $18 million this weekend, all things considered.

Now that Black Panther has passed $700 million domestic, I don’t expect to see or hear of it again until the teaser for the sequel shows up.

Christopher Robin will probably drop a few spots. I won’t be surprised to see this at number three or four, earning around $10-$12 million. It could have legs, but a disappointing opening almost never suggests that.

The Spy Who Dumped Me looks forgettable, but Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon are both well known enough to recoup the film’s budget. Expect this to stay in the top five with $5-8 million for the weekend, but it’s going to be fighting neck and neck with Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which definitely has legs.

New releases are Warner Bros.’ The Meg, a late-summer shark-picture with one differentiating hook – the shark is the size of a small airplane. I won’t lie, I’m eager to see how critics and audiences respond to this. I read the book it’s inspired by, which is good fun. Expect this to land at number one if Fallout wanes. I’m guessing somewhere either well-north or just-north of $25 million.

We also have Slender Man hitting theaters. It’s a horror movie based on a nearly-forgotten cult-status horror video game. Who knows, it could land in the top five. Screen Gems has it on over 2,000 screens and we’re entering the year’s second wave of spooky movies. It could surprise us.

Focus is releasing the latest Spike Lee joint, BlacKkKlansman on 1,500 screens. I don’t expect this to break into the top five. It’s R-rated, a bit political, but that’s been performing well most of the year, so we’ll see. Late-season race-centric films have had a solid track record over the last decade.


Well, that’s it for Box Office Wednesday. Keep an eye out next week for more number-crunching, sarcasm, and speculation. Be sure to check out the blog’s Facebook and Twitter pages to stay up to date with the latest posts, or subscribe via email using the widget at the bottom of this page. Like, share, comment; let me know what you think of everything I do here.

Until next time.