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, 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

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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!


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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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