U.S. Weekend Box Office Round Up Fri 13 – Sun 15 July, 2018

It was all about dat Hotel, dat Hotel, dat Hotel as Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation (4,267 screens) stormed into the top spot with a $43.6m opening weekend on a very healthy $10,218 screen average. How does that stack up against the others in the series? Well, it’s smack bang in the middle:

Hotel Transylvania (2012) – $42.5m opening weekend/$148.3m life
Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015) – $48.5m opening weekend/$169.7m life
Hotel Transylvania 3 (2018) – $43.6m opening weekend/$152m projected

That’s a really impressive result for the third in the series amidst a field of choice for the tots between record breaker Incredibles 2 and Ant-Man and the Wasp. It also represents an upset win for the weekend as it nearby doubled the opening weekend gross of expected gold medallist Skyscraper. On top of that result, this is one of the rare franchises where Sony have managed to wrangle production costs to keep at the same level. Hotel Transylvania cost $85m, Hotel Transylvania 2 cost $80m, and Hotel Transylvania 3 came in at $80m as well. I can’t name another franchise, outside of Paranormal Activity, that maintained a budget for sequels so consistently.

The $80m production was lukewarmly received (you can read my review here), landing at 59% rotten with the consensus being it’s fairly lightweight and undemanding. Audiences are far more agreeable awarding the title an A- Cinemascore. This is really good news all round for Sony for word of mouth as it will keep it the top 3 until Teen Titans Go To The Movies on 27 July.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (4,206 screens) suffers sequelitis in week 2 and plummets 63% for a $28.1m second weekend on a solid $6,681 screen average. With $132m in the kitty so far, it is still majorly impressive that this held off Skyscraper from taking silver given the star power of Dwayne Johnson and the action genre. With both The Equalizer 2 and Unfriended 2: Dark Web both bowing this coming Friday, it’s a spoiled-for-choice scenario of the teen male skew in theatres which will, in turn, have an impact here. $210m finish.

Skyscraper (3,782 screens), the bigger you build ’em, the harder they fall. That’s a bit rough to open, apologies, but this is a real disappointment on opening for the Dwayne Johnson led big budget disaster flick as it lands on $24.2m on a solid but unremarkable $6,399 screen average.That pegs the film’s finish line in the $60-$70m domestic range as a rosy result, but that’s not taking into consideration the fact that both The Equaliser 2, Unfriended 2: Dark Web, and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again are all opening this Friday, aiming to take chunks out of this market.

Skyscraper is a really interesting, and expensive with an $125m budget, proposition to cinemas as it’s a Universal/Legendary production shot in Hong Kong with a first time spectacle movie director who comes from a background in low-fi comedy – Rawson Marshall Thurber (Central Intelligence, Dodgeball). Legendary, who is owned by the Chinese company Wanda Group, has certainly had influence with the on and off screen talent involved (big ticks) and it will be key that the Chinese territory delivers on this film when it bows there on the 20th July. This should’ve been a big hit in the U.S. with a bonus potential smash overseas but it just didn’t hit domestically.

Why? Are we on The Rock overload? We’ve had 3 films in 7 months with him as the star. All ostensibly Johnson playing himself with diminishing returns. Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle was an outright smash – $404.5m domestic, Rampage did a quarter of that business – $99m, and now Skyscraper that is going to do two thirds of that title. Is it too much too soon? He has another 10 films lined up with at least 3 of them slated to release at some point in 2019 alone.

Reviewers weren’t big fans of the towering inferno of Skyscraper, awarding it 50% rotten, with the consensus saying it’s just ok. Audiences were ok with it, awarding a B+ Cinemascore but that also marks The Rock’s lowest audience score all year (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle: 76% Fresh / A Cinemascore, Rampage: 52% rotten / A- Cinemascore).

The question remains: Can Skyscraper remain standing in weekend 2?

Incredibles 2 (3,705 screens) drops 49% in weekend 5, namely due to the presence of newbie Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation, to take $14.5m on a $3,914 screen average. Modest, but still holding on, the film has now crushed $534m out of the U.S. box office and should see its final flag fall in the $600m range when all is said and done. The film has now crossed $610m globally and what is still so staggering about this film, apart from the rumoured $250m budget, is that 67% of the market is coming from the U.S. itself. That’s basically opposite the standard ratio of 35% U.S.: 65% International on big name animated fare.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (3,695 screens) drops 51% in weekend 4 for  $14m on a modest $3,789 screen average. With $362m in the domestic tank thus far, and $1.09bn in global sales, this has actually held up really well for the $170m production given its decidedly mixed reception. This will cross to about $410m domestically which is 37% off Jurassic World‘s $652m domestic boon but places the film as the 4th highest grossing release of the year and 3rd worldwide.

The First Purge (3,308 screens) holds up in weekend 2, off 45% which bucks the trend of franchise sequelitis, and scores $9.5m on a weak $2,872 screen average. With $50m in the domestic tank for the $13m production, it’s already working in profit for Universal/Blumhouse and there’s a few international territories yet to play so residuals will keep this growing brand humming. $70m finish.

(n.b. The First Purge and Skyscraper are looking to do the same box office business domestically yet the latter cost near 10x the amount to produce!)

Sorry To Bother You (805 screens) expands by 789 screens in week 2 and jumps up 450% in box offfice for a $4m weekend on a solid $5,070 screen average. Boots Riley’s scathing and satiricial comedy won the hearts of critics landing a 95% fresh score with the consensus being that it is scathing funny and original. With $5.1m in the can so far, this rumoured $5m production should be able to capitalise on its critical mass and its themes on the racial divide in the U.S. (albeit in a wacky and comedic way). $15m.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2,006 screens) drops another 55% in weekend 3 in a release that just cascaded business from a hugely impressive opening weekend for $3.4m on a deathly $1,695 screen average. With $42.7m in the can, the film is still 9% behind the original Sicario’s $46.9m domestic gross even when it opened 58.3% ahead of it’s $12m wide release (Sicario: Day of the Soldado opened to $19m). All over for $46m.

Uncle Drew (1,702 screens) also sheds a hefty 53% of its business in weekend 3 to take $3.1m on a flatlining $1,821 screen average. With $36.5m in the can, the $19m production also had the same fate as Sicario: Day of the Soldado by opening impressively and freefalling ever since. This is all over for $40m.

Ocean’s 8 (1,618 screens) takes $2.9m for its sixth weekend to bring the haul to $132.2m domestically. Globally, it’s sitting around $250m for the $70m production which is a solid result and certainly paves the way for the next installment.

In Cinemas Friday 20 July, 2018 – The Equalizer 2, Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again, Unfriended 2: Dark Web, Blindspotting, Generation Wealth, McQueen, The Third Murder

Figures from Deadline