U.S. Weekend Box Office Round Up Fri 20 – Sun 22 July, 2018

It’s a case of one for the girls and one for the boys as both the big openers for the weekend have made their presence felt in a top ten that features no less than EIGHT sequels.

Firstly, singing its way into the top spot is Universal’s follow up to their $610m global hit Mamma Mia! with Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (3,317 screens) smashing it with $37.3m, a full 36.5% up on the original film’s $27.7m opening, and landing a very impressive $11,245 screen average.

The original film cracked $144m domestically in its lifetime (on a $52m budget), with this one poised to hit the $180m-$190m (on a $75m budget). The film also won fairly solid favour with critics, landing a 78% fresh result which is 24 percentage points up on the original’s 54% rotten score. It also landed well with audiences who came out of it with an A- Cinemascore.

A special mention must be made of the spectacular viral campaign that Universal did for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. From the first drop in December 2017 to now, they’ve meticulously drip fed the property, pumped up its karaoke leanings and tapped into talent pool having a great time phenomena that it carries.

This is good news for longevity and word of mouth domestically. Globally, it also means the flag fall is somewhere in the $780m range.

Any which way you look at it – the film is a big, big hit.

Next up, the next sequel The Equalizer 2 (3,388 screens) storms into silver with $33.7m, which is line-ball against the original film’s $34.1m opening weekend (-1.1% though you could safely say that, after the final reports come through they’ll ‘equalise’.. See what I did there?), and landed a hefty $9,947 screen average. That puts the flagfall in the $100m range domestically (the original did $101m U.S./$192m global) and around the $200m mark globally for the $62m production.

Critics were hugely mixed on The Equalizer 2, awarding it a 50% rotten result, with the consensus saying it’s disappointing. The original fetched a 60% fresh score. The buck trend here is that audiences are loving it, giving the sequel an A Cinemascore (the original posted an A-). Deadline says of the audience:

African Americans are currently the leading demo on PostTrak at 36%, followed by Caucasians at 34%, Hispanic audiences at 17% and Asian at 9%. Eighty-six overall positive here on PostTrak with men over 25 at 49% leading the way, followed by women over 25 at 33%. Also, definite recommend here is 69%.

Longevity in the U.S. will be tough, though, as it has a massive contender about to blitz cinemas this Friday in Mission: Impossible – Fallout which, given the critical adoration and hype around it, will lay waste to everything in its path. Fro The Equalizer 2, this means it will (most likely) behave like a franchise sequel and plummet 60% this weekend coming.

Either which way, this opening weekend shouldn’t be considered a disappointment by any means as it’s all but matched the original’s debut. The only question is: Is it enough to green light a part three?

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation (4,267 screens) drops 50% in weekend 2 for $22.2m on a $5,203 screen average. Bringing the total domestic gross to $90.1m as it chugs along to a $150m+ finish line. This property is such a rock solid median performer for Sony, they’ve all fallen in the $150-$170m range domestically with all of them sporting an $80m price tag.

Globally, the property averages 65% of its business outside the U.S. which puts the flagfall for Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation in the $430m range. That’ll be enough to warrant a 4th installment, fright fans.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (3,778 screens) sheds another 46% in weekend 3 for $15.6m on a $4,129 screen average. With $164.1m in the kitty domestically and $320m globally thus far, the $162m production still needs to keep on chugga-lugging  to the tune of about $220m domestic/$450m global to stamp this as a big hit. This will come in at around the $200m U.S. domestic, which will land it as #16 all time best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Incredibles 2 (3,164 screens) drops 31% in weekend 6 for $11.1m on a weakening $3,508 screen average to bring the domestic tank to $557m. Rock solid lock in a #3 highest grossing film of 2018, the film has an enormous U.S. market share on the global front, sporting a whopping 63% haul of the global $882m result. Normally, that market share would be outside the U.S.! This is going to nudge $590-$600m domestically and $952m globally.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (3,381 screens) drops 33% in weekend 5 for $10.7m on a modest $3,165 screen average to bring the domestic haul to $386.2m. On track for a $410m finish domestically and $1.28bn globally, this property is still very much alive and well. Seriously, this is entry #5 and it’s behaving like Universal’s other big outrageous earner The Fast and the Furious.

Skyscraper (3,822 screens) collapses in weekend 2, dropping 58%, for a $10.4m take on a deathly $2,721 screen average. With $46.2m in the domestic can, this $125m production hasn’t worked anywhere in the world where it now sits on $87m. That is, with the wild card exception of China, which has yet to post figures but pundits are suggesting between the $40-$60m opening weekend range. We’ll update you on that tomorrow when they arrive!

The First Purge (2,331 screens) sheds another 51% of its business for a $4.6m weekend 3 take to bring the domestic haul to $59.8m. Sporting a $1,973 screen average, the film is all but over but that doesn’t matter considering it only cost $13m to produce and will finish on a near 5 times multiplier around the $65m range. This week’s performance is also an indication of the strength of The Purge brand as it fended off Blumhouse Tilt’s other sequel debuting this week in Unfriended: Dark Web. Universal/Blumhouse score again!

Unfriended: Dark Web (1,546 screens) clearly had no friends to begin with as it debuts (and bombs) with $3.4m on a $2,199 screen average. The sequel came in -78.54% off the original’s $15.845m opening weekend back in 2015. Unfriended finished on $32.5m domestically with this sequel more in the $8m range. Unfriended: Dark Web was received with mixed blessings critically, landing a 58% rotten score with the consensus saying it’s more of a visceral horror film than exploratory chiller.

Sorry To Bother You (1,050 screens) adds 245 screens and drops 35% in business for weekend 3, posting a $2.7m result. That lands the screen average at $2,571 which shifts the longevity prospects into dangerous waters, it’s just not performing strongly enough to warrant being on that many screens. With $10.1m in the kitty so far, a sub $15m finish is most likely if the release strategy is to continue pushing this absurdist comedy into more screens. Slow it down, Annapurna, or you’ll burn it out!

In Cinemas Friday 27 July, 2018 – Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, Hot Summer Nights

Figures from Deadline