There wasn’t much action on the charts as Warner Brothers once again occupied the top two spots at the box office with ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘The Meg’. While it wasn’t a record-breaking August, thanks to these two movies and ‘Mission: Impossible- Fallout’, this August was a solid 29% strong than last year’s. But although it didn’t really feel like it, summer 2018 was just shy of being a record-breaker, taking in $2.8 billion, just shy of the current record-holder 2013, which was responsible for earning $2.87 billion. Things got started with a bang… or rather a snap felt across the universe, with ‘Avengers: Infinity War’‘s all-time best opening ever, of $257.7 million.
However, many outlets feel that ‘Infinity War’ which opened on the last weekend of April, shouldn’t be counted toward the summer gross, while others are simply giving in to the power of
Thanos Marvel/Disney and eyeing that as the unofficial kick-off of the summer movie season. If we just look at June, July, and August, that also wouldn’t count ‘Deadpool 2’, which did well, but was nowhere near the phenomenon that the first movie was. But the first weekend of June was ruled by the tepid sophomore weekend of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’, perhaps the most infamous turkey of the year. But the usual summer months would see massive successes like ‘The Incredibles 2’, ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ and ‘M:I – Fallout’, with a few more moderate highlights, like ‘Oceans 8’, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’, ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ and ‘The Equalizer 2’, the last of which just crossed the $100M mark.
Unfortunately, this week’s new entries weren’t blockbusters, but they weren’t expected to be. Political thriller ‘Operation Finale’ took in $6.6M over three days, $7.7 over four (counting Labor Day on Monday) and $9.5M over six, if its Wednesday night previews are factored in, through Monday. Audiences really enjoyed the pic, giving it an A- CinemaScore and spreading the word, which is driving business. Critics didn’t care for it, with its Rotten Tomatoes average at a low 61%.
Meanwhile, the indie thriller ‘Searching’, distributed by Sony, took in $5.7M over three days, $7 over four and $7.5M over six. Starring John Cho, the one Asian American actor not in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, ‘Searching’ is still drawing the Asian American audience, particularly those that have already seen ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ a few times.
The single digit numbers that ‘Operation Finale’ and ‘Searching’ drew are nothing to write home about, but with little competition, these showings were strong enough to land in the Top Five.
- Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Brothers) – $22.2M (3-Day)/$27.6M (4-Day)
- The Meg (Warner Brothers) – $10.5M/$13M
- Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Paramount/Skydance) – $7M/$9M
- Operation Finale (MGM) – $6.6M/$7.7M
- Searching (Sony) – $5.7M/$7M
For Marvel fans who didn’t quite know what to do with their Labor Day Weekend, IMAX offered the Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Film Festival, screening all 20 of the studios existing offerings over four days, including a few– ‘Iron Man’, ‘The Incredible Hulk’, and ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’– that were never screened in IMAX before. This butt-numb-athon earned $513, 000 over four days.
Lionsgate can throw the latest stab at a YA brand, ‘Kin’ on the same pile as ‘Beautiful Creatures’, ‘The Divergent Saga’, ‘Ender’s Game’, ‘The Fifth Wave’, ‘The Giver’, ‘The Host’, ‘I Am Number Four’, ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’, ‘Percy Jackson & The Olympians’, ‘Vampire Academy’, etc. Its $3.7M take is certainly not going to kick off a franchise. (And as ‘Divergent’ and ‘Percy Jackson’ prove, just because you start a franchise, doesn’t mean it will get finished.)
Next week, it’s very likely that ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ will step down as Warner Brothers/New Line’s ‘The Nun’ arrives. This horror flick is the latest in the popular ‘Conjuring’ franchise and with school back in session and retailers like Target getting into the spirit, it looks like time to prepare for Halloween.
Check back to see if ‘The Nun’ can scare off the competition.