No, seriously, wouldn’t Friday 13th have been a perfect time to release a horror movie? Come on, Blumhouse, you couldn’t find an extra $1.5m down the side of your couch for that marketing opportunity? Alas, if you were horror inclined and wanted to celebrate the day accordingly, the only new release that would fit your needs was Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. I’m always surprised when I remember how well these Sony Animation movies do, and even more so when I’m reminded that they’re directed by Genndy Tartakovsky of Samurai Jack. Summer and family-friendly animated movies go together like Scots and watching England lose football matches (oh yeah, we’re still milking that), so Hotel Transylvania 3 opened with $44.1m this weekend. For American animated films, these movies are reasonably cost effective to make - about $80m, which is a fraction of the average Pixar movie - so expect this one to make its budget back easily. Then again, it may depend on the continuing glory of Incredibles 2.
Coming in at number 2 is Ant-Man and the Wasp, which made $29.1m in its second week. That’s a hefty drop of about 62% compared to last week, and Box Office Mojo notes that as the largest 2nd weekend drop for an MCU sequel. Of course, this was always going to be a softer Marvel film than others, so I doubt Kevin Feige will lose sleep over this.
Things weren’t so good for Dwayne Johnson’s latest film, Skyscraper, which debuted at number three with around $25.4m. That’s about $5m short of what Box Office Mojo originally predicted, and for a $125m budget, not the best start. This is, as with many films these days, marketed way more to an international audience, particularly China. It debuts in the country next week, so the true test lies there. This does make it a rare under-performer for The Rock. Was the high-concept setting of ‘Die Hard in a skyscraper’ just not enough of a hook for audiences? Are we all explosion-ed out?
At number 4 is Incredibles 2, with $16.2m. Its domestic gross has passed $535.8m, which sees it become the 9th largest overall film all-time domestically. Internationally, it’s made $850m, so it’s an interesting case of a major film doing way better at home than abroad. Contrast that with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom at number 5 with $15.5m this weekend. That pushed past $1.134bn worldwide and only 32% of that is domestic grosses.
The real surprises of the week remain in the indie sphere. Sorry to Bother You stormed into number 7 - jumping up 9 places on the chart - with $4.258m from 805 theatres. This one was marketed well, the buzz was sky-high, it’s full of actors with crap-tons of hype around them, and distributor Annapurna actually made this one easier to see than some of their other efforts. The documentary Three Identical Strangers saw a 72% jump in numbers with its third week of release, bringing in $1.15m and making 2018 truly a banner year for documentaries.
The big breakout of the indie films this weekend is Eighth Grade. Comedian Bo Burnham made his directorial debut with this teen dramedy that’s received near rapturous reviews. Seriously dude, it’s unfair that you’re so good at everything. From 4 theatres, the movie made over $252k, which is a whopping $63k per theatre average! It certainly doesn’t hurt to have internet fame, producer Scott Rudin and wunderkind distributors A24 in your corner.
Gus Van Sant’s latest film Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot is probably the worst titled movie of the weekend, but opened respectable with $83,120 from 4 theatres. It’s solid but nothing spectacular. Amazon seem to have dumped this one in the Summer, which is odd given its strong reviews and good buzz for its cast. It may very well be that they’re iffy about promoting a film about a disabled man that features an actor who isn’t disabled. Van Sant can at least take solace in knowing it was better received than Sea of Trees.
Did anyone else know that Rob Reiner had a new film out? And that it starred Jessica Biel, Milla Jovovich, Tommy Lee Jones and pretty pretty James Marsden? Yup, that came out this week, but by the looks of it, audiences didn’t have much enthusiasm for Shock and Awe, a drama about journalists covering the Bush Administration’s cover-up in Iraq. It probably didn’t help that this thing premiered on the festival circuit last year to bad reviews and was even screened on DirecTV in June. From 100 theatres, it made $41k. It made less than Show Dogs, which is in its 9th week. Ouch.
This coming week sees the American release of the wonderful documentary McQueen, the limited release of the dramedy Blindspotting, the sequel to Unfriended, the return of Denzel with The Equalizer 2, and… Yeah… Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! Never before has a movie’s own title sounded so defeated.
You can check out the rest of the weekend box office here.
What films did you watch this weekend, or were you too distracted by sports? Let us know in the comments.