September 2, 2018

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 9.2.2018


OPENINGS:  Even among the mostly-sad legacy of Labor Day Weekend openings, OPERATION FINALE (MGM) was notably weak at $6M ($7.7M since its Wednesday launch), and that number incorporates a studio-estimated Sunday bump that would be the highest in the Top 10.  The weekend number, which may get to $7.5M with Monday added, is considerably below the 3-day for The American ($13.2M), Lawless ($10M), The Debt ($9.9M), The Constant Gardener ($8.7M), and The November Man ($7.9M) even in the subcategory of Labor Day adult thrillers.  With $50M+ in production/marketing costs, Finale would need considerable foreign success to break even.

SEARCHING (Sony/Screen Gems) expanded to semi-wide release at 1207 theatres with a $5.7M weekend ($7M including Monday), and with minimal costs might reach profit if it can hold onto its theatres.  It’s also in 7 international territories, where it’s at $6.5M after a $5.8M weekend.

KIN (Summit/Lionsgate) was woeful with a $3M start ($3.6M with Monday) that didn’t get any better when combined with its $1.8M opening in 23 international territories.

HOLDOVERS:  The strong holiday Sunday and lack of new competition was good news for many holdovers, and none more than CRAZY RICH ASIANS (SK Global/Warners), down just 10% in its 3rd weekend to $22.3M ($28M with Monday).  That’s the #3 Labor Day weekend ever, below the opening of the 2007 Halloween ($26.4M) and the 5th weekend of The Sixth Sense ($22.9M), not adjusted for inflation.  Crazy will reach $150M in the US, and could well go higher.  Overseas, it’s at $19.9M after a $10.4M weekend in 24 markets, with much of the world still on the way.

THE MEG (Gravity/Warners) dropped 18% in its 4th weekend to $10.5M ($13.5M with Monday), and should defy expectations by reaching $135M in the US.  Its overseas performance is more as expected, with $342.3M after a $17.7M weekend in 66 markets, $150.9M of that from China.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT (Skydance/Alibaba/Paramount) was down just 13% in its 6th weekend to $7M ($9M with Monday), and it should get past MI2‘s $215.4M (not adjusted for inflation) to become the franchise’s biggest US hit.  Even better, Fallout finally opened in China, where it set a franchise record with $77.3M opening, part of an $89.1M weekend in 65 markets that put its international total at $442.7M to date.

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (Disney) slipped 20% in its 5th weekend to $5M ($6.5M with Monday), and could reach $90M+ in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $45.9M after a $4.7M weekend in 32 territories.

ALPHA (Studio 8/Sony/Columbia) dropped 25% to $4.5M in its 3rd weekend ($5.5M with Monday), and probably won’t reach $40M in the US.  It’s at $18.3M overseas after a $6.6M weekend in 29 markets.  It will need a big opening in China next weekend to get out of red ink.

Even the holiday and dim competition couldn’t help THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS (H Brothers/Black Bear/STX), down 54% in its 2nd weekend to $4.4M ($5.5M with Monday).  It’s unlikely to see $25M in the US, and hasn’t yet opened overseas.

BLACKKLANSMAN (Focus/Universal) continues to hold well, down 19% in its 4th weekend to $4.1M ($5M with Monday), with a chance of reaching $50M in the US.  It’s also hit $17.5M overseas after a $4.8M weekend in 18 territories, and should be one of Spike Lee’s most profitable projects.

MILE 22 (H Brothers/Hideaway/STX) fell 44% in its 3rd weekend to $3.6M ($4.5M with Monday), and might get to $40M in the US.  International markets aren’t likely to save it, as it’s at $14.5M after a $6M weekend in 33 territories.

Last weekend’s flops didn’t improve.  AXL (Global Road) plunged 52% to $1.4M ($1.7M with Monday), and won’t see $10M in the US.  PAPILLON (Bleecker Street) collapsed by 68% to $350K ($450K with Monday), and may not get to $3M in the US.

LIMITED RELEASE:  YA VEREMOS (Pantelion/Lionsgate) had an OK start for the Spanish-language market with $1.8M in 369 theatres, a $4900 (3-day) weekend per-theatre average.  Dumped by its studio, THE LITTLE STRANGER (Focus/Universal) fared far worse with a $900 average at 474.  JULIET, NAKED (Roadside) expanded to 318 with a $2500 average.  THE WIFE (Sony Classics) widened to 78 and averaged $6700.  THE BOOKSHOP (Greenwich), now at 60 theatres, averaged $3200.  WE THE ANIMALS (Orchard) averaged $2K at 19.

NEXT WEEKEND:  After last year’s post-Labor Day bonanza with IT, a horror movie in that slot was inevitable, and it’s the newest Conjuring spin-off THE NUN (New Line/Warners).  It will face competition from action thriller PEPPERMINT (STX). 



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."