July 7, 2018

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Ant-Man & The Wasp” Large, “The First Purge” Soft, “Sicario 2″” Drops & More


ANT-MAN & THE WASP (Marvel/Disney) will be Marvel’s lowest-grossing 2018 release, but it was designed to have relatively minor stakes, and while it’s not in a league with Black Panther or Avengers: Infinity War, on its own terms it’s performing impressively.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, opening day was $34M (including $11.5M from Thursday night), a 50% increase from the first Ant-Man, and better than the $32.6M first day of Doctor Strange.  If Wasp has the same 2.53x weekend multiple as Ant-Man, it will have $86M by Sunday, and could reach $225M or so in the US.

THE FIRST PURGE (Blumhouse/Perfect World/Universal) was the first in its franchise to open on a Wednesday, so comparisons aren’t apples to apples, but with a $5.8M Friday added to $13.9M from Wed-Thurs, it may get to $31M over 5 days, while the others in the franchise have earned $29.8M-$34.1M in just 3 days each.  That suggests that First Purge will peter out at about $65M in the US, profitable given its low costs, but below the $72-79M of the last two installments.

Note that due to the quasi-holiday status of this week’s Friday, weekend multiples for holdovers may be lower than usual.  INCREDIBLES 2 (Pixar/Disney) is demonstrating terrific legs, down just 31% from last Friday to $9.3M for a $30M weekend, and by Sunday it will have topped $500M in the US, becoming the most successful animated US release in history, with plenty of gas left in the tank.

JURASSIC PARK: FALLEN KINGDOM (Legendary/Perfect World/Universal) dropped 49% from last Friday to $8.9M, and a $27M weekend would leave it stretching to reach $400M in the US before it’s done, down 39% from the first Jurassic World.

SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO (Black Label/Columbia/Sony) plunged 69% on its 2nd Friday to $2.3M, and with a $7M weekend, it’s not going to get much higher than the $46.9M US total of the first Sicario, despite increased production and marketing costs.  Unless the film shows a great deal of international strength, it’s hard to see how the franchise can continue at these numbers.

UNCLE DREW (Lionsgate) was hoping to find a family audience, but it was completely outflanked by Disney, and it fell 64% on its 2nd Friday to $2.2M.  With a $14M weekend, it’s on its way to a $45M US total, with uncertain international prospects.

OCEAN’S EIGHT (Village Roadshow/Warners) is the only female-skewing title in the market, and it dipped just 28% on its 5th Friday to $1.7M, with a $5M weekend ahead that has it on track for $135M+ in the US, which would put it behind only Eleven in the franchise.

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR (Focus/Universal) expanded again, this time by 239 theatres to 893, where it had a $750K Friday, and with a $2.5M weekend, it will pass RBG as 2018’s top documentary.  If it keeps widening, it could get as high as $20M in the US.

3 IDENTICAL STRANGERS (Neon) was another expanding documentary, now at 51 theatres for a solid potential $12K per-theatre weekend average.  SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (Annapurna) is having a bright opening at 16 theatres, with a possible weekend average over $40K.  Annapurna has been accused of over-aggressiveness in its rapid expansions of Detroit and Brad’s Status and wide opening of Professor Marston & The Wonder Women, all of which burned out quickly, so we’ll see if it moves more gradually with Sorry.

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."