August 18, 2018

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Crazy Rich Asians” Cashes In, “Mile 22” Dim, “Alpha” Fails


The gamble of CRAZY RICH ASIANS (Color Force/SK Global/Warners) is paying off with solid returns.  The film opened on Wednesday and earned $8.8M in its first two days, and preliminary numbers at Deadline have its Friday at $7M.  That should give it a $21M 3-day weekend and around $30M since opening day.  A $70M US total would give it fair base for profit on roughly $100M in production/marketing costs, with presumed strength in Asian markets abroad.  By comparison, the year’s earlier attempt at a big-studio breakthrough rom-com, the gay teen dramedy Love, Simon, only managed $14M in its opening 5 days and a $40.8M US total.

Considering its schlock nature, the 65% Friday-to-Friday drop to $5.9M for THE MEG (Gravity/Warners) wasn’t so bad, less steep than the 70% drop on the 2nd Friday of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and roughly the same as the 66% for Skyscraper.  The weekend should hit $20M, with a possible US total of $120M ahead, although costs were so high that the profit picture is still cloudy.

MILE 22 (Hideaway/H Brothers/STX) is headed for one of Mark Wahlberg’s worst action movie openings, depending on how one classifies his Patriots DayMile 22 had a $5.4M Friday that should bring it to a $14M weekend, better than the $11.6M wide opening for Patriots Day, but otherwise his lowest opening in the genre since Broken City‘s $8.3M in 2013, and before that, the $10.8M start for We Own the Night in 2007.  Mile 22 carries over $100M in production/marketing costs, so its only chance at breakeven is strong appeal overseas.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT (Skydance/Alibaba/Paramount) dropped 42% on its 4th Friday to $3M, steeper than the 32% drop for Rogue Nation on its parallel day.  Fallout should have an $11M weekend, still on track to slide past $200M in the US.

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (Disney) has found its groove, down just 26% on its 3rd Friday to $2.7M, for a weekend that could hit $11M.  That suggests it may pull past Pete’s Dragon and reach $85M in the US.

ALPHA (Studio 8/Columbia/Sony) proved to be a tough sell, with a Friday at $3.3M, and a weekend that may not get past $9M.  Barring huge success overseas, it has no chance of recouping its $100M+ in costs.

BLACKKKLANSMAN (Focus/Universal) increased its theatre count by 18%, which helped moderate its Friday-to-Friday drop to 44%, bringing the day to $2M, with a $7M weekend ahead.  It could reach $40M in the US, which would place it as #3 in Spike Lee’s career (not adjusted for inflation), behind only Inside Man and Malcolm X.

SLENDER MAN (Screen Gems/Sony) fell the expected low-budget horror 71% from last Friday to $1.4M, for a likely $4M weekend, as it struggles toward $30M in the US.

The long-running holdovers continued their steady performance.  MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN (Legendary/Universal) dropped 37% on its 5th Friday to $1M, for a $3.5M weekend as it heads to $120M in the US.  HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION (Sony Animation/Sony/Columbia) slipped 32% on its 6th Friday to $1M for a $3.5M weekend that will put it closer to $160M in the US.

New arthouse releases are en route to fair but not standout returns.  THE WIFE (Sony Classics) should average $28K for the weekend at 4 theatres, WE THE ANIMALS (Orchard) may average $22K at 3.  JULIET, NAKED (Roadside) could average $14K at 4.


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."