August 25, 2018

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Crazy Rich Asians” Romps, “Happytime Murders” Sad, “Papillon” Behind Bars


The lack of strong new competition is certainly helping, as is the Wednesday opening that kept last Friday down a bit, but nevertheless, the Weekend 2 hold for CRAZY RICH ASIANS (SK Global/Warners) is on track to be extraordinary.  Preliminary numbers at Deadline have a 4% Friday-to-Friday drop to $7M, which would give it a $24M weekend at worst, suggesting an ultimate $125M+ in the US.  Depending on how one defines the genre, that would put it in Top 20 territory among rom-coms.

THE MEG (Gravity/Warners) is holding well too for its B-movie genre.  Its 3rd Friday was down 44% to $3.2M, for an $11.5M weekend that also puts it in line for $125M in the US (on far higher production costs than Crazy Rich Asians).

The best opening the weekend could muster belongs to THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS (H Brothers/BlackBear/STX), which had a weak $4M Friday and might reach $11M for the weekend.  That will be the lowest opening of Melissa McCarthy’s starring career, and with production/marketing costs that will approach $100M, only unexpected success overseas would be able to salvage the project.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT (Skydance/Alibaba/Paramount) is holding like a champ, down 27% on its 5th Friday to $2.2M for an $8M weekend that suggests it may reach $210M in the US, ahead of Rogue Nation and neck-and-neck with Ghost Protocol for the #2 slot of the franchise.

ALPHA (Studio 8/Sony/Columbia) fell 52% from its opening Friday to $1.6M, and may have a $6M weekend as it heads to a dismal $30M in the US.

MILE 22 (Hideaway/H Brothers/STX) dropped an awful 70% Friday-to-Friday to $1.6M, on its way to a $5M weekend and $35M in the US.

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (Disney) didn’t live up to last week’s 28% Friday-to-Friday drop, down 42% to $1.6M for a likely $5.5M weekend, with a chance of reaching $90M in the US.

BLACKKLANSMAN (Focus/Universal) had a solid hold, down 29% on its 3rd Friday (with the help of a theatre bump of about 7%) to $1.4M for a $5M weekend, heading toward $40M in the US.

SLENDER MAN (Sony/Screen Gems) dropped an OK 45% on its 3rd Friday to $800K, with a $2.5M weekend in its sights as it continues toward $30M in the US.

The weekend’s other wide openings were ugly.  AXL (Global Road) will do no favors for its troubled studio’s finances, with an $800K Friday and a weekend that might reach $2.5M.

Barely in wide release at 544 theatres, PAPILLON (Bleecker Street) is slowly heading to a $1M weekend.

SEARCHING (Sony/Screen Gems) is starting well in 9 theatres with a possible $30K weekend per-theatre average ahead.

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."