July 14, 2018

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Hotel Transylvania 3″” Solid, “Skyscraper” Craters, “Ant-Man & The Wasp” Drops, “Sorry To Bother You” Widens, “Eighth Grade” Starts Big


HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION (Sony Animation/Columbia/Sony) continues to be a solid mid-level franchise.  Preliminary numbers at Deadline have the opening day box office at $16.3M, the best of the trio, although it’s a bit misleading to compare that with the $11M Friday for the first Transylvania and the $13.3M for the second, since the Summer Vacation number includes $2.6M from Thursday night, while both of the earlier films didn’t open until Friday proper.  That may lower the weekend multiple relative to its predecessors, but Summer Vacation is still in line for a weekend as high as the $48.4M of Hotel 2, which reached $169.7M in the US.  Those aren’t Pixar numbers, but Sony keeps the production costs relatively moderate, so there’s room for a fair amount of profit.

Things were much less rosy for SKYSCRAPER (Legendary/Universal), off to a bumpy start with $9.1M on Friday (including $2M from Thursday night).  This is Dwayne Johnson’s fifth starring role in about 15 months, and his presence may not feel like an “event” these days.  As for the weekend total, Johnson’s action movies like Rampage and San Andreas tend to draw a strong family audience, giving them a healthy weekend multiple, so Skyscraper could get to $27M by Sunday.  But that’s an optimistic forecast, given what appears to be limited audience interest, so $24M may be more likely.  In any case, this is a bad start for a film with $250M or so in production/marketing costs, and while it’s likely to do much better in Asian territories (the story is set in Hong Kong and features several regional actors in the supporting cast), a $75M US total would make profitability tough, given the small share of box office receipts that China returns to US studios.

ANT-MAN & THE WASP (Marvel/Disney) is falling fast, down 75% from last Friday to $8.4M, on track for a $28M weekend.  That’s a notch worse than most Marvel sequels, which tend to drop 67-71% on their second Fridays.  Wasp may end up around $190M in the US, up about 5% from the first Ant-Man.

With Hotel Transylvania 3 in the market, INCREDIBLES 2 (Pixar/Disney) took a bit of a hit, down 55% from last Friday to $4.4M.  By comparison, Finding Dory dropped 47% on its parallel day of release.  Incredibles 2 may have a $14M weekend, and should top $560M in the US before it’s done.

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM (Legendary/Perfect World/Universal), facing a lot of action-movie competition, fell 55% on its 4th Friday to $4.1M, with a $13M weekend ahead.  If it reaches $390M in the US, it will be down 40% from the first Jurassic World.

Although THE FIRST PURGE (Blumhouse/Perfect World/Universal) seems more stable with a 50% drop from last Friday (to $3M), it had started on Wednesday, so the comparison isn’t to opening day.  With a $9M weekend, it’s on track for under $70M in the US, which would leave it ahead of the original Purge but behind the previous sequels.

SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO (Black Label/Columbia/Sony) fell 55% from last Friday to $1M, and a $3.5M weekend would leave it unlikely to get past $50M in the US, barely ahead of the first Sicario‘s $46.9M despite higher costs.

UNCLE DREW (Lionsgate) is one family movie too many for the market.  It dropped 55% from last Friday to about $1M, and is headed for a $3M weekend and a US total that won’t reach $45M.

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (Annapurna) expanded into the low end of wide release at 805 theatres, and had a $1.5M Friday, which should bring it to $4M for the weekend.  That’s considerably better than the $2.6M that Won’t You Be My Neighbor earned at 893, and just about even with the $4.1M Lady Bird had at 791.  Lady Bird reached almost $50M in the US, although Sorry is likely to be more polarizing, and it won’t have the help of the Oscar season dynamic.

The almost universally acclaimed EIGHTH GRADE (A24) is on its way to an exceptional start with a $60K weekend per-theatre average at 4 NY/LA arthouses.  Its victim seems to be DON’T WORRY, HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT (Amazon), which may average $15K 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."