June 24, 2018
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (Universal) shows there’s plenty of life in the dinosaur franchise, which also lifted box office around the world. This weekend may notch peak numbers for the summer season. It’s the fourth in a string of $150-million openings since late April: spring-summer 2018 marks a strong period.
Coming after Disney/Pixar’s even bigger showing for “Incredibles 2” (Disney) last weekend, the weak performance for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (Disney) is not a harbinger of sequel and franchise fatigue on a broader scale.
This is how impressive recent weeks have been: the year-to-date numbers are up nearly nine per cent, the highest uptick since early in the year. More impressively, the weekend overall total of $280 million is exactly double the same late June prime weekend last year. 2017 in the same period saw only $140 million — thanks to weak domestic sequels from Pixar (“Cars 3”) and Paramount (“Transformers: The Last Knight”). This time around the movies are proving to be strong both foreign and domestic.
If the $150 million gross holds (final figures on Monday), this will be the first time that two consecutive week openers grossed over that number. (Adjust to 2018 ticket prices and the achievement occurred once before in 2007: “Shrek the Third” and “Pirates of the Caribbean 3” had a similar two weekend haul.)
The “Fallen Kingdom” opening is down 35 per cent from “Jurassic World” three years ago (adjusted), itself the fourth biggest ever. However, that date was wide open, as the second biggest film was week two of “Spy,” far lower than “Incredibles 2.” Overall, it ranks at the third best ever for Universal (“Furious 7” scored adjusted $156 million).
The fifth “Jurassic” film so far has already (with two-week earlier international openings) taken in $561 million in the rest of the world. With a budget pre-marketing of at least $170 million, this looks headed for a total way over $1 billion on its way to major profit.
The only mildly sore note of the weekend is related to two massive openings one on top of the other. “Incredibles 2” dropped about 56 per cent (with a strong $81 million total). That’s a significant amount more than the second weekend drop for Pixar’s “Finding Dory” exactly two years ago. But that came when its main competition was an action VFX 3D opener (“Independence Day: Resurgence”) which didn’t even reach $50 million for the weekend. And even with the bigger drop, “Incredibles 2” managed to outgross “Dory.” So no need for sympathy for Disney and Pixar.
“Dory” with a small opening but better hold grossed a little under 60 per cent of its total domestic gross after ten days. At that rate, “Incredibles” looks to fall short of $600 million by a small margin. It’s still early enough in the run that the final total could surpass that. If so, it would be the third film this year to reach that number after two Marvel titles, “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity Wars.”
It’s been done before with 1965’s long-running “The Sound of Music,” “Dr. Zhivago,” and “Thunderball,” though much of their totals come the following year. But there have never been three films as dominant through the first half of the year as these three were in 2018. “Deadpool 2” (20th Century Fox) has now also passed $300 million, and “Fallen Kingdom” will join it before the end of its run.
“Incredibles 2” is likely to rank as the biggest Pixar domestic release ever (adjusted it needs to top $516 million). That’s bigger than expected. Add to that strong foreign numbers (China this weekend boasted the best Pixar opening ever) when the studio hasn’t been as big overseas as some other animated brands. That’s good news all around.
Though not at the same level of gross (but also not in cost), “Ocean’s 8” (Warner Bros.) crossed the $100 million mark in the weekend’s third spot. It only fell 39 per cent and looks headed to $125 million domestic and possibly around that amount overseas (where its all-female cast isn’t as big a draw). This would be a notable achievement any time, but happening in the heart of the summer makes it more significant.
The second weekends for “Tag” (Warner Bros./- 45 per cent) and “Superfly” (Sony/- 51 per cent) are enough to sustain most of their dates for another week (which overlaps Independence Day). Both were inexpensive enough that with future revenues they could break even.
“Deadpool 2” leaped over the later-opening “Solo” this weekend. A 39 per cent drop for the former compared to 60 per cent for the first “Star Wars” flop (which is over $200 million domestic with its expense and weaker foreign appeal causing the loss) explains the position switch.
“Hereditary” (A24) continues to defy its awful Cinemascore with a respectable hold in seventh place. Its 44 per cent drop, minor for a lower-budget horror film, gets it to $35 million, with a much better than expected $40-million total assured. That will make the second time — after “Ladybird” — that the distributor will have passed that mark.
The sensational “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” (Focus) entered the Top Ten with nearly $1.9 million on only 348 theaters. More of the Mr. Rogers documentary and other specialized films here:
The Top Ten
1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal) NEW – Cinemascore: A-; Metacritic: 51; Est. budget: $170 million
$150,001,000 in 4,475 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $33,520; Cumulative: $150,001,000
2. Incredibles 2 (Disney) Week 2; Last weekend #1
$80,928,000 (-56%) in 4,410 theaters (no change); PTA: $18,351; Cumulative: $350,375,000
3. Ocean’s 8 (Warner Bros.) Week 3; Last weekend #2
$11,650,000 (-39%) in 3,656 theaters (-489); PTA: $3,187; Cumulative: $100,386,000
4. Tag (Warner Bros.) Week 2; Last weekend #3
$8,200,000 (-45%) in 3,382 theaters (no change); PTA: $2,425; Cumulative: $30,368,000
5. Deadpool 2 (20th Century Fox) Week 6; Last weekend #5
$5,250,000 (-39%) in 2,420 theaters (-792); PTA: $2,169; Cumulative: $304,150,000
6. Solo: A Star Wars Story (Disney) Week 5; Last weekend #4
$4,050,000 (-60%) in 2,338 theaters (-844); PTA: $1,730; Cumulative: $202,177,000
7. Hereditary (A24) Week 3; Last weekend #7
$3,809,000 (-44%) in 2,002 theaters (-996); PTA: $1,903; Cumulative: $35,001,000
8. Superfly (Sony) Week 2; Last weekend #6
$3,350,000 (-51%) in 2,220 theaters (no change); PTA: $1,509; Cumulative: $15,266,000
9. Avengers: Infinity War (Disney) Week 9; Last weekend #8
$2,482,000 (-54%) in 1,456 theaters (-708); PTA: $1,705; Cumulative: $669,466,000
10. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus) Week 3; Last weekend #15
$1,875,000 (+87%) in 348 theaters (+252); PTA: $5,388; Cumulative: $4,130,000
Source: IndieWire film