Monday, July 23, 2018
Box Office
Box Office

Columbia Pictures; Universal Pictures
‘The Equalizer 2,’ ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’

In a battle of the sequels — and the sexes — Denzel Washington’s R-rated action pic out-gunned the $34.4m debut of ‘Mamma Mia 2.’

In a summer box-office upset, Sony’s R-rated The Equalizer 2 came in ahead of expectations to beat the star-studded Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again with an estimated $35.8 million launch in North America.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again grossed an estimated $34.4 million. The numbers could shift when final weekend earnings are tallied on Monday. Overseas, the sequel debuted to $42.4 million, from its first 43 markets, for a global bow of $76.8 million. The U.K. led with $13.1 million.

The female-fueled Mamma Mia 2 is by no means a disappointment in North America and opened in line with expectations. As it turned out, Equalizer 2 beat projections, thanks to an ethnically diverse audience and keen interest among men. (Rival studios show the movie coming in closer to $35 million, but Sony is counting on a strong Sunday.) Internationally, it only debuted in 11 markets, earning $3.3 million.

Equalizer 2 is the first sequel of Washington’s career. The first Equalizer was a sleeper hit in fall 2014 after opening to $34.1 million domestically. The budding franchise — both films were directed by Antoine Fuqua — follow the exploits of an ex-government operative drawn back into action. This time out, Washington’s character is determined to exact revenge for the death of a friend. Males made up around 60 percent of ticket buyers.

“This opening speaks to the star power of Denzel Washington. And you can’t go wrong with the combination of Denzel adn Antoine Fuqua,” says Sony distribution chief Adrian Smith, noting that this marks Fuqua’s highest domestic opening. He also believes there is room for both Equalizer 2 and another male-fueled action pic opening next weekend, Mission: Impossible — Fallout.

Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Melissa Leo and Bill Pullman also star in Equalizer 2, which marks the fourth film Fuqua and Washington have made together after The EqualizerTraining Day and The Magnificent Seven.

Equalizer 2 earned an A CinemaScore, compared to an A- for its predecessor. Mamma Mia 2 received the same CinemaScore as the 2008 movie, or an A-.

Mamma Mia 2‘s domestic opening came in 22 percent head of the first Mamma Mia!, which opened to $27.7 million in summer 2008 on its way to grossing $609.8 million globally, not adjusted for inflation.

“We consider it an outstanding opening. These kind of movies leg out like crazy,” says Universal domestic distribution president Jim Orr.

A big curiosity factor is Cher, who along with Lily James, are among the newcomers to the Mamma Mia! brand. Returning stars included Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan and Stellan Skarsgard. The story traverses time to when Streep’s character (Donna) is pregnant.

Mamma Mia 2 is one of the few 2018 summer event films targeting females, who made up more than 80 percent of Friday’s audience, according to comScore.

In June, Warner Bros.’ female-fronted spinoff Ocean’s 8 opened to $41.6 million on its way to earning $256.7 million globally. And Paramount’s Book Club, starring Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen and Candice Bergen, was a sleeper hit in May upon grossing nearly $70 million domestically.

The weekend’s third new nationwide offering, Blumhouse’s million dollar horror-thriller, Unfriended: Dark Web , came in No. 9 with an estimated $3.5 million against a tiny production budget of $1 million. The found-footage pic, directed by Stephen Susco (The Grudge), follow a twenty-something who finds a cache of hidden files on his new laptop. He soon realizes that the former owners of his computer will do anything to get the laptop back.

Among holdovers, Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation placed No. 3 domestically with $23.2 million for a 10-day total of $91.1 million. Internationally, it earned another $37.7 million from 51 markets to jump the $200 million mark and finish Sunday with a global total of $206.7 million.

Disney/Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp came in fourth with $16.1 million for a domestic total of $164.6 million and worldwide total of $353.5 million after earning another $21.6 million offshore.

Disney also took fifth place with Incredibles 2. The Pixar tentpole grossed $11.5 million for a dazzling domestic tally of $557.3 million. Internationally, it took in $36.5 million from 42 territories for a worldwide total of $940.1 million, meaning it has a strong shot of approaching $1 billion by the end of its run.

Dwayne Johnson’s summer event film Skyscraper continued to struggle in the U.S. in its second weekend, falling to No. 6 and grossing $11 million for Legendary and Universal. That puts the pic’s 10-day North American cume at $46.7 million.

However, Johnson’s star status translated into big numbers in China, where Skyscraper debuted over the weekend to a rousing $47.7 million for Legendary East. Combined with the $27.7 million earned in other foreign markets, the action-disaster pic won the weekend internationally with $75 million. Skyscraper finished Sunday with a worldwide total of $179.6 million.

New specialty offerings at the U.S. box office included Lionsgate and Code Black’s critically acclaimed urban drama, Blindspotting. The Oakland-set urban drama marks the feature directorial debut of Carlos Lopez Estrada, and stars Hamilton‘s Daveed Diggs opposite Rafael Casal.

Blindspotting, which opened in 14 theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago and the Bay Area, grossed $332,500 for a per screen average of $23,750 million. The film earned one of the best averages of the weekend.

Estrada directed Blindspotting from a script by Rafael Casal and Diggs. The story, set in Oakland, follows two lifelong friends who navigate their final days of probation.

The top average of the weekend belongs to Bleecker Street’s new Alexander McQueen documentary McQueen, which opened to $96,928 from four theaters for an average of $23,854.

Amazon Studios’ new offering, Generation Wealth, opened to $33,602 from four cinemas for a per screen average of $8,401.

Meanwhile, A24’s Eighth Grade continued to impress as it expanded into a total of 32 locations in its sophomore outing. The film earned roughly $794,000 for a stellar screen average of $24,072.

Among other indie holdovers, Neon’s acclaimed doc Three Identical Strangers continued to climb up the chart, grossing $1.4 million from 332 theaters for a cume of $4.6 million. The film placed No. 14, the best ranking of any specialty title behind Annapurna’s Sorry to Bother You, which placed No. 10 with $2.8 million from 1,050 locations for a total of $10.2 million.

Three Identical Strangers is the latest documentary to prosper at the summer box office after RBG and Won’t You Be My Neighbor, which has crossed the $18 million mark domestically in a major win for Focus Features.

Legendary Pictures/Universal Pictures

Overseas, Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Skyscraper’ heads for a muted $42 million debut.

Dwayne Johnson’s Skyscraper is getting crushed in its U.S box-office debut by animated family film Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.

Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 3 topped Friday’s chart with $16.7 million for a projected debut of $41 million-$43 million, easily enough to claim the weekend crown. Dracula and his crew also nabbed an A- CinemaScore from audiences.

Conversely, Skyscraper only scaled $9.3 million on Friday for a projected $24 million-$25 million domestic debut, marking a major disappointment for Johnson and the two studios who made the $129 million action pic, Legendary and Universal. The bad news began Thursday night, when Skyscraper earned a mediocre $1.95 million in previews. The film’s CinemaScore is a B+.

Skyscraper is counting on big returns overseas, where it is headed for a $41.2 million debut from 57 markets this weekend before unfurling in China on July 20. The film could do sizable business in China, where Johnson’s Rampage earned $156.4 million earlier this year, almost half of its entire foreign gross.

Heading into the weekend, pre-release tracking suggested Skyscraper would clear anywhere from $33 million-$40 million in its North American launch. The action-disaster pic reteams Johnson with his Central Intelligence director, Rawson Marshall Thurber, and is the actor’s fourth movie in a little over a year after Baywatch, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Rampage. (Baywatch likewise got sunburned in summer 2017 when debuting to $18.5 million.)

Fellow action pics Rampage, released in April, opened to $35.8 million domestically, while San Andreas impressed with $54.5 million on its first weekend in summer 2015.

Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 3 is coming in on the high end of expectations. The first Hotel Transylvania debuted to $42.5 million, followed by $48.5 million for the sequel. Both launched in September.

Hotel Transylvania 3 and Skyscraper are both battling competition from Ant-Man and the Wasp, which cleared the $100 million mark at the domestic box office on Thursday, its sixth day in release. The superhero sequel is projected to come in No. 2 in its second weekend with $28 million-$30 million.

Skyscraper stars Johnson as a former FBI hostage rescue team leader and amputee now assigned to provide security for a towering skyscraper in China. He must spring into action when his wife (Neve Campbell) and children are trapped inside the world’s tallest building after villains set fire to it. Rawson Marshall Thurber, who made Central Intelligence with Johnson, wrote and directed the film.

Hotel Transylvania 3 cost a reported $80 million to produce before marketing. Adam Sandler once again voices the role of Dracula, who decides to take a cruise with his pals, only to fall in love with the captain of the ship (Kathryn Hahn). She also happens to be a relative and loyal ally of Van Helsing, a notorious vampire hunter. The voice cast also includes Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Keegan-Michael Key, Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher, Jim Gaffigan and Mel Brooks, with Genndy Tartakovsky directing.

Hotel Transylvania 3 has already begun rolling out overseas, where it has grossed $6 million to date. By this weekend, the film will be playing in nearly 50 percent of the international marketplace.

Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 and Universal’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will round out the top five in North America. Both films are on course to gross in the $15 million range.

The specialty box office is delivering strong results. Annapurna’s Sorry to Bother You, expanding into a total of 805 theaters, is moving into the top 10 this weekend with a projected $4 million.

Among new offerings, A24’s Eighth Grade could deliver the biggest opening screen average of the year so far, or $63,000-plus. The film is projected to earn $253,000 or more from four theaters. Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs is the current crown-holder. His film, debuting in 27 theaters last winter, posted a screen average of $60,011.

In limited release this weekend, Vertical will release Shock & Awe into 100 theaters; A24 is debuting Eighth Grade into four locations; Amazon Studios is releasing Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot into four theaters; and Sony is releasing Soorma into 50 locations.

Finally, keep an eye on Neon’s Three Identical Strangers, which is expanding into 170 theaters (+119) this weekend. The documentary performed quite well over its first two weekends and hopes to keep things rolling this week.

This weekend’s forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (4,267 theaters) – $45.0 M
  • Skyscraper (3,782 theaters) – $34.0 M
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (4,206 theaters) – $32.1 M
  • Incredibles 2 (3,705 theaters) – $17.5 M
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (3,692 theaters) – $15.5 M
  • The First Purge (3,038 theaters) – $9.2 M
  • Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2,006 theaters) – $3.5 M
  • Ocean’s 8 (1,618 theaters) – $3.1 M
  • Uncle Drew (1,702 theaters) – $2.9 M
  • Sorry to Bother You (805 theaters) – $2.9 M

Sony Pictures Animation; Universal/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Friday night was family night at the movies this weekend.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation kicked off its monster cruise nicely with $16.65 million from screenings in 4,267 locations, putting it on track to make $40-$41 million domestically by weekend’s end. That would also include the $1.28 million the film made from early Amazon Prime showings.

Meanwhile, Skyscraper, Dwayne Johnson’s “Die Hard in a building,” didn’t do quite as hot.

The film, written and directed by Johnson’s Central Intelligence helmer Rawson Marshall Thurber, is estimated to finish the weekend with $25 million after taking in just $9.27 million on Friday from 3,782 theaters. Skyscraper opened earlier on July 11 in select overseas locations, so it is still projected to make a cumulative $66.2 million globally through Sunday.

That means the animated sequel with Dracula and pals is looking to be the No. 1 movie in America this weekend — even over Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, which is looking to score $28 million this weekend.

Adam Sandler returned as the voice of Dracula in the third Hotel Transylvania, which sees all the monsters setting sail on a luxury cruise ship as Drac falls in love with its captain. The voice cast is rounded out by Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Keegan-Michael Key, Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher, and Mel Brooks.

As Will Sawyer in Skyscraper, Johnson plays a former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader framed for the fire set in China’s tallest skyscraper — and his family is trapped inside.

Pixar’s Incredibles 2 and Universal’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom — the latter of which already boasts more than $1 billion worldwide — are expected to come in the fourth and fifth spots.

Courtesy of Marvel Studios
‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’
Ant-Man and the Wasp is proving anything but tiny in its box-office debut.

In yet another victory for Disney and Marvel, the latest summer tentpole is on course to gross an estimated $35 million on Friday for a projected domestic debut of $85 million or more, including $11.5 million in Thursday-evening previews, according to early returns.

That’s well ahead of the $57.2 million collected by Ant-Man on its first weekend in summer 2015.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is easily trouncing the competition, including horror offering The First Purge, which opened on July Fourth to get a jump on the superhero tentpole.

The superhero sequel is the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and flies into theaters following the staggering success of Avengers: Infinity War earlier this summer and Black Panther in February. Currently, the Ant-Man sequel boasts an 87 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Peyton Reed (The Break-Up) returns to direct, reuniting him Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly. Rudd reprises his role as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, while Lilly plays Hope van Dyne/Wasp (her transformation into a superhero was hinted at in the first film). Hannah John-Kamen plays the villain Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp.

The sequel is set between the events in Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War, and sees Ant-Man and the Wasp embarking on a new mission from van Dyne’s father and SHIELD inventor Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to find his wife and Hope’s mother (Michelle Pfeiffer).

Ant-Man and the Wasp opens in roughly 45 percent of the foreign marketplace timed to its U.S. launch.

Universal and Blumhouse’s The First Purge opened to $9.3 million on Independence Day, followed by an estimated $4.6 million on Thursday for a two-day total of nearly $14 million. The dystopian horror pic is now targeting a five-day debut in the $31 million range, including a projected $5.5 million on Friday.

The First Purge is the fourth outing in the franchise, which has earned more than $330 million at the global box office against a modest production cost. Platinum Dunes shares producing duties. The film — tapping into the current political climate — is a prequel explaining the origins of the annual “Purge,” a 12-hour period during which it’s legal to commit any crime, including murder. Tracking shows the movie appealing to younger, diverse moviegoers.

Gerard McMurray directed The First Purge from a script by James DeMonaco, who wrote and helmed the first three films. Y’Lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Jovian Wade, Luna Lauren Velez and Marisa Tomei star in the prequel, which also launches this week in its first 27 international markets.

In July 2016, The Purge: Election Year debuted to $31.5 million domestically.

For the weekend, The First Purge is looking at a fourth-place finish behind Ant-Man 2, fellow Universal title Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2.

Courtesy of Universal Pictures
‘The First Purge’
Dystopian horror pic The First Purge scared up $2.5 million in Tuesday night previews before unfurling everywhere on July 4, ahead of Friday’s debut of Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Marking the fourth installment in Universal and Blumhouse’s successful horror franchise, The First Purge is targeting a $25-$30 million Wednesday-Sunday launch. Platinum Dunes is also a producer on the series.

In July 2016, The Purge: Election Year debuted to $31.5 million in July 2016 after earning $3.6 million in Thursday night previews (that film opened on a Friday).

The First Purge is a prequel explaining the origins of the annual “Purge,” a 12-hour period during which it’s legal to commit any crime, including murder. But what begins as an experiment to stop the crime rate takes a different course when “purgers” go into low-income neighborhoods. Tracking shows the movie appealing to younger, diverse moviegoers.

Gerard McMurray directed The First Purge from a script by James DeMonaco, who wrote and helmed the first three films. Y’Lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Jovian Wade, Luna Lauren Velez and Marisa Tomei star in the prequel, which also launches this week in its first 27 international marke

Disney and Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp opens everywhere Friday, following Thursday evening previews. If tracking is correct, the follow-up should buzz to $75 million-$85 million its domestic debut, ahead of the $57.2 million launch of Ant-Man in summer 2015.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is taking a bite out of the box office.

In its opening weekend, the fifth installment in Universal Pictures’ blockbuster franchise about cloned dinosaurs running amok is on track to earn about $150 million in ticket sales from 4,475 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, claiming the No. 1 spot with ease.

That figure exceeds industry projections, which had it in the $130 million to $140 million range, and it marks Universal’s second-highest domestic debut ever (not adjusting for inflation), behind only the first Jurassic World, which bowed to $208.8 million in 2015. Fallen Kingdom is therefore coming in about 28 percent lower than its predecessor, a film that went on to earn $1.67 billion in global ticket sales.

Overseas, Fallen Kingdom will add about $106.7 million this weekend, bringing its international total to $561.5 million. The film started rolling out across the globe two weeks ago.

Directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible), Fallen Kingdom cost about $170 million to produce and finds returning stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard trying to rescue an island full of resurrected dinosaurs from an impending volcanic eruption. The cast also includes B.D. Wong, Jeff Goldblum, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda.

Critics’ reviews were decidedly mixed, though audiences gave Fallen Kingdom an A-minus CinemaScore, suggesting the film will have decent staying power.


Dropping down to second place this weekend is Disney and Pixar’s Incredibles 2, with an estimated $80.9 million. That represents a decline of 56 percent from last week’s record-setting debut and brings the sequel’s domestic total to $350.3 million after 10 days in theaters ($485.1 million worldwide).

Arriving 14 years after The Incredibles — which grossed $261.4 million in the U.S. and Canada over its entire run — Incredibles 2 picks up right where the first film left off, with the Parr family fighting to save the day and restore the public’s trust in superheroes. Reviews for have been almost unanimously positive, and audiences gave it an A-plus CinemaScore.

Rounding out the top five this weekend are Warner Bros’. female-led heist movie Ocean’s 8, with about $11.7 million; the same studio’s R-rated comedy Tag, with about $8.2 million; and Fox’s superhero sequel Deadpool 2, with about $5.3 million.

In limited release, Focus Features’ Mister Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? will break into the top 10 in its third weekend, with about $1.9 million.

According to ComScore, overall box office is up 8.5 percent year-to-date. Check out the June 22-24 figures below.

1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom — $150 million
2. Incredibles 2 — $80.9 million
3. Ocean’s 8 — $11.7 million
4. Tag — $8.2 million
5. Deadpool 2 — $5.3 million
6. Solo: A Star Wars Story — $4 million
7. Hereditary — $3.8 million
8. Superfly — $3.4 million
9. Avengers: Infinity War — $2.5 million
10. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? — $1.9 million

Ocean’s 8 is making out like a bandit.

Warner Bros’. female-led heist movie is on track to debut with about $41.5 million in ticket sales from 4,145 theaters in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, easily dethroning two-time box office champ Solo: A Star Wars Story and holding off fellow newcomers Hereditary and Hotel Artemis.

That figure represents a solid start for Ocean’s 8, toward the higher end of industry projections, and it’s the biggest opening of the Ocean’s franchise, not adjusted for inflation. (Ocean’s 11, 12, and 13 bowed with $38.1 million, $39.2 million, and $36.1 million in 2001, 2004, and 2007.) Time will tell if the series’ fourth installment can match or exceed the global success of its predecessors, which combined to earn more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Through Sunday, Ocean’s 8 will have grossed about $12.2 million overseas.

Putting a gender-swapped spin on the Ocean’s movies, which were previously led by George Clooney and Brad Pitt, the latest installment stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, and Helena Bonham Carter as a crew of swindlers who plot a major job at the Met Gala in New York City. Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) directed the film, taking the reins from Steven Soderbergh.

Critics’ reviews were mixed to positive, while moviegoers gave Ocean’s 8 a B-plus CinemaScore. The audience on opening weekend was 69 percent female.

Taking second and third place this weekend are two other franchise-extending movies: Disney and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars spinoff Solo, with about $15.2 million, and Fox’s superhero sequel Deadpool 2, with about $13.7 million.

Those numbers bring Solo to a domestic total of $176.1 million after 17 days in theaters, and Deadpool 2 to  $278.7 after 17 days.

Pictured: Toni Collette

Cracking the top four is A24’s buzzed-about horror movie Hereditary, with an estimated $13 million from 2,964 screens. That doubles industry forecasts and marks the biggest opening weekend ever for for the indie studio.

Written and directed by Ari Aster, the film stars Toni Collette as a woman whose family is haunted after her mother dies. Hereditary received a dismal D-plus CinemaScore, but critics gave it glowing reviews.

This weekend’s other newcomer, the Global Road action thriller Hotel Artemis, arrives with about $3.2 million from 2,407 theaters, good for the No. 8 spot. Drew Pearce wrote and directed the movie, which stars Jodie Foster as a nurse running a secret hospital for criminals in near-future Los Angeles. The cast also includes Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, and Brian Tyree Henry. Reviews were mixed, and audiences gave it a C-minus CinemaScore.

According to ComScore, overall box office is up 4.3 percent year-to-date. Check out the June 8-10 figures below.

1. Ocean’s 8 — $41.5 million
2. Solo: A Star Wars Story — $15.2 million
3. Deadpool 2 — $13.7 million
4. Hereditary — $13 million
5. Avengers: Infinity War — $6.8 million
6. Adrift — $5.1 million
7. Book Club — $4.2 million
8. Hotel Artemis — $3.2 million
9. Upgrade — $2.2 million
10. Life of the Party — $2.1 million

Business isn’t exactly booming for the galaxy’s favorite space smuggler this Memorial Day weekend.

Disney and Lucasfilm’s Han Solo origin tale Solo: A Star Wars Story is on track to earn about $101 million in ticket sales from 4,381 theaters in the U.S. and Canada over the four-day holiday weekend — easily topping the box office, but coming in well below the $130 million-$150 million previously projected by Disney.

After earning $14.1 million from Thursday night previews, a pre-Memorial Day record, Solo appears to be stalling, and its estimated Friday-Sunday gross of $83.3 million falls considerably short of Rogue One ($155.1 million), let alone The Last Jedi ($220 million) and The Force Awakens ($248 million). Solo’s three-day overseas take — about $65 million, from 88 percent of its foreign markets, including China — is also underwhelming.

Marking the 10th film in the Star Wars saga and the second “anthology” movie, Solo explores the younger years of Han Solo, the interstellar scoundrel originated by Harrison Ford. Alden Ehrenreich plays the title role, joined by Emilia Clarke as first love Qi’ra, Joonas Suotamo as trusty sidekick Chewbacca, and Donald Glover as fellow rogue Lando Calrissian. Reviews have been mixed to positive, while audiences gave it an A-minus CinemaScore. It’s the only Star Wars movie of the Disney era not to receive an A.

Solo reportedly cost upward of $250 million to make, partly because original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were replaced by Ron Howard, who reshot significant portions of the film.

Solo also comes as the fourth Star Wars movie in less than three years, and its soft opening might be a sign of franchise fatigue. Nevertheless, Disney has Episode IX on the calendar for Dec. 20, 2019, and is mulling standalone movies about Boba Fett, Lando, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Twentieth Century Fox

Taking second place this weekend is Fox’s Deadpool 2, with an estimated three-day gross of $42.7 million ($53.5 million through Monday). That figure represents a rather steep decline of 66 percent in its second frame, and brings its domestic total to $207.4 million after 10 days in theaters.

Superheroes will also claim the No. 3 spot, as Disney and Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War adds about $16.5 million to its domestic haul in its fifth week.

Rounding out the top five are Paramount’s rom-com Book Club, with about $9.5 million, and Warner Bros.’ back-to-school farce Life of the Party, with about $5.1 million. Further down the list, Magnolia Pictures’ Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary RBG will rejoin the top 10 with an estimated $1.2 million in its fourth weekend, in just 415 theaters.

According to ComScore, overall box office is up 7.7 percent year-to-date. Check out the May 25-27 figures below.

1. Solo: A Star Wars Story — $83.3 million ($101 million four-day)
2. Deadpool 2 — $42.7 million ($53.5 million four-day)
3. Avengers: Infinity War — $16.5 million ($20.1 million four-day)
4. Book Club — $9.5 million ($12 million four-day)
5. Life of the Party — $5.1 million ($6.5 million four-day)
6. Breaking In — $4.1 million
7. Show Dogs — $3.1 million
8. Overboard — $3 million
9. A Quiet Place — $2.2 million
10. RBG — $1.2 million

This weekend, Ryan Reynolds is the Merc With the Money.

The actor’s wisecracking superhero sequel Deadpool 2 is on track to open with an estimated $125 million in ticket sales from 4,349 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, unseating three-time box office champ Avengers: Infinity War and scoring the second-highest debut ever for an R-rated movie.

Though that’s no small feat, Deadpool 2 will fall short of industry projections, which had it in the $130 million to $150 million range, and the original Deadpool, which bowed with $132.4 million in February 2016 (thus setting the R-rated opening record). Overseas, the sequel will add about $176.3 million this weekend, for a worldwide total of about $301.3 million.

Directed by David Leitch, from a script by Reynolds, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wernick, Deadpool 2 finds the titular antihero (played by Reynolds) protecting a young mutant from a time-traveling tough guy named Cable (Josh Brolin), while gleefully skewering Hollywood’s obsession with superheroes. The cast also includes Julian Dennison, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, and Brianna Hildebrand, plus a host of celebrity cameos.

The Fox film, which cost about $110 million to make, received generally positive reviews from critics (on par with the first film), and audiences gave it an A CinemaScore, suggesting good word-of-mouth prospects.

Disney’s rival Marvel movie Avengers: Infinity War drops down to second place this weekend, grossing a still-solid $28.7 million in its fourth frame and bringing its domestic total to $595 million. The film will add about $84.4 million overseas, pushing its worldwide total north of $1.8 billion.

Melinda Sue Gordon/Paramount Pictures

The weekend’s other new wide releases are Paramount’s rom-com Book Club and Open Road’s family-friendly comedy Show Dogs. The former film will take in about $12.5 million, good for the No. 3 spot, while the latter will gross about $6 million, landing in sixth place.

Directed by Bill Holderman, Book Club stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen as four friends whose love lives are upended when they decide to read the guilty pleasure Fifty Shades of Grey.

Show Dogs, meanwhile, centers on a police dog (voiced by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) who goes undercover at a dog show with his human partner (Will Arnett) to stop an animal smuggling ring. Raja Gosnell directed.

Both movies garnered lackluster reviews, though audiences gave them solid A-minus CinemaScores.

Rounding out the top five are the Melissa McCarthy comedy Life of the Party, with about $7.7 million, and the Gabrielle Union thriller Breaking In, with about $6.5 million.

According to ComScore, overall box office is up 6.3 percent year-to-date. Check out the May 18-20 figures below.

1. Deadpool 2 — $125 million
2. Avengers: Infinity War — $28.7 million
3. Book Club — $12.5 million
4. Life of the Party — $7.7 million
5. Breaking In — $6.5 million
6. Show Dogs — $6 million
7. Overboard — $4.7 million
8. A Quiet Place — $4 million
9. Rampage — $1.5 million
10. I Feel Pretty — $1.2 million

Premiere of “Avengers: Infinity Wars” – Arrivals – Los Angeles, California, U.S., 23/04/2018 – Actor Robert Downey Jr. poses with fans. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

April joins February 2018 as another record month at the box office with calendar grosses topping $1 billion for the first time ever, improving on 2017’s record grosses by nearly $210 million. The result was due, in large part, to the massive opening success of Avengers: Infinity War which made up 27.7% of the month’s overall gross despite being in theaters for only four days in April. As a result, Disney dominated the month with $336.6 million from just five films as the studio continues its record pace, generating over $1.2 billion in box office revenue over the first four months of 2018.

Led by $282.4 million from Avengers: Infinity War after just four days in release, Disney delivered $336.6 million in April, pushing the studio’s yearly total to $1.2 billion in the first four months of the year. On April 27, Disney became the fastest studio to reach $1 billion domestically, doing so in just 117 days, besting their previous record set in 2016 by 11 days. From a global perspective, Disney’s international gross at the end of April was a massive $1.5 billion for a worldwide total of $2.68 billion. From there the studio surpassed $3 billion in global ticket sales for the calendar year on May 4, reaching that threshold two days faster than the previous record, also set by Disney on May 6, 2016.

Overall, Disney is currently pacing $544.5 million ahead of where they were last year and $315 million ahead of 2016, the year they became the first studio to ever top $3 billion in domestic ticket sales and 2018 has a lot more to offer. Looking ahead at just the summer months, Disney has Solo: A Star Wars Story arriving at the end of May followed by Pixar’s The Incredibles 2 in June, Ant-Man and the Wasp in July and Christopher Robin in August, all before a trio of releases over the holiday season hope to deliver another record year for the Mouse House. You can view Disney’s full upcoming release slate right here.

Finishing second for the month is Warner Bros. with $181.25 million from eight releases. Leading the charge was the late March release of Ready Player One, which brought in $88.4 million for the month, accounting for 66.5% of its $133 million domestic total by the end of April. Overall, April accounted for 47% of WB’s total gross for the year so far, which ended April ahead of 2017’s gross by a narrow, $4.1 million margin. 2017 went on to become the studio’s highest grossing year ever at the domestic box office, topping $2 billion for the first time.

Paramount finished April in third place with one of the year’s biggest successes thus far in the horror/thriller A Quiet Place. The $17 million production debuted with a massive $50.2 million on April 6 and has since delivered over $160 million becoming the studio’s highest grossing release since Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($195m) in July 2015. A Quiet Place has out-grossed recent Paramount blockbusters such as Star Trek Beyond ($158.8m) and Transformers: The Last Knight ($130.1m) domestically and helped push the studio’s yearly gross over $232 million, $34 million ahead of last year. Unfortunately, that gross total is far from the studio’s best, coming in as the 14th highest total over the last 19 years. Though, with only five films in release, the $46.4 million average per film is the fourth best over the same time span.

Looking ahead, Paramount is hoping to turn things around after a dismal 2017 with a slate of modestly budgeted films as well as blockbusters including Mission: Impossible – Fallout (7/27) and Bumblebee (12/21) later this year.

Universal landed in fourth position for the month with $104.8 million from four films including two new releases. Leading the way was the R-rated comedy Blockers, which brought in $53.5 million on a $21 million budget and the latest Blumhouse production, Truth or Dare, which brought in $35.6 million for the month on a $3.5 million budget. Universal is currently pacing a hefty $488 million behind their 2017 grosses, but with films such as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (6/22), The First Purge (7/4) and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (7/20) set to hit theaters over the summer months things should begin turning around.

In fifth is Lionsgate, which had just two films in release, combining for $35.8 million for the month, pushing the studio’s 2018 calendar gross over $133 million, pacing almost $280 million behind last year when films like La La Land, John Wick: Chapter Two, Power Rangers and The Shack were delivering solid grosses for the studio. This year Tyler Perry’s Acrimony is leading the studio’s stable of releases with $42.3 million putting pressure on the studio’s upcoming slate to deliver some bigger numbers.

Elsewhere, while Sony finished in 11th for the month, not having released a movie since Paul, Apostle of Christ in late March, the studio’s $403.2 million in grosses this year is $173 million ahead of where they were at the end of April last year. Of course, nearly $350 million of that total is attributed to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($235.26m) and Peter Rabbit ($114.57m) while the rest of the studio’s 2018 releases haven’t fared nearly as well. However, following their CinemaCon presentation high hopes reside on the shoulders of films including Hotel Transylvania 3 (7/13), The Equalizer 2 (7/20), Venom (10/5), Goosebumps 2 (10/12), The Girl in the Spider’s Web (11/9) and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (12/14).

As for the rest of May, while Avengers: Infinity War gave the Spring season a late jolt, helping it become the second largest Spring ever, Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story look to get the official summer box office off to a solid start, while films such as Book Club, Breaking In and Life of the Party may not deliver blockbuster-sized numbers, but should deliver good numbers as solid counter-programming options.

Looking at the year overall, the domestic box office stood at $3.875 billion at the end of April, improving on 2017’s $3.725 billion at the same point as well as positioned $310.7 million ahead of 2016’s record-setting year through the end of April.

Finally, a list of selected films that closed out their domestic runs in April is featured below, ordered by cumulative gross.

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Disney) – Closed with $620.18M after 126 days in release
  • Coco (Disney) – Closed with $209.73M after 156 days in release
  • Fifty Shades Freed (Uni) – Closed with $100.41M after 56 days in release
  • Darkest Hour (Focus) – Closed with $56.44M after 131 days in release
  • Lady Bird (A24) – Closed with $48.96M after 154 days in release
  • The 15:17 to Paris (WB) – Closed with $36.25M after 63 days in release
  • Annihilation (Paramount) – Closed with $32.73M after 56 days in release
  • I, Tonya (Neon) – Closed with $30.01M after 133 days in release
  • Phantom Thread (Focus) – Closed with $21.02M after 98 days in release
  • Unsane (Bleecker) – Closed with $7.73M after 21 days in release
  • Gringo (STX) – Closed with $4.97M after 28 days in release
  • Samson (Pure Flix) – Closed with $4.72M after 56 days in release
  • 7 Days in Entebbe (Focus) – Closed with $3.21M after 45 days in release
  • Mary and the Witch’s Flower (GKIDS) – Closed with $2.42M after 78 days in release
  • Detective Chinatown 2 (WB) – Closed with $1.98M after 49 days in release
  • Operation Red Sea (Well Go) – Closed with $1.54M after 56 days in release

Ryan Reynolds and 20th Century Fox’s superhero sequel opens two years after the first ‘Deadpool’ hit theaters.

Avengers: Infinity War finally has some competition.

Ryan Reynolds and 20th Century Fox’s summer event pic Deadpool 2 rocketed to a huge $18.6 million in Thursday-night previews from 3,785 theaters, a record for an R-rated pic.

The previous record holder was It ($13.5 million). Prior to It, the first Deadpool had boasted the top preview gross for an R-rated film ($12.7 million). Deadpool, opening in February 2016, went on to debut to a massive $132.4 million, the best launch ever for an R-rated film.

Deadpool 2 — a darling among critics — seems destined to make some history of its own, if the preview number is an indication.

On Friday morning, Deadpool 2 will be playing in a total of 4,349 theaters in North America, where it will easily win the weekend with a debut in the $130 million to $150 million range, ending Infinity War‘s three-week rule.

Overseas, Deadpool 2 is opening in most major markets timed to its U.S. launch — one major exception is China — for a projected foreign debut of $150 million-plus.

Reynolds reprises his role as Deadpool in the follow-up. He produced the sequel and co-wrote the script with his Deadpool collaborators Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

Deadpool 2, directed by David Leitch, follows the irreverent superhero as he forms an X-Force posse in hopes of stopping the evil Cable (Josh Brolin). Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand and Jack Kesy co-star.

A pair of smaller films also open nationwide this week: Paramount’s female-fronted Book Club and Global Road’s family offering Show Dogs.

Targeting older femmes, director Bill Holderman’s Book Club stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen as four friends who decide to read Fifty Shades of Grey — with unintended consequences.

Craig T. Nelson, Andy Garcia and Don Johnson play the love interests. Book Club is tracking to open in the $9 million-$10 million range after grossing a respectable $625,000 in Thursday-evening previews. That’s on par with such pics as Sisters, Overboard and The Intern.

While Avengers: Infinity War will continue its impressive box office run this weekend, perhaps topping $600 million domestically, it will be relinquishing its spot at the top of the domestic charts to yet another Marvel comic book adaptation. Fox’s Deadpool 2 is debuting in a record number of theaters for an R-rated release, not to mention serving as the studio’s widest release ever, and hopes to top the record R-rated debut set by its predecessor two years ago. Also opening this weekend is Paramount’s Book Club, looking to offer older audience members an alternative, while Global Road debuts an alternative of its own in the talking dog family feature Show Dogs.

With Deadpool 2 expected to top this weekend’s box office, it will be the ninth weekend out of the twenty so far this year that a Marvel comic adaptation has served as the #1 film at the weekend box office. Debuting in 4,349 locations, the film is the widest release ever for an R-rated film (topping It‘s 4,103 theaters) and the widest release ever for 20th Century Fox, topping the 4,253 theaters How to Train Your Dragon 2 debuted in in June 2014. The size of the film’s footprint says a lot about the audience and exhibitor appetite for the foul-mouthed antihero as it takes aim at topping the first film’s record-setting $132.4 million opening for an R-rated film.

Industry expectations for the film lean toward an opening anywhere from $130-150 million and those numbers are supported when looking at IMDb page view comparisons leading up to release. Most importantly, Deadpool 2 is neck-and-neck with the first film, which isn’t typically the case for a sequel as follow-ups tend to pace behind their predecessors. Additionally, online ticket retailer reports the sequel is outpacing the original film in advanced ticket sales, all of which has us leaning toward a record breaking opening for an R-rated film with a $138 million opening with room to go much higher.

After three weeks on top of the domestic box office and already pulling in over $1.686 billion worldwide, becoming the fourth largest global release of all-time, Avengers: Infinity War will fall to second place on the domestic charts this weekend. Right now we’re anticipating a drop right around 53%, pulling in around $29 million for the three-day, finishing the weekend with a domestic cume just shy of $600 million domestically after 24 days in release.

Paramount is looking at a third place debut for Book Club, which they acquired North America, France and UK rights for $10 million at AFM last November. Starring Jane Fonda, Mary Steenburgen, Diane Keaton and Candice Bergen, the studio is being conservative with its expectations, anticipating an opening right at $9 million, below our anticipated $10-14 million range for the weekend.

Our expectations are supported by IMDb page view comparisons, which show Book Club outperforming films such as The Big Wedding, The Single Moms Club, Going in Style and Love the Coopers over the two weeks leading up to release while pacing behind Nancy Meyers‘s The Intern. All things considered, our data is leaning heavily toward an opening closer to $12 million, give or take a million or so on either side of that number.

Melissa McCarthy is coming off her worst debut as a film’s lead in Life of the Party, which only managed to narrowly top Breaking In last weekend once actuals were counted. This weekend we’re expecting it to dip 47% for a three-day right around $9.5 million and a fourth place finish.

Rounding out the top five is the aforementioned Breaking In, which came in $1.1 million ahead of estimates last weekend and should dip around 58% or so for a $7.4 million weekend, pushing the film’s domestic cume over $30 million after ten days in release.

Just outside the top five we find the weekend’s final new wide release in Global Road’s Show Dogs. The talking dog feature is the last film to come from the old regime, prior to the Open Road and IM Global merger, and reports have the film tracking to debut in the high single million digits. To look at IMDb page view data we are seeing this one pacing almost exactly like Open Road’s The Nut Job 2 last August, which opened in a massive 4,003 theaters with a dismal $8.3 million. While there haven’t been many family options in theaters as of late, we’re still struggling to see Show Dogs breaking out and currently expecting the film to debut with anywhere from $6-8 million with our forecast, at this time, coming in on the lower end of those expectations.

Magnolia is expanding the release of their documentary RBG into 375 locations (+196) this weekend. The film squeaked into the top ten last weekend and could do the same this weekend. Right now we’re forecasting it will be neck-and-neck with I Feel Pretty for that final spot, both finishing right around $1.5 million for the three-day.

Also be on the lookout for Focus’s documentary Pope Francis – A Man of His Word, which is opening in 346 locations and should manage around $1-1.2 million this weekend, enough to threaten for a spot in the top 15.

In limited release, A24 is releasing the thriller First Reformed into four theaters; Bleecker will debut On Chesil Beach in four locations; and IFC will release the documentary That Summer into one theater.

This weekend’s forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Deadpool 2 (4,349 theaters) – $138.0 M
  • Avengers: Infinity War (4,002 theaters) – $29.2 M
  • Book Club (2,781 theaters) – $12.0 M
  • Life of the Party (3,656 theaters) – $9.5 M
  • Breaking In (2,537 theaters) – $7.4 M
  • Show Dogs (3,145 theaters) – $6.3 M
  • Overboard (1,820 theaters) – $5.8 M
  • A Quiet Place (2,327 theaters) – $4.0 M
  • Rampage (1,466 theaters) – $1.6 M
  • RBG (375 theaters) – $1.5 M

With all due respect to Melissa McCarthy and Gabrielle Union: It’s Thanos’ world, we just live in it.

In its third weekend, Disney and Marvel’s superhero blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War continues to dominate the box office, earning an estimated $61.8 million from 4,474 theaters in the U.S. and Canada while trouncing McCarthy’s new comedy Life of the Party and Union’s new thriller Breaking In.

On Saturday, Infinity War cracked the $500 million mark at the domestic box office, becoming the second-fastest film to do so, and through Sunday it will have grossed about $547.8 million. The movie also bowed in China this weekend, powering a massive $281.3 million international haul. Its worldwide total now stands at about $1.6 billion and ranks fifth all time, behind Avatar, Titanic, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Jurassic World.

Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and made for close to $300 million, Infinity War marks the third Avengers film and the 19th installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It features heroes from across the MCU franchise — including Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, and the Chris Pratt-led Guardians of the Galaxy — and pits them against Thanos (Josh Brolin), an interplanetary warlord trying to wipe out half the life in the universe.

An untitled sequel is already on the calendar for May 3, 2019.

Warner Bros. Pictures

In second place, Warner Bros’. Life of the Party will take in about $18.5 million at 3,656 domestic theaters. That figure is in line with industry projections but falls short of recent McCarthy films Tammy ($21.6 million), The Boss ($23.6 million), and Spy ($29.1 million)

Written by McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone, who also directed, Life of the Party centers on a middle-aged divorcée (McCarthy) who returns to college to finish her degree and winds up in class with her daughter (Molly Gordon). The film received lackluster reviews from critics, and audiences gave it a tepid B CinemaScore.

The weekend’s other new wide release, Universal’s Breaking In, is on pace to gross about $16.5 million at 2,537 theaters, good for third place. That’s a solid start for a film that cost a modest $6 million to make.

Directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta), the film stars Union as a mother forced to protect her kids when the mansion of her recently deceased dad is invaded by burglars. Reviews have been poor, and moviegoers gave it a B CinemaScore.

Paul Sarkis/Universal

Rounding out the top five this weekend are Lionsgate’s rom-com remake Overboard, with about $10.1 million, and Paramount’s silently spooky horror hit A Quiet Place, with about $6.4 million.

According to ComScore, overall box office is up 4.8 percent year-to-date. Check out the May 11-13 figures below.

1. Avengers: Infinity War — $61.8 million
2. Life of the Party — $18.5 million
3. Breaking In — $16.5 million
4. Overboard — $10.1 million
5. A Quiet Place — $6.4 million
6. I Feel Pretty — $3.7 million
7. Rampage — $3.4 million
8. Tully — $2.2 million
9. Black Panther — $1.9 million
10. Blockers — $1.1 million