Saturday, September 22, 2018
Box Office
Box Office

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
‘The Predator’

Matthew McConaughey-starrer ‘White Boy Rick’ also debuts to subdued numbers, while Paul Feig’s black comedy ‘A Simple Favor’ beats the odds.

Shane Black’s reboot The Predator led a ho-hum weekend at the North American box office with $24 million, enough to top the chart, but coming in behind expectations.

Overseas, the $88 million Fox movie opened to a likewise subdued $30.7 million from 72 markets for a lackluster global start of $54.7 million.

Playing in 4,037 theaters domestically — the fifth widest release in history for an R-rated title — the male-fueled, sci-fi action pic was dinged by lousy reviews and a C+ CinemaScore. Heading into the weekend, tracking showed the $88 million film earning $30 million or more, well ahead of Predators in 2010 ($24.8 million), not adjusted for inflation.

The Predator, premiering at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month, was also the subject of controversy in the final days before its launch when star Olivia Munn revealed the studio had cut a scene after she informed the studio that an actor and acquaintance of Black’s with a small role in the movie, Steven Wilder Striegel, was a registered sex offender.

Black’s film opens more than 30 years after the first Predator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leader of an elite military team fighting off a menacing extraterrestrial, hit the big screen. This time out, Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Olivia Munn, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen and Sterling K. Brown star as the Predator-battling gang.

New Line’s The Nun came in No. 2 after falling a steep 66 percent to $18.2 million from 3,876 locations in its second outing. That’s the biggest drop of any title in The Conjuring universe of films.

Regardless, The Nun is a big win for New Line and parent studio Warner Bros., considering its modest budget of $22 million. Overseas, it beat The Predator with $33.1 million from 62 markets in its sophomore weekend for a foreign total of $143.6 million and $228.7 million globally (its domestic cume through Sunday is $85.1 million).

Coming in third in North America was Paul Feig’s new neo-noir comedy A Simple Favor, a bright spot of the weekend in beating expectations with $16.1 million from 3,201 locations. Starring Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively and Henry Golding of Crazy Rich Asians fame, the Lionsgate release is a marked departure for Feig, the filmmaker behind such comedic romps as Bridesmaids.

Overseas, A Simple Favor opened in its first 28 markets, earning $3.5 million for a global start of $19.6 million.

A dark tale about toxic friendships and the underside of suburbia, Simple Favor follows a mommy vlogger (Kendrick) who tries to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of her best friend with the help of her BFF’s husband. What emerges is a tale of betrayal, secrets, revelations, love, loyalty, revenge and murder. Critics have embraced the black comedy; audiences were less enthusiastic, giving it a B+ CinemaScore.

Jon M. Chu and Warner Bros.’ groundbreaking Crazy Rich Asians found itself in a close battle for fourth place with Yann Demange’s new crime drama, White Boy Rick. The exact order won’t be determined until Monday when final weekend numbers are tallied. Sony is estimating $8.8 million for White Boy Rick from 2,504 locations, while Crazy Rich Asians took in an estimated $8.7 million from 3,385 cinemas.

Crazy Rich Asians finished the frame with a domestic tally of $149.5 million, the best showing for a Hollywood studio romantic comedy in nine years, and $187.4 million globally.

White Boy Rick, starring Matthew McConaughey and newcomer Richie Merritt, is based on the real-life tale of a father and son caught up in the crack cocaine epidemic of 1980s Detroit when the son is forced to turn government informant and deal drugs. He’s later abandoned by his handlers and sentenced to life in prison.

The movie premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in hopes of becoming an awards contender, and is one of the titles from Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8. Critics haven’t warmed to the crime drama, while its CinemaScore is a lackluster B. Sony is releasing the film via its deal with Robinov’s shop.

The weekend’s other new nationwide offering, the faith-based Unbroken: A Path to Redemption, limped to a ninth-place finish with $2.4 million from 1,602 theaters. The movie is a “spiritual” successor, or sequel, to Angelina Jolie and Universal’s Unbroken. This time out, faith-based distributor Pure Flix is in charge of the film’s release.

Path to Redemption draws from the second half of Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling book Unbroken and recounts what happened when Louis Zamperini (Samuel Hunt) returned home after surviving 47 days on a life raft only to be captured and tortured for two years at a Japanese POW camp. The pic chronicles Zamperini’s conversion to evangelical Christianity — which saves his marriage — after attending a Billy Graham revival. Will Graham portrays his late minister grandfather in the movie.

Among new entries at the specialty box office, Lizzie, starring Chloe Sevigny as the infamous Lizzie Borden and Kristen Stewart as Borden’s maid, posted a location average north of $12,473 upon opening in four cinemas.

Horror pic Mandy, headlining Nicolas Cage, failed to scare up much business, grossing roughly $250,000 from 92 locations.

Both films debuted in January at the Sundance Film Festival.

Martin Maguire/Warner Bros.
‘The Nun’
Continuing Warner Bros.’ winning streak and kicking off the fall box office in high style, the supernatural horror pic The Nun opened to a heavenly $53.5 million from 3,876 theaters to score the second-biggest September debut of all time in North America, not adjusted for inflation.

The R-rated spinoff also boasts the biggest opening of any title in The Conjuring franchise. The fifth installment, from New Line and the Safran Company, also delivered big numbers overseas, earning a holy $77.5 million from 60 markets for a global start of $131 million.

In North America, It ($123.4 million) remains the record-holdover for top September launch.

The Nun easily won the weekend ahead of fellow Warners film, Crazy Rich Asians, which has topped the domestic chart for three consecutive weekends.

Crazy Rich Asians was hardly a slouch in its fourth outing, earning $13.6 million to come in No. 2 and finish Sunday with a domestic total of $136.2 million through Sunday. Internationally, Jon M. Chu’s rom-com grossed $5.6 million from 23 markets for a foreign tally of $28.5 million and $164.7 million globally.

It’s the first time in 25 years that a Hollywood studio has taken the top two spots on the box-office chart for four consecutive weekends, between The Meg, Crazy Rich Asians and now, The Nun. The Meg placed No. 4 this weekend in its fifth outing with $6 million for a domestic tally of $131.6 million. Worldwide, the shark pip prepared to swim past the $500 million mark after finishing Sunday with $492 million in global tickets sales.

Directed by Corin Hardy, The Nun, set in 1952, tells the story of a novice nun (Taissa Farmiga) and a Catholic priest (Demian Bichir) who are dispatched to investigate the mysterious suicide of a nun at a monastery in Romania. The film drew lukewarm reviews, and an even worse C CinemaScore, but it didn’t seem to matter.

“We knew going into the weekend that The Nun was looking very good, but we couldn’t have predicted this level of success,” says Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief for Warners.

The $22 million spinoff of The Conjuring 2, starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga — the real-life older sister of Taissa Farmiga — as real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. In 2013, The Conjuring debuted to $41.9 million domestically, followed by $40.4 million for the 2016 sequel. Conjuring spinoff Annabelle debuted to $37.1 million in 2014, while Annabelle: Creation launched to $35.1 million in fall 2017.

STXfilms’ Peppermint, a new R-rated action-thriller starring Jennifer Garner and directed by Pierre Morel (Taken), came in No. 3 with $13.3 million from 2,980 locations. SXT insiders say it has no exposure on the film, which was produced by Lakeshore and cost in the mid-$20 million range to produce after incentives.

The film’s Rotten Tomatoes score is a lowly 16 percent. Audiences like Peppermint better, giving it a B+ CinemaScore.

The story centers on a once-happy suburban wife and mother (Garner) whose life is upended when her husband and daughter are murdered by a powerful local drug cartel. A decade later, Garner’s character seeks revenge against any and all involved in the crime, including the lawyers, cops and dirty judges who helped the killers go free. John Ortiz, John Gallagher Jr., Juan Pablo Raba, Annie Ilonzeh, Jeff Hephner and Pell James costar.

Screen Gems’ Searching, a missing child thriller about a Korean-American family living the Bay Area, held well in its second weekend, rounding out the top five with $4.5 million — a decline of just 26 percent — for a 10-day domestic tally of $14.3 million. Searching impressed overseas, where it has grossed $7.5 million for an early foreign total of $17.7 million, including $12.9 million from South Korea.

Paramount and Skydance’s Mission: Impossible — Fallout placed No. 6 domestically as it jumped the $700 million globally and became the top-grossing title in the Tom Cruise action-action franchise, besting the $694.7 million grossed by Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol in 2011, not adjusted for inflation. Fallout finished Sunday with $726.6 million, including an impressive 10-day tally of !37.7 million in China.

Elsewhere in North America, Freestyle’s new faith-based movie, God Bless the Broken Road, faltered with $1.6 million from 1,235 cinemas to place outside the top 10.

From God’s Not Dead director Harold Cronk, the movie is loosely based on the Rascal Flatts song “Bless the Broken Road” and follows a widowed mother (Lindsay Pulsipher) whose faith is tested after her husband is killed in Afghanistan. Two years later, she meets a NASCAR driver (Andrew W. Walker) relegated to community service after a reckless crash.

Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros; Elizabeth Kitchens
‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ ‘Searching’

Elsewhere, ‘Operation Finale’ and ‘Searching’ open to solid numbers, while James Franco’s ensemble sci-pic action pic ‘Kin’ bombs; ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ tops overseas with $77.3 million debut.

Warner Bros.’ Crazy Rich Asians is dominating the Labor Day box-office picnic, earning an estimated $22.2 million for the three-day weekend for a near-record four-day holiday gross of $27 million-plus.

To boot, the Jon M. Chu-directed rom-com is dancing past the $100 million mark in its third weekend as it targets the best domestic gross for a comedy in at least two years. It also boasts the top Labor Day showing in more than a decade. In 2007, Halloween opened to $30.6 million over the long weekend, while The Sixth Sense (1999) is the No. 2 Labor Day pic with $29.3 million, not adjusted for inflation.

The weekend isn’t over and Crazy Rich Asians could come in ahead of Sunday estimates.

The summer box office made a spectacular year-over-year recovery. While final numbers won’t be tallied until Tuesday, comScore is predicting an uptick of at least 14 percent. Domestic revenue for the May 4-Sept. 3 corridor is expected to come in at $4.39 billion, the fifth-best of all time. And it would be almost a record summer if including the first week of Avengers: Infinity War, which unfurled on April 27 (2013 remains the record-holder with $4.731 billion).

Crazy Rich Asians fell a scant 11 percent for the weekend proper. Overseas, the rom-com opened to a stellar $5.4 million in Australia for an early foreign tally of $19.9 million and global total of more than $130 million through Monday.

Warners also took the No. 2 spot with The Meg, now in its fourth weekend. The hit shark pic earned another $10.5 million for the three days for a projected four-day gross of $12 million, and domestic total of $122 million through Monday. Overseas, it swam to another $17.7 million for a foreign total of $342.3 million through Sunday and $462 million worldwide.

Paramount and Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible — Fallout, which also contributed to a strong August, won the weekend overseas with $89.1 million — including $77.3 from China, where it posted a franchise-best Friday-Sunday debut. The sixth installment also stayed high up on the domestic chart, placing No. 4 with an estimated four-day gross of $8.8 million, pushing it past the $200 million mark domestically. Fallout is widely expected to finish its run with more than $700 million globally, a franchise-best (to date, it has earned $649 million).

A pair of Disney titles are also making news. Pixar’s Incredibles 2 became the first animated pic in history to cross the $600 million mark in North America, not adjusted for inflation, for a worldwide tally of $1.163 billion. And Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp approached the $600 million worldwide — the first Ant-Man topped out at $519.3 million — after opening its final foreign market, Japan, for a global total of $594.9 million.

Among new Labor Day offerings, MGM’s Nazi war-criminal drama Operation Finale is faring the best, earning $6 million for the three days and a projected $7.8 million for the four days. Playing in 1,818 theaters, the drama is expected to post a pleasing six-day debut of $10 million after opening Wednesday.

Operation Finale stars Oscar Isaac as a Mossad agent who tracks down Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley), one of the infamous architects of the Holocaust. Chris Weitz (About a Boy) directed.

The new thriller Searching, about a Korean-American family living in the San Francisco Bay Area, is expanding nationwide into 1,207 theaters after opening in select cinemas last weekend to strong numbers.

Buoyed by support from Chu and other Crazy Rich Asian stars, including Henry Golding — as well as Asian-American groups — Searching is coming in ahead of expectations with a projected $5.7 million for the three days and $7.5 million for the four days from 1,207 theaters.

Searching, written and helmed by Asian-American filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty in his feature directorial debut, tells the story of a 16-year-old girl who goes missing and her father’s effort to find her. John Cho, Michelle La, Debra Messing, Sara Sohn, Joseph Lee and Ranc Sarabia star.

Lionsgate’s sci-fi action pic Kin, whose ensemble cast includes James Franco, isn’t looking so lucky, earning just $3 million for the three days and an estimated $3.7 million for the long weekend from 2,141 theaters. Franco stars opposite Jack Reynor, Miles Truitt, Zoe Kravitz, Dennis Quaid and Carrie Coon.

Directed by Jonathan and Josh Baker, Kin is about a young boy and his newly paroled adopted brother who find a strange weapon and are pursued by a vengeful gang of otherworldly soldier.

Opening in far fewer theater this weekend is Lionsgate/Pantelion Films’ Spanish-language film Ya Veremos, which is the year’s top-grossing film in Mexico to date. The film earned an estimated $1.8 million for the three days, putting its four-day opening at a projected $2.3 million.

Ya Veremos received an A CinemaScore, followed by an A- for Operation Finale and a B+ for Kin.

Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros.
‘Crazy Rich Asians’

Elsewhere, Mark Wahlberg’s ‘Mile 22’ is struggling to find much action.

Jon M. Chu’s romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians danced past The Meg at the Friday box office for a projected $21 million-plus weekend and flush five-day debut of $30 million or more.

That’s a strong showing for a rom-com considering the ongoing comedy slump at the box office.

For Warner Bros., the weekend is a double win, between Crazy Rich Asians and holdover shark pic The Meg, which looks to come in at No. 2 with as much as $19.5 million in its sophomore outing.

Early Friday, the race was too close for comfort between Chu’s modestly budgeted $30 million film, based on Kevin Kwan’s best-selling 2013 novel of the same name, and The Meg. By day’s end, Crazy Rich Asians had pulled ahead, earning $7.3 million for the day from 3,384 theaters, compared to $5.8 million for The Meg from 4,118 locations.

Crazy Rich Asians is the first Hollywood studio movie since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club to feature an all-Westernized Asian cast. The story follows American Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. As Rachel visits Nick’s hometown for the first time, she quickly learns that her boyfriend is from one of the richest families in Asia. Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Gemma Chan and Jimmy O. Yang also star.

Boasting stellar reviews and an A CinemaScore, Crazy Rich Asians is playing heavily female. It’s doing its strongest business in Asian markets and big cities.

The weekend’s two other new offerings are Pete Berg’s Mile 22, starring Mark Wahlberg, and Studio 8’s prehistoric adventure-drama Alpha, directed by Albert Hughes and starring Kodi Smit-McPhee.

Mile 22 is coming in behind expectations after poor reviews and a B- CinemaScore. The action-thriller grossed $5.3 million from 3,520 theaters on Friday for a projected $13 million-plus debut, putting it at No. 3.

The action-thriller, marking the fourth film that Berg and Wahlberg have made together, tells the story of an elite CIA operative and his team who are tasked with escorting a high-value asset who is being targeted by terrorists. John Malkovich, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais, Ronda Rousey and CL co-star.

Alpha, one of the first films from Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8 and partner Sony, earned an estimated $3.4 million from 2,719 locations on Friday for a debut of $9 million-$10 million. Set 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age, the story centers on a young man who is injured and left for dead by his tribe while on a hunt. The film’s current Rotten Tomatoes score is 82 percent.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: This weekend gets off to an early start with the Wednesday release of the much-anticipated romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, the first Asian-led studio film to hit theaters since The Joy Luck Club. While Joy Luck Club didn’t play in any more than 600 theaters during its run 25 years ago, Crazy Rich Asians will get its start in over 3,300 locations with plenty of buzz behind it. Later in the week, STX will release what they hope is a franchise-starter in Mile 22 featuring Mark Wahlberg re-teaming with director Peter Berg, while Sony’s Studio 8 will release Alpha.

Beginning with Crazy Rich Asians, the adaptation of Kevin Kwan‘s novel of the same name has been making headlines for some time now. Originally published in 2013, the book has found a place on Amazon Charts for the past five weeks, currently ranking as the third most sold fiction title on the site, up two positions from the previous week. On top of that, the film has already generated a social media movement and IMDb page view data shows it outperforming the likes of last year’s hit comedy Girls Trip as well as A Bad Moms Christmas over the two weeks leading up to release.

As for the weekend, Warner Bros. is anticipating a $29 million five-day opening, but given the hype, strong reviews and the data we’re looking at, we’re expecting a larger result. At this point, a $30 million five-day feels like the floor, while a five-day pushing toward $40 million doesn’t feel at all out of the realm of possibility. The film already has a little money in its coffers thanks to sneaks held in early August where it is reported it brought in anywhere from $450-500k from 354 locations. At this time, a five-day approaching $35 million feels like a safe bet and we’re ready for it to pop even higher.

Look for WB’s The Meg to take another $20 million bite out of the box office this weekend, signaling a ~56% drop from its stellar $45.4 million debut last weekend. This should put the film’s domestic gross right around $85 million after ten days in release.

STXfilms‘s Mile 22 should be looking at a third place finish for the weekend as Wahlberg and Berg team for the fourth straight film in a row, and with this one their hoping to start a whole new franchise. The R-rated action-thriller will debut in 3,520 locations and studio expectations are for a debut similar to the $16.8 million opening for Tom Cruise‘s American Made last September. A look at IMDb page view data supports such a comparison along with comps to films such as Den of Thieves ($15.2m opening), Death Wish ($13m opening) and American Assassin ($14.8m opening). Overall, a performance right around $15-17 million seems a good bet.

Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout should land in fourth place, dropping around 37% for a $12.2 million three-day, pushing the film’s cume near $184 million. Such a performance would help maintain Fallout‘s lead over Mission: Impossible II as it hopes to become the largest grossing film in the M:I franchise.

Rounding out the top five we’re expecting a good sophomore session for Spike Lee‘s BlacKkKlansman, dropping around 31% for a second weekend right around $7.6 million. Should the film hold to that forecast it will be looking to top $23 million or so by the end of the weekend.

It isn’t until the second half of the top ten that we find Sony’s Alpha. Debuting under the Studio 8 banner, the Albert Hughes-directed adventure feature is set during the last Ice Age and is expected to open in ~2,700 theaters. Recent industry expectations pegged the film for a $7-8 million opening as it will debut not only in 3D, but also in select IMAX locations, but based on what we’re looking at that could be a stretch. IMDb page view data shows the film hewing closer to the recent release of The Darkest Minds if not a bit behind. So, while the studio is anticipating a performance around $8-10 million we can’t help but forecast a debut closer to $6 million for the weekend.

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.

  • Crazy Rich Asians (3,384 theaters) – $25.0 M (~$35M five-day)
  • The Meg (4,118 theaters) – $20.0 M
  • Mile 22 (3,520 theaters) – $16.0 M
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout (3,482 theaters) – $12.2 M
  • BlacKkKlansman (1,788 theaters) – $7.6 M
  • Disney’s Christopher Robin (3,602 theaters) – $7.3 M
  • Alpha (2,700 theaters) – $6.0 M
  • Slender Man (2,358 theaters) – $4.1 M
  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2,266 theaters) – $3.5 M
  • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2,187 theaters) – $3.4 M

Warner Bros. Pictures

Moviegoers are swimming with the shark this weekend.

Warner Bros’. summer thriller The Meg is on track to earn an estimated $44.5 million in ticket sales from 4,118 theaters in the U.S. and Canada from Friday through Sunday, exceeding expectations and unseating Mission: Impossible — Fallout for the No. 1 box office spot.

Heading into the weekend, The Meg had been expected to debut in the $18 million to $22 million range. Marking a high-profile collaboration between Warner Bros. and China’s Gravity Pictures, The Meg cost at least $130 million to produce and will have to perform well overseas to be considered a hit. It’s off to a solid start, grossing an estimated $96.8 million in international markets, including China, this weekend.

Directed by Jon Turteltaub and based on a novel by Steve Alten, The Meg stars Jason Statham as a rescue diver who faces off with a prehistoric shark — the titular megalodon — to save a research team. The cast also includes Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, and Ruby Rose.

Critics’ reviews have been underwhelming, but audiences gave The Meg a decent B-plus CinemaScore.

Taking second place this weekend is Mission: Impossible — Fallout, with an estimated $20 million. That brings the film’s domestic total to an estimated $162 million after 17 days in theaters, plus another $275.6 million overseas, for a worldwide total of about $437.6 million.

Disney’s live-action Winnie the Pooh movie Christopher Robin will take third place, with about $12.4 million. After 10 days, its North American total sits at an estimated $50 million.

David Lee/Focus Features

Rounding out the top five are two newcomers: Sony’s horror movie Slender Man, with an estimated $11.3 million from 2,358 theaters, and Focus Features’ BlacKkKlansman, with an estimated $10.8 million from 1,512 theaters. That’s a decent debut for Slender Man, which cost a modest $10 million to make, though the film’s D-minus CinemaScore suggests dreary word-of-mouth prospects.

As for BlacKkKlansman, the film represents the best opening in more than a decade for director and co-writer Spike Lee. Based on Ron Stallworth’s memoir, the film stars John David Washington as an African-American detective in 1972  Colorado who, with the help of a white partner (Adam Driver), goes undercover to infiltrate the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.

BlacKkKlansman has received excellent reviews, with many critics hailing it as a return to form for Lee, while audiences gave it an A-minus CinemaScore.

According to ComScore, overall box office is up 8.4 percent year-to-date. Check out the Aug. 10-12 figures below.

1. The Meg — $44.5 million
2. Mission: Impossible — Fallout — $20 million
3. Christopher Robin — $12.4 million
4. Slender Man — $11.3 million
5. BlacKkKlansman — $10.8 million
6. The Spy Who Dumped Me — $6.6 million
7. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again — $5.8 million
8. The Equalizer 2 — $5.5 million
9. Hotel Transylvania 3 — $5.1 million
10. Ant-Man and the Wasp — $4 million

Chiabella James/Paramount Pictures

Tom Cruise is in control once again.

The actor’s new spy flick Mission: Impossible — Fallout is on track to earn an estimated $61.5 million in ticket sales at 4,386 theaters in the U.S. and Canada from Friday through Sunday, easily topping the box office and scoring the highest opening yet for the enduring six-film franchise (not adjusting for inflation). Mission: Impossible II previously held that distinction, debuting with $57.8 million in 2000, while the most recent M:I movie, Rogue Nation, bowed to $55.5 million three years ago.

Fallout’s opening comes in toward the higher end of industry projections, which were in the range of $50 million to $65 million. The film, which cost $178 million to produce, received excellent reviews from critics, and moviegoers gave it an A CinemaScore. It could mark a much-needed hit for Paramount Pictures as the studio tries to regain its footing under new leadership. Overseas, in about 40 percent of the foreign marketplace, Fallout will add an estimated $92 million this weekend.

Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie (who also handled Rogue Nation), Fallout finds super-spy Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his IMF colleagues trying to recover stolen plutonium after a mission gone awry. The cast also includes Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg, Sean Harris, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, and Angela Bassett.Cyborg voiced by KHARY PAYTON, Beast Boy voiced by GREG CIPES, Robin voiced by SCOTT MENVILLE, Raven voiced by TARA STRONG and Starfire voiced by HYNDEN WALCH in Warner Bros. Animation's Animated Adventure "TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Warner Bros. Pictures

This weekend’s other major new release, Warner Bros’. animated superhero comedy Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, is poised to earn about $10.5 million from 3,297 domestic theaters. That number falls considerably short of industry expectations of $15 million and puts the movie in fifth place.

Based on the TV series Teen Titans Go! and directed by Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath, the film garnered positive reviews and a B-plus CinemaScore.

Three holdovers round out the top five: Universal’s musical sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, with an estimated $15 million; Sony’s gritty action movie The Equalizer 2 (last weekend’s No. 1 movie), with an estimated $14 million; and Sony’s cartoon monster comedy Hotel Transylvania 3, with an estimated $12.3 million.

According to ComScore, overall box office is up 7.9 percent year-to-date. Check out the July 27-29 figures below.

1. Mission: Impossible — Fallout — $61.5 million
2. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again — $15 million
3. The Equalizer 2 — $14 million
4. Hotel Transylvania 3 — $12.3 million
5. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies — $10.5 million
6. Ant-Man and the Wasp 2 — $8.4 million
7. Incredibles 2 — $7.2 million
8. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom — $6.8 million
9. Skyscraper — $5.4 million
10. The First Purge — $2.2 million

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Mission: Impossible – Fallout brought in an estimated $23 million for Friday (including $6 million from Thursday night previews). This is $3 million an improvement on the opening day for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, which brought in $4 million from preview screenings and went on to open with $55.5 million. Fallout received an “A” CinemaScore from opening day audiences, the best CinemaScore grade in the franchise. Current expectation is for a three-day weekend in the range of $58-60 million.

WB’s Teen Titans Go! To the Movies brought in an estimated $4.25 million on Friday, including $1 million from Thursday night previews, and is currently looking at a weekend around $11-12 million. The film received a “B+” CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Exploding out of the gates, Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout took in $6 million during Thursday previews in ~3,300 theaters. The result is $2 million ahead of the $4 million Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation brought in ahead of a $55.5 million opening and ahead of the $4.23 million in previews for Jason Bourne ahead of a $59.2 million opening in July 2016. All good signs as the film attempts to not only deliver the franchise’s largest opening, but the largest opening for Tom Cruise as well.

Warner Bros.’s Teen Titans Go! To the Movies delivered just over $1 million from Thursday previews beginning at 4PM. This compares favorably to The Emoji Movie, which brought in $900k in previews prior to its $24.5 million opening weekend as well as Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, which brought in $650k from previews prior to a $23.8 million opening. It’s also well ahead of the $375k in previews for Smurfs: The Lost Village, which opened with $13.2 million suggesting our weekend forecast of $17 million might be a little light.

We’ll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: This weekend sees Tom Cruise return to theaters as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible – Fallout. It’s the sixth film in the now 22-year-old franchise, and yet another sequel added to the box office mix as this weekend will once again see eight sequels finish within the top ten. Meanwhile Warner Bros. debuts their animated feature Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, which will serve as one of three animated titles in the top ten, giving families plenty of options as folks look for some reprieve amid the heatwave scorching much of the country.

Debuting in a massive 4,386 theaters, Paramount’s release of Mission: Impossible – Fallout will be the widest release of the six-film franchise (and seventh widest release of all-time), topping the 4,054 theaters Mission: Impossible III opened in back in 2006. Within those theaters, the film will be shown in 3D as well as 2D and IMAX theaters, the first time the franchise has ever been released in all three formats and it appears audiences are ready to eat it up.

Online ticket retailer reports Fallout is not only outpacing all previous Mission films at the same point in the sales cycle, but also Jason Bourne, which debuted with $59.2 million in 2016 and we’re seeing similar results when looking at IMDb page view data.

Fallout is outpacing Jason Bourne when looking at IMDb page view data over the two weeks leading up to release. It’s also pacing ahead of Fox’s 2013 release of The Wolverine ($53.1m opening), Star Trek Beyond ($59.25m opening) and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($55.5m opening).

While Paramount suggests they are looking for an opening in the $50 million range, the trends we’re looking at clearly suggest a debut much higher than that, to the point we’re expecting a debut topping Mission: Impossible II‘s franchise-best, $57.8 million opening back in 2000. Our weekend forecast is for a debut at or above $65 million, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see it climb even higher, if not managing to near $75 million. Should the film top $65.5 million we’d be looking at the largest opening for a Paramount title since Transformers: Age of Extinction debuted with $100 million back in June 2014. On top of that, anything over the $64.8 million War of the Worlds opened with in 2005 would make for the largest opening ever for Tom Cruise*.

Internationally, Mission: Impossible – Fallout will open in 36 international markets, including the UK, Russia, Spain, South Korea, and all of Latin America and Asia with the exception of both Japan and China. The film will then release in 20 additional markets throughout the month of August.

We’re looking for Universal and Legendary’s Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again to land a second place finish, dipping around 48% or so for an $18 million second weekend, pushing the film’s domestic cume just shy of $75 million after ten days in release.

WB’s Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is debuting in 3,188 locations this weekend and is looking at a debut in the mid-to-high teens. Animated titles debuting on this scale for Warner Bros. tend to open around $17-18 million, which is exactly what we’re anticipating for this title. There does appear to be some potential for some upside, however, as the pic is outperforming both Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie ($23.8m opening) and The LEGO Ninjago Movie ($20.4m opening) over the two weeks leading up to release based on IMDb page view data. At the same time, it is well behind The Emoji Movie and just ahead of Smurfs: The Lost Village, which is keeping our expectations in check.

Sony’s The Equalizer 2 is looking at a fourth place finish following its surprise debut atop the weekend box office last week. This weekend’s release of Fallout is likely to have a larger impact on the Denzel Washington-led actioner than on Mamma Mia! which is why we’re anticipating an $16.5 million weekend and a domestic cume finishing right around $68 million by the end of the weekend.

Rounding out the top five, look for Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation to continue its solid run as it is currently outpacing Hotel Transylvania 2, though that lead could diminish over the coming weeks. This weekend we’re anticipating a drop around 45% for a $13 million three-day and a domestic total topping $120 million as it begins its third week in release.

Outside the top five, Disney and Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp should bring in around $9 million this weekend, pushing its total near $184 million and leapfrogging over Captain America: The First Avenger, Ant-Man and Thor to become the 16th largest domestic release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Outside the top ten, Lionsgate and Summit are expanding the release of Blindspotting from 14 theaters last weekend into 523 this weekend and A24 is expanding Bo Burnham‘s Eighth Grade into 158 locations (+125) this weekend before the film goes wide next week.

This weekend’s limited releases include Music Box’s The Captain debuting in one theater; Puzzle from Sony Classics opening in five locations; and Reliance’s release of Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3, which will open in 41 theaters.

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.

  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout (4,386 theaters) – $65+ M
  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (3,514 theaters) – $18.0 M
  • Teen Titans Go! To The Movies (3,188 theaters) – $17.0 M
  • The Equalizer 2 (3,388 theaters) – $16.5 M
  • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (4,005 theaters) – $13.1 M
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (3,013 theaters) – $9.0 M
  • Incredibles 2 (2,616 theaters) – $7.7 M
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2,685 theaters) – $6.7 M
  • Skyscraper (2,773 theaters) – $5.7 M
  • The First Purge (1,400 theaters) – $2.2 M

Not including his cameo appearance in Austin Powers in Goldmember.

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.