The box office continues to decline. And Dwayne Johnson is a major star. He took thriller “Rampage” (Warner Bros.) to a narrow win over John Krasinski’s sleeper hit “A Quiet Place” (Paramount) as both films grossed over $30 million. That’s the second time two films have reached that level for a weekend in 2018 — compared to four by this time last year.
The numbers dropped about 15 per cent against a 2017 weekend when “The Fate of the Furious” opened to $98 million, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the tickets sold. Still, several titles are making strong showings, and exhibitors are looking forward to some blockbusters ahead to overcome the two percent box office dip to date, including Disney/Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity Wars” which is anticipated to open at $150 million or more.
Dwayne Johnson toplines $120-million “Rampage,” a video game adaptation about a primatologist joined by a mutant gorilla to confront a civilization-threatening invasion. Targeted abroad, the movie has already scored triple the domestic take internationally (less Germany and Japan so far).
With global marketing costs the film has some way to go before heading into profit. From a domestic standpoint, the gross is middling. It comes after Johnson’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” to over $400 million domestic. And the similar “San Andreas” three years ago opened to (adjusted) $58 million.
Still, initial positive response (including a decent 20 per cent Saturday increase) could push this over $100 million, bucking a string of disappointments. A decent domestic haul might make the difference between profit and loss for the film, even if it ends up closer to a fifth of the world wide take.
One film that has no worries about making lots of money is “A Quiet Place.” Its fall of 35 per cent would be good for most second weekends. For a horror film, any hold better than 50 per cent is excellent.
The ten-day haul of just under $100 million suggests its domestic total will hit $160 million or more. It could end up with a majority domestic take, but international, with $51 million in so far, has yet to see openings in China and France. But this sleeper hit would be a big success even if it never opened foreign.
2018 Universal Studios.
“A Quiet Place” held remarkably well considering it faced competition from — and likely stole opening gross from– “Truth or Dare,” a similar genre title from horror film masters Blumhouse Productions. Their latest micro-budget title opened to $19 million, which falls below their four most recent entries (including “Get Out” and “Split”), but isn’t bad for a less-heralded non-sequel.
Two openers broke nationally, but neither made the Top Ten. Jon Hamm as an kidnap negotiator in the Mideast in “Beirut” (Bleecker Street) managed only a little over $2 million in five days (Wednesday opening) in 755 theaters. And an Irish animated film, “Sgt. Stubbs: An American Hero” (Fun Academy) managed an impressive A Cinemascore. The gross hasn’t been officially reported, but looks to amount to around $1.1 million in 1,633 theaters — that’s a miserable less than $700 per theater.
“Ready Player One” (Warner Bros.) took a sizable 54 percent third weekend drop. Steven Spielberg’s latest is looking at over $140 million domestic, with the total worldwide number somewhere around $550 million. Not a monster hit at its expense (a reputed $145 million) but primed for a little profit along with a reinforcement of the director’s mainstream credentials.
“Blockers” (Universal) fell 50 per cent on its second weekend. The SXSW-debuted teen raunch comedy had a shot at sleeper success, but with mixed response its domestic total should end up a little over $50 million.
“Black Panther” (Disney), despite losing another fifth or so of its theaters, kept its drop to under 40 per cent. It’s on track to hit about $700 million domestic. “Isle of Dogs” (Fox Searchlight) placed #7 as it tripled its theaters to 1,939 with a modest ten per cent increase of its gross.
The Top Ten
1. Rampage (Warner Bros.) NEW – Cinemascore: A-; Metacritic: 45; Est. budget: $120 million
$34,500,000 in 4,101 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $8,413; Cumulative: $34,500,000
2. A Quiet Place (Paramount) Week 2; Last weekend #1
$32,600,000 (-35%) in 3,589 theaters (+81); PTA: $; Cumulative: $99,636,000
3. Truth or Dare (Universal) NEW – Cinemascore: B-; Metacritic: 37; Est. budget: $3.5 million
$19,080,000 in 3,029 theaters; PTA: $6,399; Cumulative: $19,080,000
4. Ready Player One (Warner Bros.) Week 3 ; Last weekend #2
$11,205,000 (-54%) in 3,661 theaters (-573); PTA: $3,061; Cumulative: $114,608,000
5. Blockers (Universal) Week 2 ; Last weekend #3
$10,295,000 (-50%) in 3,418 theaters (+39); PTA: $3,012; Cumulative: $36,928,000
6. Black Panther (Disney) Week 9 ; Last weekend #4
$5,342,000 (-39%) in 2,180 theaters (-567); PTA: $2,450; Cumulative: $673,798,000
7. Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight) Week 4 ; Last weekend #10
$5,000,000 (+10%) in 1,939 theaters (+1,385); PTA: $2,579; Cumulative: $18,451,000
8. I Can Only Imagine (Roadside Attractions) Week 5; Last weekend #7
$3,837,000 (-51%) in 2,563 theaters (-331); PTA: $1,503; Cumulative: $74,988,000
9. Acrimony (Lionsgate) Week 3 ; Last weekend #6
$3,700,000 (-56%) in 1,332 theaters (-674); PTA: $2,778; Cumulative: $37,875,000
10. Chappaquiddick (Entertainment Studios) Week 2; Last weekend #5
$3.025,000 (-47%) in 1,645 theaters (+85); PTA: $1,839; Cumulative: $11,006,000