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‘Ocean’s 8’ Posts a Strong Opening as Women Lead the Summer Box Office

For the past three years, women have dominated Hollywood's peak season: 2018 continues the trend.

Ocean's 8 Rihanna

“Ocean’s 8”

Barry Wetcher

Women are dominating the summer movie season so far. This prime early June weekend boasts three wide openings — a caper, a horror flick, a crime thriller — with strong female leads. This comes exactly a year after we saw “Wonder Woman” launch the biggest success of summer 2017.

“Ocean’s 8” (Warner Bros.) is the dominant title, with a better than expected weekend of $41,500,000. That’s more than acceptable for a $70-million franchise entry with built-in international appeal. So far the initial domestic results show that whatever risk there was in revamping the ensemble male star vehicle series to feature top actresses paid off.

While the grosses outpace the four series entries going back to 2001, this entry sold the fewest tickets among any of the films. The adjusted opening grosses of the first three were $61 million, $57 million and $48 million for the most recent installment in 2007.

“Ocean’s 8” actually had a lower debut than both the good start for “Wonder Woman” but also the July 2016 opening of “Ghostbusters” (adjusted at just under $50 million). The last, despite becoming the biggest domestic comedy of 2016, was considered a flop because of its expense was more than double “Ocean 8” and its tentpole position as Sony’s most important release of the year –and biggest 2016 performer.

“Ocean’s 8” had a small second-day drop, not uncommon these days. “Wonder Woman” last year turned out to be the leggiest of the summer’s top films, with a four times multiple. That came in part because men who resisted initially later showed up. Females made up 69 per cent of the opening crowd, so if male interest perks up it could boost “Oceans’s 8” in weeks ahead.

A24 has already mined wide-release horror with well-reviewed festival hits “The Witch” and “It Comes at Night.” Sundance 2018 breakout “Hereditary” brought its best ever weekend total: $13 million gross. The movie scored an awful D+ Cinemascore, which is not unusual for an offbeat smart-film in this genre. More relevant is that Saturday dropped only 10 per cent.

Earning raves for her performance is the face of the film, Toni Collette (who also is seen in this weekend’s limited Sundance debut “Hearts Beat Loud”). A24 pulled a decent response from an older female audience, a sign of a growing diverse appeal for horror films. Whether this has traction remains to be shown, but its a positive showing for A24 which continues to expand into prime season wider release films that still seem appropriate for their edgy shingle.

"Hotel Artemis"

“Hotel Artemis”

Rarely seen actress Jodie Foster, making her first appearance in “Hotel Artemis” (Global Road) since “Elysium” in 2013 and her first stand-alone lead since “The Brave One” in 2007, barely made a dent with a meager $3,151,000. The thriller set in a private prison run by a senior citizen  fell into a “who cares?” level with mediocre reviews amid plenty of alternatives for female and genre fans.

The total gross for the weekend dropped 20 per cent from last year. That slide will stop next weekend with Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” (Disney) and most likely “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (Universal). The year to date remains up almost five per cent, with the comparisons for the next few weeks up against last year’s weak summer box office.

“Jurassic” opened in most of the world this weekend to get a jump on the World Cup, which starts Thursday night and will compete with moviegoing worldwide. Its start at $151 million is already $15 million more than the international total so far for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (Disney). The U.S. is not as affected by soccer games. But the big numbers might build interest here for its June 22 debut, which comes after “Incredibles” next week.

“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

Holdovers

“Solo” fell the most among third-week and older holdovers in the Top Ten: 48 per cent. It will likely gross around $225 million domestic, but it could be even lower.  An optimistic $400-million worldwide total would put this on a path to a loss.

“Avengers: Infinity War” (Disney) had the best hold, down 35 per cent with close to $7 million. It is just shy of $2 billion worldwide – five times or more of what “Solo” will do. $680 million domestic will be a bit shy of “Black Panther.”

“Deadpool 2” (20th Century) dropped 41 per cent for third spot, nearing $280 million. It has enjoyed a successful run, even if it falls short of its predecessor (adjusted $387 million).

The Top Ten

1. Ocean’s 8 (Warner Bros.) NEW – Cinemascore: B+; Metacritic: 60; Est. budget: $70 million

$41,500,000 in 4,145 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $10,012; Cumulative: $41,500,000

2. Solo (Disney) Week 3; Last weekend #1

$15,154,000 (-48%) in 4,335 theaters (-36); PTA: $3,496; Cumulative: $176,105,000

3. Deadpool 2 (20th Century Fox) Week 4; Last weekend #2

$13,650,000 (-41%) in 3,823 theaters (-338); PTA: $3,570; Cumulative: $278,666,000

4. Hereditary (A24) NEW – Cinemascore: 87; Metacritic: D+; Est. budget: $10 million

$13,037,000 in 2,964 theaters; PTA: $4,399; Cumulative: $13,037,000

5. Avengers: Infinity War (Disney) Week 7; Last weekend #4

$6,836,000 (-35%) in 2,882 theaters (-688); PTA: $2,372; Cumulative: $654,734,000

6. Adrift (STX) Week 2; Last weekend #3

$5,050,000 (-56%) in 3,015 theaters (no change); PTA: $1,675; Cumulative: $21,740,000

7. Book Club (Paramount) Week 4; Last weekend #5

$4,200,000 (-40%) in 2,802 theaters (-367); PTA: $1,499; Cumulative: $56,874,000

8. Hotel Artemis (Global Road) NEW – Cinemascore: C-; Metacritic: 56; Est. budget: (not reported)

$3,158,000 in 2,407 theaters; PTA: $1,309,000, Cumulative: $3,158,000

9. Upgrade (BH Tilt) Week 2; Last weekend #6

$2,220,000 (-52%) in 1,458 theaters (+1); PTA: $1,523; Cumulative: $9,210,000

10. Life of the Party (Warner Bros.) Week 5; Last weekend #7

$2,105,000 (-40%) in 1,842 theaters (-669); PTA: $1,143; Cumulative: $50,267,000

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