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‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ Towers Over ‘Skyscraper’ and ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ at the Box Office

While Dwayne Johnson disappoints, Boots Riley's "Sorry to Bother You" enters the top 10 at number 7.

Sony Pictures Animation

“Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” was a surprisingly decisive #1 film this weekend with an estimated $44 million. It disappointed anyone who expected a tight, three-way race with “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Skyscraper.” While this is great news for Sony, these results present several troubling issues.

Overall, the results are fine. This weekend’s box office is about equal to last year, which saw two films gross more than anything this weekend (the opening of “War for the Planet of the Apes,” at $56 million, considered disappointing, and the second weekend of “Spider-Man: Homecoming”). Even so, year-to-date grosses remain nearly nine percent above 2017.

Adjusted, the $44 million gross is the smallest in the “Hotel Transylvania” series; this the first released in summer. The first two debuted at the end of September, a position that signaled they were less competitive.

The best animated opening weekend last summer was “Despicable Me 3” at $72 million; at $53 million, “Cars 3” felt a bit disappointing. “Transylvania” is good enough, and set to make money: It cost $80 million, and opened to $54 million overseas.

“Skyscraper”

And then there’s “Skyscraper,” the $140 million “Die Hard” replicate starring the world’s biggest draw. It’s also the third Dwayne Johnson release in eight months (after “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Rampage”), and by far the weakest.

“Rampage” in April had an adequate but uninspiring $35 million opening, and fell just short of $100 million domestic; it made more than triple that overseas. A profitable showing for a not-inexpensive film ($120 million) and a clear sign of Johnson’s ability to elevate a routine release.

That’s not the case here. $25 million domestic for a summertime $140 million budget film is bad. Overseas also seems discouraging: The World Cup Final kept it from opening all territories, and it took in $40 million in most of the world (China and Italy due shortly). That’s disappointing. This looks like it could struggle to reach even $250 million worldwide, when its budget requires much more from theatrical revenues to make a profit.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp”

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“Ant-Man and the Wasp” finished second for the weekend, which is a small victory for Marvel’s latest sequel. It fell 62 percent for its second weekend., which isn’t unheard of for many Marvel films that open over $100 million. This one didn’t, so the drop seems more significant. It will gross over $200 million domestic, over $500 million likely worldwide. Still with its mid-summer position, and about two months removed from the last comic-book movie, it does feel a bit routine.

New to the top 10 is the second weekend of Boots Riley’s Sundance breakout “Sorry to Bother You.” It managed #7 with only 805 theaters (with a little over $4 million). This quick expansion will depend on word of mouth, and it’s a unique film in the middle of a sequel- and franchise-laden season.

Leading holdovers dropped a bit more than recent weeks, with over 40 percent the norm. That range actually isn’t bad for “The First Purge,” down 47 percent — low, for the second weekend of a horror film. The Blumhouse production with a $13 million budget should end up around $75 million domestic.

That’s a fraction of the huge numbers for “Incredibles 2” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” Pixar’s latest has reached $536 million, the studio’s biggest domestic grosser ever; it should reach over $600 million. “Jurassic” is up to $363 million. The latter’s worldwide will outpace “Incredibles” by some distance, with $1.3 billion possible. The latest Pixar might reach $1 billion.

Next weekend sees three more sequels, including “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again” and “Equalizer 2.” Neither will likely see the results of “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.” Initial rapturous reaction suggests it could be a late-summer success with the best opening since “Jurassic,” if it can outpace “Ant-Man.” Don’t rule that out.

The Top Ten

1. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (Sony) NEW – Cinemascore: A-; Metacritic: 54; Est. budget: $80 million

$44,100,000 in 4,267 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $10,335:; Cumulative: $44,100,000

2. Ant-Man and the Wasp (Disney) Week 2; Last weekend #1

$28,840,000 (-62%) in 4,206 theaters (no change); PTA: $6,857; Cumulative: $132,825,000

3. Skyscraper (Universal) NEW – Cinemascore” B+; Metacritic: 52; Est. budget: $140 million

$25,485,000 in 3,782 theaters; PTA: $6,738; Cumulative: $25,485,000

4. Incredibles 2 (Disney) Week 5; Last weekend #3

$16,220,000 (-43%) in 3,705 theaters (-408); PTA: $4,378; Cumulative: $535,818.000

5. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal) Week 4; Last weekend #2

$15,515,000 (-46%) in 3,695 theaters (-654); PTA: $4,199; Cumulative: $363,297,000

6. The First Purge (Universal) Week 2; Last weekend #4

$9,130,000 (-47%) in 3,308 theaters (+7); PTA: $3,005; Cumulative: $49,510,000

7. Sorry to Bother You (Annapurna) Week 2; Last weekend #16

$4,258,000 (+485%) in 805 theaters (+789); PTA: $5,289; Cumulative: $5,323,000

8. Sicario: Day of the Soldado (Sony) Week 3; Last weekend #5

$3,850,000 (-49%) in 2,066 theaters (-1,049); PTA: $1,919; Cumulative: $43,200,000

9. Uncle Drew (Lionsgate) Week 3; Last weekend #6

$3,225,000 (-51%) in 1,702 theaters (-1,040); PTA: $1,895; Cumulative: $36,692,000

10. Ocean’s 8 (Warner Bros.) Week 6; Last weekend #7

$2,910,000 (-43%) in 1,618 theaters (-986); PTA: $1,799 Cumulative: $132,256,000

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