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LOS ANGELES, August 13, 2018 (News Wires) - “The Meg” devoured the competition at the North American box office

 

Warner Bros.’ big-budget shark thriller opened well above expectations, biting off $44.5 million when it opened in 4,118 North American locations. That was easily enough to nab the No. 1 slot over “Mission: Impossible - Fallout,” which picked up $20 million in its third outing for a domestic tally of $162 million.

 

"The Meg,” which is a co-production with China, will still have to secure big returns overseas to justify its expensive $130 million production budget. It’s not quite in the black yet, but it’s off to a good start given a $96.8 million international tally. In the Middle Kingdom, it generated a strong $50 million. Imax screens accounted for $13.6 million of “The Meg’s” $141.3 million global total.

 

With $44.5 million, “The Meg” secured the best opening of the year for Warner Bros., ahead of “Ready Player One” ($41.7 million) and “Ocean’s 8” ($41.6 million).

 

Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’s head of domestic distribution, attributes the better-than-expected opening to the studio’s marketing campaign, along with a non-competitive August debut. “It’s just good popcorn entertainment that didn’t take itself too seriously,” he said. “It’s silly, it’s fun, and it let’s audiences have a good time.”

 

Fellow newcomer “Black Klansman” debut in fifth place with $10.8 million in 1,500 locations, earning director Spike Lee his best opening in over a decade. Lee’s Cannes Grand Prix winning crime drama, which debuted on the first anniversary of the deadly Charlottesville rally, has maintained enthusiasm with a promising 97 per cent Rotten Tomatoes rating and A- CinemaScore.

 

“Theatres told us repeatedly over the weekend that audiences were applauding, laughing, emotional, and some in tears by the film,” Focus Features’ president of distribution Lisa Bunnell said. “Spike has been able to bring something to the conversation of America that people haven’t been able to have".

 

 

Horror auteurs Jason Blum and Jordan Peele co-produced the Focus Features title, which tells the true story of black detective Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), who goes undercover — with the help of Jewish cop Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) — to infiltrate the Colorado Springs chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.

 

Prior to “Black Klansman,” Lee’s 2006 film “Inside Man” launched with $28 million. His latest outing, “Chi-Raq,” picked up $2.5 million during its limited theatrical run ahead of an Amazon release.

 

Sony’s “Slender Man,” also debuted nationwide this weekend, landing in fourth with $11.3 million in 2,358 locations. That’s a solid start given the low-budget thriller carries a $10 million price tag.

The final weekend opener, “Dog Days,” picked up $2.6 million when it launched in 2,442 locations.

 

Meanwhile, Disney’s “Christopher Robin” earned $12.7 million in its sophomore frame, landing the fantasy drama based on the characters from Winnie the Pooh in third place. To date, it has generated $50.3 million in North America.

 

Universal’s jukebox musical “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” reached a major milestone of its own, crossing $100 million at the domestic box office. The sequel has generated over $280 million worldwide.

 

A24’s “Eighth Grade” hit an achievement of its own with $10 million at the domestic box office. Bo Burnham’s coming of age drama picked up another $1.6 million in its fifth frame.

 

At the specialty box office, Magnolia Pictures’ “Skate Kitchen” bowed with $17,000 when it opened in just one location. The best per-screen-average, however, went to Oscilloscope’s “Madeline’s Madeline,” which pocketed $20,000 from one venue.

 

The summer box office remains strong, up a promising 11.2 per cent from last year, according to comScore. Thanks to a surprisingly powerful debut from “The Meg,” the weekend-to-date number is up 23.7 per cent from the same frame last year, when “Annabele: Creation” launched with $35 million.

LOS ANGELES, July 8, 2018 (News Wires) - “Ant-Man and the Wasp” squashed the competition at the domestic box office.

The Marvel sequel — starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly — opened with $76 million from 4,206 North American locations. That start is significantly ahead of the original “Ant-Man,” which debuted with $57 million in 2015.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” easily topped the weekend, as fellow box office newcomer “The First Purge” scared up $17 million from 3,031 theaters. Meanwhile, “Incredibles 2” narrowly stole the No. 2 spot from “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” The blockbusters earned $29 million and $28.6 million respectively this weekend.

Overseas, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” collected $85 million, bringing the worldwide opening to $161 million. Across 20 films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought in $17 billion globally. All 20 films have opened No. 1 at the box office.

Praise seems to be strong for “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which holds a promising 86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The acclaimed first film came in slightly lower with an 82 percent Rotten Tomatoes average.

“We are really thrilled about the results,” Cathleen Taff, Disney’s head of domestic distribution, said. “We continue to be amazed by what Kevin Feige and the team do with these films.”

Taff also pointed to Lily as Marvel’s first female title character. “Kevin and his team always try to come up with a great story diversity. I think you see that come to play here,” she said.

With a production budget around $162 million, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” looks like another win for Marvel. The studio has had a string of box office hits in 2018 with “Avengers: Infinity War” racking up over $2 billion and counting, and “Black Panther” passing $1.3 billion globally.

Universal and Blumhouse’s “The First Purge” debuted on Independence Day, getting a head start on the weekend. Its five-day total sits at $31 million. Gerard McMurray directed the $13 million film, which was written and produced by James DeMonaco.

Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution, praised DeMonaco and Blumhouse for the strong opening.

“The new chapter really taps into the zeitgeist. It’s the fourth in a franchise that they happen to keep very relevant,” he said. “We think we’re going to be great counter-programming for the rest of the summer.”

The fourth movie in the series serves as an origin story, starring Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Luna Lauren Velez, and Marisa Tomei. The most recent iteration was 2016’s “The Purge: Election Year,” which ended its theatrical run with $79 million domestically and $118.5 million worldwide. “The “Purge” movies have pocketed over $360 million globally.

Universal and Amblin Entertainment’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” recently charged past $1 billion at the worldwide box office. In three weeks, the dinosaur tentpole has earned $333.3 million in North America.

Now in its fourth frame, Disney-Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” just hit a major milestone of its own. Everyone’s favorite crime-fighting family has crossed the $500 million mark domestically and $700 million worldwide. It’s the first animated film to ever surpass $500 million at the North American box office, and the 12th film ever to do so. Internationally, “Incredibles 2” has made $269 million.

Also in the top five is Sony’s “Sicario: Day of the Soldado.” The Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin-led sequel picked up another $7.6 million, taking the domestic tally to $35 million.

At the specialty box office, Roadside Attractions and Miramax’s “Whitney” bowed with $1.3 million from 452 locations. The documentary focusing on the life and career of Whitney Houston holds an A CinemaScore and a Rotten Tomatoes average of 90 percent.

Also opening in limited release was Annapurna’s “Sorry to Bother You,” which landed the best per screen average of the weekend with $44,881. Boots Riley’s film brought in $717,302 when it opened in 16 theaters. Lakeith Stanfield, Armie Hammer, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Danny Glover, Terry Crews, David Cross, Patton Oswalt, and Omari Hardwick round out the cast.

Elsewhere, Focus Features’ “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” landed in the top 10 at the domestic box office again, drawing another $2.6 million when it expanded to 893 locations. In five weeks, the documentary on Fred Rogers has amassed an impressive $12.4 million.

Another documentary, Neon’s “Three Identical Strangers” earned $717,008 million from 5 locations, bringing its domestic tally past $1 million.

LOS ANGELES, June 11, 2018 (News Wires) - The ladies of Ocean's 8 pulled off a solid debut at the box office. Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures' gender-bending heist film opened to $41.5 million from 4,145 locations - a series best for the Ocean's franchise. Overseas, it launched with $12.2 million for a global start of $53.7 million.


Women and older moviegoers bolstered box office numbers. Females accounted for 69 per cent of audiences, while 69 per cent were over the age of 25. Ocean's 8 currently has a B+ CinemaScore and 68 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Jeff Goldstein, head of domestic distribution at Warner Bros, thanks counter-programming against a series of tentpoles for the film's strong debut.

“We exceeded our expectations,” Goldstein said. “There's always been a lack of movies [female-led projects]. I'm glad audiences enjoyed it as much as we did.”

The spinoff marks over a decade since Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's trilogy with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon graced the big screen. Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve, and Ocean's Thirteen, which released between 2001 and 2007, each bowed between $36 million and $39 million, not adjusted for inflation. Adjusted for inflation, that range climbs to $48 million and $61 million.

Ocean's 8 represents a solid return for its star, Sandra Bullock. Her latest on-screen role was in 2015 with Our Brand Is Crisis, which bombed with a $3 million opening. The drama grossed only $7 million worldwide. Prior to that, Bullock starred in the critically acclaimed Gravity. The sci-fi thriller, which landed Bullock an Oscar nom, opened with $55.7 million and went on to make $274 domestically and $723 million worldwide.

Meanwhile, Toni Collette's Hereditary also got a box office boost. A24's R-rated thriller didn't scare audiences away — it exceeded estimates to open in fourth place with $13 million from 2,964 locations. Hereditary marks A24's best opening weekend in history, outpacing 2015's The Witch's $8.8 million bow.

Ari Aster's directorial debut has been critically lauded since its debut in the Midnight section at Sundance Film Festival. Audiences appear to disagree — the horror film currently has a D+ CinemaScore and 64 per cent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, while its critical rating is 94 per cent Fresh.

Not all weekend openers were as fortunate. Hotel Artemis checked in with a dismal $3.1 million on 2,407 screens. Jodie Foster and Sterling K. Brown star in the action thriller set in the near future.

Hotel Artemis represents Foster's first big screen role since 2013's Elysium, which opened with $29.8 million. The sci-fi drama went on to earn $93 million in North America and $286 worldwide.

Ocean's 8 easily nabbed the box office crown. Solo: A Star Wars Story secured second place with $15.2 million in its third weekend, bringing its domestic total $176.4 million. Internationally, the Han Solo origin story brought in an additional $11.3 million. The Disney and Lucasfilm movie continues to struggle with a global tally of $312.2 million.

In third is Deadpool 2 with $13.8 million in its fourth frame. Ryan Reynold's antihero film has pocketed $278.9 million in North America and $376 million internationally, including an $18 million overseas haul this weekend.

Rounding out the top five is the seventh weekend of Avengers: Infinity War with $6.9 million. The Marvel adventure picked up another $10.9 million overseas, bringing its global total to $1.998 billion.

Two years ago, Sony's all-female reboot of Ghostbusters launched with $46 million. The sci-fi comedy — starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones — struggled to sustain momentum at the box office and tapered off to $128 million in North America. With hefty production costs and expensive marketing, the remake cost Sony around $50 million.

In limited release, Focus Features' Won't You Be My Neighbour launched with $470,000 on 29 screens. The documentary on the life and legacy of Mister Rogers' Neighbourhood host Fred Rogers stirred up positive social media buzz, with audiences sharing how the film spurred them to tears. It has a 99 per cent Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

LOS ANGELES, April 16, 2018 (AFP)  — Sci-fi action flick Rampage topped North American box offices over the weekend, taking in an estimated $34.5 million to barely beat out horror film A Quiet Place, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said on Sunday.

Rampage stars hard-working Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson in a plot perhaps better seen than described: He plays a primatologist who befriends an albino gorilla who grows to enormous size after a rogue experiment and who then teams with Johnson to stop invading monsters.

While the three-day take for the new Warner Bros film was said to be one of the best ever for a video game spinoff, its $120 million budget means the movie “will need to have strong legs to make its money back,” Hollywood Reporter said. Naomie Harris co-stars.

A Quiet Place, in its second week, took in a healthy $32.6 million, buoyed by rave reviews.

The almost wordless Paramount production stars actor/director John Krasinski and real-life wife Emily Blunt as a couple silently struggling to protect their family from invading aliens who are blind but can track their prey by sound.

In third place over the Friday the 13th weekend was yet another horror film, new Universal/Blumhouse release Truth or Dare, which took in $19.1 million — more than five times the movie's minuscule budget. The supernatural thriller stars Lucy Hale and Tyler Posey as spring breakers caught up in an innocent game that turns deadly.

Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One — a futuristic homage to films of the 1980s — took in an estimated $11.2 million to cling to fourth place in its third week out (its budget was a not-so-minuscule $175 million). The Warner Bros film tells the story of a teenage gamer (Wade Watts) who finds himself inside an addictive virtual reality world.

 

LOS ANGELES, April 11, 2018 (AFP)  — Black Panther broke more records over the weekend in North America, exceeding revenues from the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, while horror thriller A Quiet Place, with barely three minutes of dialogue, made a resounding US$50.2 million debut.

A Quiet Place is built around a simple but chilling premise: flesh-eating creatures have invaded Earth, but they are blind and can track their prey only by sound.

So actor/director John Krasinski, his wife (in the film and in real life) Emily Blunt and their children must adapt—through sign language and ingenious adaptations — or die.

The film has drawn rave reviews, with a 97 per cent Rotten Tomatoes rating.

Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One — a futuristic tribute to 1980s films — came in second at US$24.6 million from Friday to Sunday, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

The Warner Bros. film tells the story of a teenage gamer (Wade Watts) who finds himself inside an addictive virtual reality world. It’s earned US$96.5 million in two weeks.

In third was another new release, Universal’s Blockers, at US$20.6 million. A raunchy comedy starring John Cena and Leslie Mann, the movie drew considerable buzz at the South by Southwest film festival.

Still flourishing in its eighth week out, Black Panther netted US$8.7 million for fourth spot.

Already the highest-grossing superhero film in US history, its cumulative total in the US and Canada now exceeds US$665.6 million. The film stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o.

That number takes the film past Titanic, which had collected US$659 million in North America. “Black Panther” is now third in movie ticket sales of all time on the continent.

Avatar (2009) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) are still ahead, with US$760 million and US$936.7 million in ticket sales respectively.

In terms of global sales, Avatar leads with US$2.8 billion, followed by Titanic (US$2.2 billion), both directed by James Cameron. Black Panther is only 10th worldwide.

In North America, the weekend’s fifth spot went to psychological thriller Tyler Perry’s Acrimony with US$8.4 million.