Ocean’s 8 rocks a money suit, Hereditary puts down unstable roots, nobody’s checking in to the Hotel Artemis, a LOT of people want to be Mr. Rogers’ Neighbor, and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
Summer is officially in full swing as we are facing down three straight weeks of big-name, big-ticket releases all looking to make headlines, all looking to make bank, and all preparing to become the target of some withering sarcasm from yours truly cos I don’t get to the cinema as often as I used to so the only commentary I can often provide is in the form of mediocre-at-best puns! Hooray for movies! Kicking off the charge, and having the bloody GALL to not open day and date in the UK despite my repeated orders to IN MY EYEBALLS NOW, we have the all-female spin-off/reboot (?) of the Ocean’s franchise, Ocean’s 8. Now, readers of our Box Office Premiership may have noted my fear that maybe the vast majority of people wouldn’t be interested in a gaggle of boss-ass Movie Stars getting together to heist shit in this day and age, and that 8 could have been one of our first big Summer Movie Season casualties. Well, happily, my cynicism was unfounded for once, as 8 not only cruised effortlessly into first place, it did so to the tune of $41.5 million, a bigger opening than any of the Soderbergh Ocean’s movies managed! The important lesson to take away from this: more movies need fabulous Cate Blanchett wardrobes.
Meanwhile, riding high off of immense critical and festival buzz, A24 chose to kick off our Summer Horror Movie Season, which has thankfully finally solidified into a thing again, by dropping Hereditary into unsuspecting cinemas nationwide. The results are kind of mixed and require some heavy qualifiers. The good first: it opened in fourth with $13 million, easily the best opening weekend of any A24 movie to date, besting The VVitch’s paltry $8.8 million. Plus, The VVitch ended up tripling that opening weekend once its run was all said and done in spite of a rather negative mainstream public response (including a C- Cinemascore). As for the bad news: Hereditary opened to a D+ Cinemascore, just barely above It Comes at Night’s D from last year, which does not bode well for the future. Of course, it could just be a bad film, I haven’t seen it – and, thanks to $13 million being nowhere near Gregory Mucci’s $72 million prediction, I don’t have to until it hits Home Media, THANK CHRIST – but it’s still unfortunately proving my friend’s theory that most general self-professed “Horror fans” don’t want to actually be scared or frightened by their Horror movies. Why else do you think Truth or Dare managed to make $80 million worldwide?
Still, at least Hereditary had an opening that it can build upon. The same unfortunately cannot be said for Drew Pearce’s Hotel Artemis which could not transfer a buzzy trailer, a who’s who of character actors, and the promise of a new Father John Misty song into actual money, bombing hard with a haul of just $3.1 million for eighth place. In fact, it’s not been a great weekend for heavily-stylised genre movie throwbacks as, just below Artemis, Upgrade plummeted a whole 50% in its second weekend, whilst Action Point full-on died a gruesome death with a divebomb of 63% on its opening weekend take. That opening weekend, for those of you wondering, was $2.3 million and 63% off of that leaves just $880,000. And yes, I know that Action Point has no style whatsoever; when you’re trying to make Box Office statistics fun, you force round pegs into square holes!
In Limited Release, Focus Features, clearly a front for the nation’s handkerchief companies, began their roll out of the Fred Rogers documentary Won’t You be My Neighbor?. In a development that will only come as a surprise to those without even a cursory knowledge of American pop culture, it turns out that there is quite the market out there for people wanting to see a documentary about the saint responsible for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, leading to $470,000 worth of happy tears from 29 screens, a per-screen average of $16,207. That, however, was improbably not the largest of the weekend! Indeed, it turns out that the only thing more powerful than the purity of Mr. Rogers’ soul is Nick Offerman in a pleasant father/daughter musical dramedy, as Hearts Beat Loud beat out Neighbor’s per-screen average with $18,513 from 4 screens (a total of $74,053). I bet Damien Chazelle is kicking himself for not doubling down on the musical bandwagon based on results like these!
It’s a beautiful day in this Full List, a beautiful day for an entry!
US Box Office Results: Friday 8th June 2018 – Sunday 10th June 2018
1] Ocean’s 8
$41,500,000 / NEW
God, just LET ME AT IT, ALREADY! If nothing else so I can join this chorus slowly building over Cate Blanchett’s wardrobe in the thing! Like, sure, there’s a movie to go along with it, one with a bunch of charming actresses I largely adore and it’s a heist movie which is a genre I will never tire of. But, also, Cate Blanchett has basically become my style icon in recent years – had I the money and confidence to own and wear the stuff she rocks in her movies, at least – and each new film of hers is now equally as much another chance for me to be able to go “God, that looks great, why can’t I also wear that?!” Have you seen Carol? Film is romantic and beautiful and damn-near the best thing released in 2015 and blah blah blah but THOSE SUITS SHE WEARS? DIVINE! ICONIC! Somebody buy me them! ALL OF THEM! AND DON’T FORGET ROONEY MARA’S BERET!
2] Solo: A Star Wars Story
$15,154,000 / $176,105,474
Hey there, beautiful reader. It’s come to my attention that you may not have checked out Set the Tape’s “Road to Solo” series, where a bunch of my fellow writers took turns running through the Star Wars series up to now and giving them a nice little retrospective read. Maybe you should go do that. Start with Ian’s lukewarm defence of The Phantom Menace, then work your way through to Amy’s dive into one of the few now-canonical Han Solo spin-off interquel books. And please, don’t thank me, thank your waiter.
3] Deadpool 2
$13,650,000 / $278,665,541
Why do I get this sinking feeling that those lovely doggies flanking Halle Berry in the first John Wick 3 image are going to be bad doggies that need putting down for John Wick to be able to live? Doggies are pure beings of the highest order, even more so than Fred Rogers, and I cannot deal with this kind of moral quandary in the John Wick Cinematic Universe!
$13,037,336 / NEW
A24 really want it to be left in no uncertain terms exactly how well Hereditary opened, huh? None of this guesstimating shit, they got a precise figure! In all seriousness, much like with The VVitch and It Comes at Night, I do want to watch Hereditary and I will, just not in a cinema because I cannot deal with Horror movies in spaces where I can’t control my viewing of it. Or I can just send my friend to scout ahead and report back to me, but then again, we’re both very poor at the moment so that’s probably a no-go. Point is: don’t be surprised when this turns up in my Top 10 for the year or whatever.
5] Avengers: Infinity War
$6,836,000 / $654,733,699
This will cross $2 billion worldwide at some point this week, joining a very exclusive club of films I do not like very much! (Force Awakens does not hold up so good to repeat viewings because JJ Abrams sucks at telling stories, come at me, nerds.) Meanwhile, Warner Bros. and DC have greenlit a Jared Leto Joker movie. …it’s really not even fair at this point, no matter what metric you use, is it?
$5,050,000 / $21,740,025
Allow me to sort of take back what I said last week about Sam Claflin picking the worst projects. I got to review Journey’s End for the Home Media release this past week which really good and he’s really good in it as well, ditto last year’s underseen My Cousin Rachel. So, based on these two films, I have come to the conclusion that it’s American cinema which has no idea how to make use of his talents! I mean: Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Me Before You, that gritty Snow White movie you already forgot happened… Conclusive proof! (So long as you ignore that we Brits shoved him into The Riot Club, Their Finest, Love, Rosie…)
7] Book Club
$4,200,000 / $56,874,124
Seeing it today, finally. I don’t get to get out to the cinema much anymore. Will report back if it’s still here in two weeks’ time!
8] Hotel Artemis
$3,151,118 / NEW
Can’t say I’m surprised, given that this had “cult movie on Home Media” written all over and that Gringo was only 3 months ago, but still OUCH, right? I would’ve thought that somebody wanted to get a better fix of Goldblum than Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is gonna provide!
$2,200,000 / $9,209,605
10] Life of the Party
$2,105,000 / $50,266,577
Boy, do I hope that The Happytime Murders is significantly better than the movie they’re selling, with the tagline that got them briefly thrown in court. There’s far more to this premise than endless swearing, dick and sex jokes, and other such hits from the “THIS KIDS THING IS ACTUALLY FOR ADULTS” playbook as old as time. I want to laugh because of actual comedy rather than in spite of myself because, though I may insist otherwise, I am still a child deep down who has to suppress his laughter at every mention of the tube station “Cockfosters.”
Dropped Out: Breaking In, Action Point, Overboard