People. Fucking. Love. Dinosaurs. And Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
Heading into the weekend, many of us with an interest in Box Office analytics, plus a whole collection of Universal Studios executives, had a number of concerning question marks over the inbound release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. After all, sure, Fallen Kingdom was following up Jurassic World, one-time holder of the Biggest American Opening Weekend of All-Time, domestically the Sixth Biggest Film of All-Time (would be the fifth if Titanic weren’t inflating its numbers via copious re-releases), strangely beloved by many folks worldwide despite being objectively garbage, and also starring a metric tonne of dinosaurs wrecking shit… Actually, when I put it like that, there really does seem to be no reason to have been so worried about Fallen Kingdom. Still, there were some question marks. We all knew it wasn’t going to break $200 million again, but would the fact that it’s only been 3 years since World compared to the 14 between World and III, plus it having been out overseas for a fortnight already and Incredibles II shattering records, put some major ceiling on what Fallen King…
Nah, I’m just fucking with you. Fallen Kingdom not only stormed its way to number 1, and not only did it trounce the entire competition decisively (even taking a bigger bite out of Incredibles II than anticipated), and not only did it stomp Universal’s expectations into the dust, it is also (at time of writing) the studio’s second biggest opening weekend of all-time, surpassing even Furious 7. Fallen Kingdom managed to open with a monstrous $150.001 million – the specification of that additional $1,000 honestly feels kind of petty to me, but I guess you earn the right to pull something like that when lightning successfully strikes twice. It’s the first time since 2007 that two successive weekends have seen $100 million+ openers, when Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End followed Shrek the Third, and only the second time ever overall. Meanwhile, Fallen Kingdom gets to add that $150(.001) million to its prior International pile, which is already at $561 million (enough on its own to make it the 7th biggest film of 2018 worldwide), and roll into next weekend with an A- Cinemascore. So, in summary: people really fucking love dinosaurs. Good to know.
Last weekend, whilst I was off galivanting about elsewhere and having a life not devoted to meaningless Box Office statistics, Pixar’s Incredibles II went ahead and demolished a whole bunch of Box Office records: Biggest Opening Weekend for a Pixar Release, Biggest Opening Weekend for an Animated Feature, the 8th Biggest Opening Weekend of All-Time… no, biggie. Therefore, some of us had every reason to expect maybe Brad Bird’s fantastic foursome could pull off a second $100 million+ weekend, creating some more Box Office history in the process. Alas, the might of dinosaurs was just too great for such a performance, with Incredibles II dropping 55% for a second-place finish of $80 million. Still, that’s $80 million more than everybody reading (and writing) this will earn across our collective lives. Plus, it could always be worse. You could be Hotel Artemis, which opened badly two weeks ago, collapsed 70% last weekend, and this weekend is sitting in 26th place with $72,000, which is somehow less than Black Panther made in its 19th week of release.
Despite the best efforts of dinos and superheroes to hog all the air in the conversation, other films were released this weekend. In Moderate Release, Paul Rudd decided to stretch himself somewhat by, instead of playing extremely handsome and roguishly charming fictional characters, playing an extremely handsome and roguishly charming real person in the IFC-released The Catcher was a Spy. Unfortunately, not only was the film quite terrible, as is what happens when you put it in the hands of the guy who made Please Stand By, it ended up completely striking out in its 49 theatres, notching a limp-wristed $122,494. Similarly garbage-looking but sadly not similarly crashing and burning was Boundaries, a truly insufferable-looking slice of Sundance bait that hooked $30,395 worth of people from 5 screens for a decent $6,079 average. Finally, the Zellner Brothers’ deconstructionist Western – also the only kind of Western that gets made anymore – Damsel hogtied $21,000 from 3 theatres in a metaphor that doesn’t quite work now that I think about it.
The Full List, err, finds a way. There. I did the obvious joke. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!
US Box Office Results: Friday 22nd June 2018 – Sunday 24th June 2018
1] Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
$150,001,000 / NEW
Lots and lots of Jurassic Park related content up on the site for you to peruse! Caleb Burnett provided look-backs of the entire series up to now, from the classic original, to the somewhat unfairly-maligned The Lost World, to the one where a hallucinatory Velociraptor says “Alan,” to the one that secured Colin Trevorrow Hollywood employment for the next forever no matter how many Book of Henrys he makes. Leslie Byron Pitt has an excellent review, which I piggy-backed off of to go in on Fallen Kingdom’s bonkers second half and the differences between “dumb” and “stupid” storytelling. And, finally, Shaun Rodger reviewed The Jurassic Dead because he was so preoccupied with whether he could that he never stopped to ask if h- *hook slides in from off-stage and yanks the keyboard away*
2] Incredibles II
$80,928,000 / $350,374,690
We here in the UK still have a month to go before we can actually lay eyes upon this, so meantime allow me to mention that I finally saw Studio Ponoc’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower this weekend! It’s… fine. Very obviously a first-effort for the studio, made up largely of former Studio Ghibli personnel, it’s extremely simplistic in its storytelling and character work but has multiple sequences of absolutely gorgeous animation and design, and the feel is super warm and cozy. It’s basically a giant “this is what we can do” sizzle reel, to hopefully be chased down with more narratively and emotionally fulfilling storytelling in the future once they get some experience under their belt. I also just really like Ghibli movies, of which this is SUPER-OBVIOUSLY indebted to. Do not see it dubbed, though; the dub is super-offputtingly flat in ways I’d go into but we need to move on.
3] Ocean’s 8
$11,650,000 / $100,385,760
A full review went up on the site yesterday (find it here) but the short version is that I really liked this. It is just an Ocean’s movie but with women and that hits my spot so firmly that I feel like I should probably put a ring on the movie or something. Absolutely see this if you haven’t already, I want to be drowning in more of these until literally every actress in Hollywood has passed through the series at some point!
$8,200,000 / $30,367,545
If you haven’t seen Game Night, it should be coming to DVD soon enough, and I do recommend checking it out. I wouldn’t say it’s a classic or anything, but it is damn great and super funny. Plus, it’s a chance to remember what a comedy that’s actually been scripted and directed looks like, instead of one whose script consists of a Mad Libs sheet improv-ed together by an overqualified floundering cast and direction that’s nothing more than endless goddamn static two-shots and close-ups. Poorly lit, at that!
5] Deadpool 2
$5,250,000 / $304,150,321
Sicario: Day of the Soldado is this Friday and I am still utterly dreading it, especially since I rewatched Sicario this week and fuuuuuuuuuuuck that film is SOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. The absolute worst thing it could do is turn into the Sicario equivalent of First Blood: Part 2 and OH FUCK NO SOMEBODY SAID IT’S EXACTLY THAT GODDAMN IT. I’ll meet you back here next week where I shall hopefully be eating my words, please God.
6] Solo: A Star Wars Story
$4,045,000 / $202,176,870
I see we’re still on that “The Last Jedi was worse than a million cancers and needs to be stricken from existence” train, huh? True story, at an employee open day the other month for a cinema chain, I ended up meeting two people who sincerely claimed, as part of an ice breaker, that The Last Jedi was the worst film they had ever seen. I have met these people in the flesh out in the wild and their existence still perplexes me. It’s like people who say their favourite band is Imagine Dragons. I wanted to grab them by their (non-existent) lapels, shake them and yell “SEE MORE MOVIES, MAN, GOOD LORD!” into their faces.
They, however, knew how to build towers out of marshmallows and spaghetti which means they probably got invited back for actual interviews, so maybe I’m the one who’s wrong?
$3,809,000 / $35,000,966
This has actually been holding exceptionally well week-to-week, so I would like to rescind all the doomsaying I spouted last time we all hung out here and pretend that I had total faith in it from the beginning, thank you please.
$3,350,000 / $15,266,395
Not a fan of that soundtrack. Then again, what else should I have expected from the man who chose to rap “la di da di da/slob on my knob” on the Black Panther soundtrack?
9] Avengers: Infinity War
$2,482,000 / $669,466,449
Up to $2 billion worldwide yeah great whatever. Listen, I have nowhere else to vent this so I’m gonna dump it here: did you know MTV are rebooting Daria?! I have been a walking version of that Steve Carrell in The Office moment ever since the news broke, I’m dead serious. You keep your goddamn mitts away from Daria, MTV! Let her be, dammit! She and that show are the textbook definition of the 90s to so much of an extent that they both don’t fit in today’s world! And miss me with that “one of her closest friends, Jodie Landon” shit! You know that Jodie, whilst never antagonistic towards Daria and the closest thing to an actual non-Jane Lane friend that she had, was never really that well acquainted with Daria so you can’t build your new show on non-existent foundations anyway! And if I hear of anybody other than Tracy Grandstaff within 200 ft. of a recording booth for Daria’s voice, I will personally flip 500 FUEL TANKERS! AND FURTHERMORE…
…sorry. I really like Daria.
10] Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
$1,875,000 / $4,129,778
Well here’s something nice to close on! Focus have been expanding this gradually, currently up to 348 theatres with plans to put it in over 500 next weekend, and it’s actually working out for them! That $5,388 per-screen average is actually better than all but the Top 2 of this week’s chart. Here’s hoping this keeps up for July 4th weekend, for what’s more American than Mister Rogers? Murdering the poor whilst wearing funky masks, apparently.
Dropped Out: Adrift, Book Club
Callum Petch dances around the globe to Disco 54.