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Weekend Box Office: Ant-Man and the Wasp Has All the Buzz, First Purge Cracks Top Five

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By Chris Kavan - 07/08/18 at 08:13 PM CT

The MCU scored another victory at the box office - as if there was any doubt, as Ant-Man and the Wasp easily took first place over the weekend. The First Purge landed in the top five as well, a bit lower than the predecessors, but with its low budget, that isn't going to matter much in the long run. Some other big films hit major milestones, we have a new highest-grossing documentar for 2018 and a wicked satire opened to impressive numbers in limited before its upcoming wide debut. All told, it was another impressive summer weekend as the season keeps going strong.


The latest MCU film to top the box office did so in typical Marvel fashion - $76 million, a 33% increase (or $20 million) over the original Ant-Man. But it should be noted the film was quite front-loaded, earning $33.8 million of that on Friday or 44.5% of its total gross - the highest out of any MCU film. It also had a big Thursday with $11.5 million coming from its early launch. That's not to say that the film won't have a decent multiplier as the front-loaded Age of Ultron (2.4x) and Spider-Man: Homecoming (2.86x) both legged it out to impressive final totals. The audience gave the film an "A-" Cinemeascore, down a beat from the "A" Ant-Man received, but still high on the horse. 55% of said audience was male, with 58% coming in over 25, a bit higher than the 48% for Ant-Man. While the $76 million is the lowest opening for an MCU sequel, there shouldn't be any alarms going off yet. For one, it is still dealing with a lot of competition (including Disney's own Incredibles 2, as well as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and it is landing right after two of the biggest MCU films to date: Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. Ant-Man and the Wasp will turn out just fine. Even on the low end of multipliers, the film is looking at at least $180-$200 million, and if it can snag the average, $210 million at least. It also got off to a good start overseas where it took in $85 million from 48% of the international markets - a total that stands 45% ahead of where Ant-Man opened in those same markets. The film is likely on the lower end budget-wise of the MCU films and should have no problem recouping its cost.


With a fantastic hold, dipping a mere 37.5% in its fourth weekend, The Incredibles 2 added $29 million to its total and, in the process, became the first animated film to cross the $500 million domestic mark with a new $504.3 million total. That also means it is also the highest-grossing Pixar and animated film of all time. It is inevitable at this point the film will knock off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($532.1 million) to land in the top 10 among all domestic releases. Its final total looks to be somewhere in the $570 million range at this point, with a worldwide total of $772,7 million, with a lot of territories still to go. It may yet join that $1 billion club, or at least get mighty close by the time it finishes its total run.


With lots of direct competition coming in, Fallen Kingdom took a 53.1% hit and dropped to third place with $28.5 million, raising its total to $333.3 million. With a majorly impressive $725.3 million foreign total, the film joined the $1 billion club on Friday, and now stands at $1.058 billion total. The film still has plenty of gas yet as it shoots towards $350 million (with the ultimate domestic goal being $400 million) and a shot at $1.2 billion global with an opening in Japan still to come. In any case, it should double its budget ($170 million) sometime this coming week (I'm finally going to see this one on Tuesday).


After getting an early jump on the competition with a 4th of July opening, The First Purge ended with a $17.1 million weekend and a five day total of $31 million. That puts it on equal footing with The Purge: Election Year ($31 million as well) though that film earned that total over a typical three-day weekend. The audience awarded it a more typical horror film-like "B-" Cinemascore and it is the first Purge film to be more male (54%) as well as playing to the oldest audience (49% age 25 or older, compared to just 35% of Election Year). Still, the Purge films are known to make a lot of money on a minimal budget, and First Purge will be no different. At just a $13 million cost, and even a finish in the $60 million range will be a fantastic return on investment (with a chance to go higher if it can secure a decent audience hold). It also opened to $10.9 million international opening, including a franchise-best $2.1 million in the UK. With a television series on the way as well, The Purge franchise looks to be one of those that is not going away - I just hope it doesn't go the way of Saw and Paranormal Activity, which got so bad it truly hurt to watch anymore.


Rounding out the top five, Sicario: Day of the Soldado took a pretty big hit, dropping nearly 62% in its sophomore frame for a $7.3 million weekend and a new $35.3 million total. The film still looks to leg it to at least $50 million - and ahead of the original film's $46.88 million total. It has matched its $35 million budget, but with everything factored in, will probably need some overseas help to inch it over into the black. It's about the best one could hope for in a sequel to a not-terribly popular original featuring only some of the main cast.

Outside the top five: The Fred Rogers documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? officially expanded into the wide release category by adding another 239 theater for a total count of 893. It jumped 6.3% to land in 9th place (up from 10th last weekend) and a $2.59 million weekend. Its total now stands at $12.38 million as it unseated RBG ($11.6 million) to become the highest-grossing documentary of 2018.

Looking very impressive in limited release was Sorry to Bother You, that wicked satire from Annapurna and gonzo director Boots Riley that follows a black telemarketer (Get Out's Lakeith Stanfield) who uses his "white person voice" to become a superstar in his profession even as he discovers his new gift comes at a steep price in his new, surreal world. The film opened to $717,302 in 16th place in just 16 theaters for an impressive (and weekend best) $44,831 per-theater average. This one goes wide next week and we'll see if general audiences are willing to wrap their head around this one.

Speaking of next week, aside from the above-mentioned film, we are also getting Dwayne Johnson's action-packed Skyscraper and the animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.


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