The Meg Makes A Weekend Splash At The Box Office

Posted by at 1:52 pm on August 12, 2018

The Meg devoured the competition at the domestic 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, including a strong $50 million in the Middle Kingdom. 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.’ 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 lets audiences have a good time.”

Fellow newcomer BlacKkKlansman debuted 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% Rotten Tomatoes rating and an A- CinemaScore.

“Theaters 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 BlacKkKlansman, Lee’s recent biggest opening was his 2006 film, Inside Man, which launched with $28 million. His latest outing, Chi-Raq, picked up $2.5 million during its limited theatrical run ahead of an Amazon release.

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