'The Meg' Devours Competition, Debuting with a Monster $146.9M Globally
It was a monstrous weekend thanks to Warner Bros.'s The Meg, which devoured everything in its path en route to a nearly $150 million global debut. As a result, the weekend box office was up 5.7% compared to last weekend and over 25% compared to last year, with the top twelve grossing over $132 million. It was also a strong weekend for Focus Features's release of Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman and Screen Gems's Slender Man even over-performed against expectations, though a disappointing CinemaScore for the latter is likely to lead to short-lived theatrical run.

As already said, the #1 film at the weekend box office was WB's 70-foot shark The Meg. The film brought in $45.4 million domestically, nearly double BoxOfficeMojo's weekend forecast. Heading into the weekend, the most optimistic expectations were around $30 million, which puts into perspective what a massive performance this is. The debut gives director Jon Turteltaub the largest opening of his career, and, outside of his films in the Fast & Furious franchise, this is star Jason Statham's Jason Statham.

Looking ahead, the film's performance will be one to watch as it would seem a 55-60% second weekend drop would be likely, whether it can hold on any better won't have too much to do with incoming competition as next week's new films in Crazy Rich Asians, Alpha and Mile 22 seem unlikely to steal too much of the film's target audience. The question is whether or not the film's opening weekend was made up of most of that target demo. Opening day audiences gave the film a "B+" CinemaScore and the film played to a crowd that was 52% male and 68% of the overall audience was 25 years or older.

Internationally, the film was also a top performer, leading the international market with $101.5 million from 42 markets. Leading the way was a $50.7 million debut in China followed by Mexico ($6.5m), Russia ($5.3m), UK ($4.4m), Indonesia ($2.7m), Malaysia ($2.4m), Spain ($2.39m), UAE ($2.1m), Brazil ($2.1m), Italy ($1.87m) and Germany ($1.86m). The film debuts in South Korea and Australia this week, followed by openings in France (Aug 22) and Japan (Sep 7).

In second is Paramount's Mission: Impossible - Fallout with $19.35 million, pushing the film's domestic gross over $161 million. The film's 45% third weekend dip is a shade more of a slowdown than expected as the gap between Fallout and Mission: Impossible II, which currently stands as the franchise's highest grossing domestic performer with $215.4 million, continues to shrink. Internationally the film added another $38.4 million this weekend, pushing its worldwide cume to $436.9 million. The film has yet to open in Italy (Aug 29) and China (Aug 31).

Disney's Christopher Robin settled into third place with $12.9 million for a domestic cume just over $50 million after ten days in release. The film also added $4 million internationally for an international cume that now stands just over $12 million for a global total topping $62 million.

Sony's Slender Man scared up a $11.37 million debut from 2,358 locations, outperforming expectations. The film, however, wasn't exactly received well by audiences, scoring a "D-" CinemaScore. Of that audience, 52% were male and 61% were under the age of 25.

Rounding out the top five is the excellent performance from Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, which entered the weekend with some of the best reviews of Lee's career and audiences seemed to agree. The film brought in an $10.8 million from just 1,512 locations, making for the third largest debut in Spike Lee and, if the audience reaction is any indicator, it's going to be around a while. Opening day audiences gave the film an "A-" CinemaScore and of that audience, 52% female and 59% were over the age of 35. The film is likely to add a few more theaters this coming weekend.

Elsewhere in the top ten, Universal and Legendary's Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again brought in $5.86 million, pushing the film's domestic gross over $100 million.

It isn't until twelfth position, however, that we find LD Entertainment's new release, Dog Days, which opened last Wednesday and never caught on with audiences. The film brought in $2.55 million for the three-day, ending its first five days with just $3.59 million.

In limited release, Well Go debuted The Island in 40 locations with $263,412 ($6,585 PTA) as well as Buybust in 25 theaters with $77,955 ($3,118 PTA); Magnolia's Skate Kitchen opened with $18,065 from one theater; Oscilloscope's Madeline's Madeline brought in $18,099 also from one locations; A24's Prayer Before Dawn opened in 13 theaters with just $14,453 ($1,112 PTA); First Run's Cuban Food Stories opened in one theater with $3,032; and Synergetic's The Swan also debuted in one theater, bringing in $898.

Next week gets an early start with the Wednesday release of the much-buzzed-about Crazy Rich Asians, opening in over 3,200 locations with the studio currently anticipating a $29 million five-day. After that, the weekend delivers Alpha from Sony's Studio 8 in ~2,500 theaters and STX will debut the latest collaboration between actor Mark Wahlberg and director Pete Berg in the hopeful franchise starter Mile 22.

You can check out all of this weekend's results right here.

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