'The Meg' to Challenge 'Mission: Impossible' for Weekend Top Spot

by Brad Brevet

August 9, 2018

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Warner Bros.'s The Meg is dramatically outperforming expectations, bringing in an estimated $16.5 million on Friday, heading toward what could possibly be a $40 million debut. The film received a "B+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

Sony's Slender Man is also overperforming Mojo's forecast, heading toward a debut around $11-12 million after bringing in an estimated $4.85 million on Friday. The film received a "D-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

Focus's release of Spike Lee's BlacKkKLansman is currently heading toward a fifth place finish after an estimated $3.6 million on Friday, heading toward a $9-10 million opening weekend. The film received a "A-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Warner Bros.'s The Meg brought in $4 million from preview showings last night. This is well ahead of films such as 47 Meters Down and The Shallows and is actually $400k ahead of the $3.6 million Pacific Rim took in from preview showings back in July 2013 before opening with $37.2 million.

Sony's Slender Man took in $1 million from Thursday night previews in 2,109 locations. We are projecting $8M for the three-day weekend. The studio is anticipating an $8 million opening weekend.

We'll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: The strong second weekend hold for Mission: Impossible - Fallout last weekend says a lot about how much audiences are enjoying the sixth installment in the franchise and should make for an interesting weekend this week. Warner Bros. is going big with the debut of The Meg, which appears to be riding a wave of interest, suggesting it should challenge for the weekend's top spot. Question is, how much does it need to make to secure that top spot and what will Fallout do as it enters its third week in release? Additionally, Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman is also showing signs of a strong weekend ahead as the filmmaker is receiving some of the best reviews of his career. Otherwise, neither Sony's Slender Man nor LD's Dog Days appear as if they'll be making much of a dent this weekend.

At the top, we can't ignore the signals we're seeing when it comes to WB's The Meg. The film is debuting in a massive 4,118 locations, which is the second widest August release of all-time behind Suicide Squad (4,255), and industry expectations are right around $20-24 million and we're seeing signs pointing toward the higher end of that range.

A look at IMDb page view data shows plenty of interest over the two weeks leading up to release, a lot of which began even a little earlier with The Meg having taken advantage of Discovery Channel's "Shark Week", including an exclusive first look during the "Megalodon: Fact vs. Fiction" program on July 27. While we might normally chalk up the film's gains at that time solely to the marketing around "Shark Week", interest has continued to gain since then to the point a performance over $25 million doesn't seem at all unreasonable. IMDb page view data shows the film dramatically outperforming the likes of 47 Meters Down ($11.2m opening) and The Shallows ($16.8m opening), both of which debuted in less than 3,000 locations. All that being said, we're anticipating a performance right around $23-24 million.

This leads us to Mission: Impossible - Fallout, which dropped just 42.3% last weekend and has continued to perform well throughout the week. Looking at previous Mission films, most have enjoyed strong third weekends, dropping below 40% and we're looking for the same here. In fact, we're anticipating a 35% drop this weekend and a $23 million third weekend, pushing the film's domestic gross to $165 million.

We're expecting Disney's Christopher Robin to land in third place with around $13 million, though that placement on the weekend chart could change depending on how well our next film performs.

Focus is releasing Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman into 1,512 locations and industry expectations are for a debut around $9-10 million, but our models are suggesting that might be the basement number for this one with potential to deliver $13+ million itself. Ever since debuting at the Cannes Film Festival, where the film won the Grand Prize of the Jury, interest has soared and the current 82 Metacritic score heading into the weekend is the best score Lee has seen for any of his films going all the way back to the 91 for Do the Right Thing. We are keeping our expectations conservative at the moment, anticipating an $11+ million opening, but won't be at all surprised to see a performance closer to $13 million and a possible spot in the top three.

Sony's release of Screen Gems's Slender Man is debuting in 2,358 locations and had seen very little interest on IMDb, which is hardly shocking considering the studio hadn't released a second trailer following the first look in early January until two weeks before release. Looking at IMDb page view data, traffic spiked with this second trailer (along with continued coverage of the lawsuit the film faces), but has struggled to maintain and has us expecting a debut around $9-10 million.

Outside the top five, Universal and Legendary's Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again will top $100 million domestically this weekend as it adds $5+ million to its total.

Further down the list and a question mark as to whether it will land within the top ten is LD's Dog Days, which debuted in 2,255 locations on Wednesday with $635k. The film will add a few theaters starting on Friday and we're currently expecting it to bring in $4 million or so for its three-day debut and a five-day a bit shy of $6 million.

In fact, it looks as if Disney and Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp will take the tenth and final spot as the film pushes over $200 million domestic.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning.

  • The Meg (4,118 theaters) - $23.0 M
  • Mission: Impossible - Fallout (3,888 theaters) - $23.0 M
  • Disney's Christopher Robin (3,602 theaters) - $13.4 M
  • BlacKkKlansman (1,512 theaters) - $11.0 M
  • Slender Man (2,358 theaters) - $9.9 M
  • The Spy Who Dumped Me (3,111 theaters) - $6.1 M
  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2,809 theaters) - $5.2 M
  • The Equalizer 2 (2,373 theaters) - $5.2 M
  • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2,589 theaters) - $5.1 M
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (1,863 theaters) - $4.3 M

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