August 10, 2018
Jon Turtelaub directed Hollywood's latest shark movie for Warner Bros. and China's Gravity Pictures.
Weekend Box Office: The Meg Showing Some Teeth With A $15M Opening Day
What would the summer be without a shark movie?
Warner Bros.' shark pic The Meg, starring perennial action star Jason Statham, is looking like it may have some real teeth at the Box Office. After grossing a promising $4 million in Thursday-evening previews as it swam into North American theaters, early estimates are that it could take in about $15 million today (including its Thursday gross) as it heads for an opening three-day gross that could crest $35 million.
If that holds, then The Meg will have beaten prerelease tracking that saw it taking in around $20 million in its domestic debut — all against a budget of $150 million (the studio says the net budget was $130 million).
The Meg is also hoping for a big return offshore. China's Gravity put up a significant portion of the budget, and is handling distribution duties in China, where the movie opens Friday.
The movie earned $7.2 million from its first raft of markets on Thursday. In China, the movie is pacing to gross a solid $16 million on Friday, putting it just behind two local films. So far in China, The Meg is outpacing San Andreas, Skyscraper and Geostorm.
Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao and Cliff Curtis co-star in the film, which follows a group of scientists trying to stop a mammoth shark from causing destruction.
In summer 1975, director Steven Spielberg made history with the classic shark film Jaws. More recently, Sony's The Shallows, starring Blake Lively, revived the genre by grossing $119 million globally against a modest $25 million budget. That was followed by 47 Meters Down last summer, which garnered $44.3 million against a $5.5 million budget.
Several other movies open nationwide opposite The Meg, including Spike Lee's high-profile Cannes Film Festival entry BlacKkKlansman, which tells the true story of two Colorado cops, one black (John David Washington) and one Jewish (Adam Driver), who infiltrated their local KKK chapter in the early 1970s.
From Focus Features, BlacKkKlansman is tracking to debut in the $10 million range, a solid start for a specialty film launching in summer versus during the fall awards season. Friday estimates placed its first-gross at around $4 million, which should set it up to hit a $10 million opening weekend.
Sony's Screen Gems enters the August fray with the low-budget Slender Man, a supernatural horror film that is tracking to bow in the $8 million-$12 million range after earning $1 million in Thursday previews. It appears to be grossing around $4 million today, which would put its opening in the $10 million range.The pic follows a group of friends fascinated by the internet lore of the boogeyman known as the Slender Man. When they try to prove he doesn't exist, one of them mysteriously disappears.
The weekend's fourth new nationwide offering is the indie film Dog Days, from LD Entertainment. The family comedy, about the intersection of humans and canines, is tracking to open in the mid- to high-single digit millions. The ensemble cast includes Eva Longoria, Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Lauren Lapkus, Thomas Lennon, Adam Pally, Ryan Hansen and Rob Corddry. Its estimated Friday take is in the $700,000 to $900,000 range, which should lead to a three-day take of around $3 million.
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