July 21, 2018

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” Tuneful, “Equalizer 2″” Solid, “Hotel Transylvania 3″” & “Skyscraper” Drop


A weekend of sequels is dancing to the beat of MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN (Perfect World/Universal), which had a $15.1M opening day according to preliminary numbers at Deadline.  That’s up an impressive 53% from the first day of the original Mamma Mia, although some of the gap is due to the fact that “Friday” didn’t include Thursday night in 2008, which accounted for $3.4M of the sequel’s “day”.  Nevertheless, Here We Go Again should have a $40M weekend, close to a 45% increase over the first movie, which ended up at $144.1M in the US.  Even at the lower multiple that typically accompanies sequels, Here We Go Again has a good chance of reaching $150M+.  Add to that the fact that Mamma Mia earned 76% of its worldwide total overseas, plus moderate production/marketing costs of $175M or so, and the title Here We Go Again may be referring to Universal’s trips to the bank.  The producers’ biggest issue may be unearthing more ABBA songs that anyone wants to listen to for the next installment.

THE EQUALIZER 2 (Escape Artists/Columbia/Sony) is also off to a fair start with $13.6M on opening day (including $3.1M from Thursday night), up 9% from the start for 2014’s Equalizer.  That could mean a $37M weekend and, even with a lower sequel multiple, equaling the $101.5M total of the first film.  The economics here are a bit different than Mamma Mia‘s, though, because although costs are similar at $175M, the original Equalizer only earned 47% of its worldwide total overseas, and unless that number bumps up, Equalizer 2 may not get much farther than breakeven.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION (Sony Animation/Columbia/Sony) took a surprisingly steep 59% hit from last Friday to $6.9M, much worse than the 41-44% drops for the 2nd Fridays of its predecessors.  Transylvania 3 will still hope to reach $25M for the weekend, but it’s going to face direct competition next weekend from Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, which may limit its upside.

ANT-MAN & THE WASP (Marvel/Disney) dropped 47% from last Friday to $4.5M, on its way to a $15M weekend and a $195M US total, up a bit less than 10% from the first Ant-Man.

INCREDIBLES 2 (Pixar/Disney) and JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM (Legendary/Perfect World/Universal) are locked in, respectively down 31% (to $3.2M) and 35% (to $3M), as they head for weekends on the north and south sides of $11M.  Incredibles 2 should pass $575M in the US before it’s done, and Fallen Kingdom may break through $400M.

The news didn’t get any better for the 2nd weekend of SKYSCRAPER (Legendary/Universal), which plunged 68% to $3M on Friday, and may get to $10M for the weekend.  It won’t get much past $65M in the US, and its prospects are entirely dependent on how this weekend’s China opening goes.

THE FIRST PURGE (Blumhouse/Perfect World/Universal) lost 57% from last Friday to $1.3M, for a $4-5M weekend as it continues to head toward $70M in the US.

There was more Blumhouse from UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB (BH Tilt/Blumhouse/Universal), this one under its even-lower-budget label.  Friday’s total was $1.4M ($350M from Thursday night), a whopping 80% below the opening day for the first Unfriended, which was released by Universal proper, although just a touch below the BH Tilt label’s $1.7M from last month’s Upgrade.  A $3.5M weekend may be ahead, and the thriller will attempt to last long enough in theatres to pass $10M.

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (Annapurna) expanded by 30% to 1050 theatres, but nevertheless fell 48% from last Friday to under $800K, headed for a $2-2.5M weekend that suggests it may burn out quickly.

BLINDSPOTTING (Summit/Lionsgate) arrived in limited release at 14 theatres, and a $16K per-theatre weekend average would be quite a bit below the $45K Sorry To Bother You averaged at 16 just 2 weeks ago.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."