Box Office: ‘The Meg’ bites off strong $44.5 million debut

Box Office: ‘The Meg’ bites off strong $44.5 million debut
Director Jon Turteltaub greets cast members Bingbing Li (L), Ruby Rose (C) and Jessica McNamee at the premiere for “The Meg” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

 

LOS ANGELES, (Reuters/Variety.com) – “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.

 

“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.

 

Fellow newcomer “BlacKkKlansman” debut 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 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating and A- CinemaScore.

Cast member Jason Statham and model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley pose at the premiere for “The Meg” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Cast member Jason Statham (R) and actor Sylvester Stallone pose at the premiere for “The Meg” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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 2006 film “Inside Man” launched with $28 million. His latest outing, “Chi-Raq,” picked up $2.5 million during its limited theatrical run ahead of an Amazon release.

 

Sony’s “Slender Man,” also debuted nationwide this weekend, landing in fourth with $11 million in 2,358 locations. That’s a solid start given the low-budget thriller carries a $10 million price tag.

 

The final weekend opener, “Dog Days,” picked up $2.6 million when it launched in 2,442 locations.

 

Meanwhile, Disney’s “Christopher Robin” earned $12.7 million in its sophomore frame, landing the fantasy drama based on the characters from Winnie the Pooh in third place. To date, it has generated $50.3 million in North America.

 

At the speciality box office, Magnolia Pictures’ “Skate Kitchen” bowed with $17,000 when it opened in just one location. The best per-screen-average, however, went to Oscilloscope’s “Madeline’s Madeline,” which pocketed $20,000 from one venue.