The weekend kicked off on Friday the 13th, so it was appropriate that three films centered on different kinds of horrors battled it out for the top of the box office: Rampage, Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare, and last week’s horror hit, A Quiet Place. The Rock and a trio of giant animals may have ultimately rallied to take the top spot with a projected $34.5 million, but Rampage only barely outmuscled the word-of-mouth monster that is John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place. Tomorrow, the latter movie will become the fifth film of 2018 to pass $100 million. It looks like it is going to outgross Steven Spielberg’s latest film domestically by next week and go on to become one of the most profitable films of the year.
By all accounts, it should have been an easy victory for Rampage this weekend. Instead, Krasinski’s film had one of the best holds of the year for a film in over 3,000 theaters, falling just 35.1% from its opening week. Only family films Paddington 2 (-27.2%), Peter Rabbit (-30%), and Sherlock Gnomes (-34%) fared better. A Quiet Place’s hold puts it in the category of films like The Martian ($54.2 million opening followed by a -31.9% drop) and Inception ($62.7 million, -32%), both of which had greater than 4x multiples. A Quiet Place has also held well on the Tomatometer, only dropping to 95% from 97% last week as more reviews came in. Given those box office numbers, and the fact that the film is pacing ahead of last year’s Get Out (which had a 15.4% drop after a $33 million start and finished with $176 million), there is a very real chance that A Quiet Place could stretch itself to $200 million domestic. Anything over $20.8 million next weekend (or under a 36.2% drop), and it will remain on that pace. Though the current estimates are more in the $185-$195 million range, it is still an incredible success for Krasinski and Paramount.
Dwayne Johnson’s first foray into the video game grid, the critically-maligned Doom (19% on the Tomatometer), came up with just $15.4 million on opening weekend, then suffered one of the worst drops and multiples ever with 72.7% and 1.82. Critics were kinder to Rampage, which split them down the middle and has a current Tomatometer score of 50%. That’s somewhere between the 76% that Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle received on its way to over $950 million worldwide, and the 18% that Baywatch scored in 2017. Actually, it matches the 50% that the last Dwayne Johnson/Brad Peyton collaboration, San Andreas, received — but that film opened to $54.5 million when it bowed in May 2015. Rampage’s $34.5 million is less than Central Intelligence’s June 2016 opening of $35.5 million (70% on the Tomatometer) and not much more than July 2014’s Hercules ($29.8 million, 59% on the Tomatometer).
Looking at films opening in non-Summer/Holiday months with critical scores between 44% and 52% that opened to between $25-$35 million, Rampage joins a list that includes Constantine, The Book of Eli, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, John Carter, Jack the Giant Slayer, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, and this year’s Pacific Rim Uprising. (Tomorrowland also had similar numbers in May 2015.) The bad news from that list is that not a single one of them managed a 3x multiple over their opening weekend. The average multiplier of 2.53 between them means we’ll put Rampage’s first domestic estimate at $87-$91 million. There are some signs of hope, though: Infinity War is less than two weeks away, but very little else feels like must-see material until Deadpool 2 in mid-May. If word-of-mouth does not bury it, Pacific Rim Uprising-style, the $120 million production can still turn a profit. It has made $114 million internationally to date. San Andreas grossed over $318 million. (More positive signs? It’s on track to be the best reviewed video game movie ever, a fact that has Dwayne Johnson beaming.)
It should hardly be a surprise that a Blumhouse production can turn a profit with a healthy opening weekend. When your production cost is $3.5 million, as Truth or Dare’s was, and you can net five times that in three days, things are looking just fine. The $19 million did not match the $20-plus million mark that the last four Blumhouse horror films (Insidious: The Last Key, Happy Death Day, Get Out, Split), but that may have something to do with the quality of the film. Unlike last October’s Happy Death Day, which scored 71% on the Tomatometer, Truth or Dare’s 15% puts it in the bottom quotient of 2018 films, alongside Death Wish (17%), Midnight Sun (16%), Winchester (14%), Fifty Shades Freed, and God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness (both 13%). Following a similar path to Happy Death Day would put Truth or Dare’s first estimate at around $41 million total. Not bad for a $3.5 million startup investment.
Bleecker Street’s Beirut, with Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike, did well with critics (78%) but has yet to find much of an audience in its 755 theaters. It’s take of $1.65 million meant a per-theater-average of just $2,193. The best-reviewed new release of the weekend was Fun Academy’s Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero (90% so far, from 20 reviews). The animated film made just a million dollars in 1,633 theaters. Amazon Studios expanded Lynne Ramsay’s acclaimed You Were Never Really Here (87% on the Tomatometer) with Joaquin Phoenix into 51 theaters, where it grossed an estimated $324,282 for the fourth-best PTA of the weekend behind A Quiet Place, Rampage and Sony Classics’ The Rider, which boasted a $15,089 average in just three theaters and is Certified Fresh at 96%.
Dwayne Johnson had a much better weekend when The Fate of the Furious debuted to $98.7 million. The Boss Baby had just joined the $100 million club going into the weekend and Beauty and the Beast joined the exclusive $450 million club by the end of it. Another man-vs.-giant monster film, Kong: Skull Island, was spending its sixth and final week in the top 10, with a total gross of $161.2 million (on its way to $168 million).
It’s Pick Your Comedy Poison next weekend. STX’s I Feel Pretty, with Amy Schumer, has the wider launch of the two major comedies opening. Snatched, her follow-up to the $110 million hit, Trainwreck, was a disappointment with just $45 million domestic. Pretty’s more high-concept conceit may prove a stronger draw, and the film is quietly picking up good buzz. It is up against the return of Broken Lizard to its breakthrough roots with Super Troopers 2. Fox Searchlight is hoping enough of its cult audience is ready for another meow-worthy mustache ride. Searchlight has released 41 films that have grossed over $20 million in total. The Broken Lizard crew has yet to release one.
1. Rampage – $34.5 million ($34.5 million total)
2. A Quiet Place – $32.6 million ($99.6 million total)
3. Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare – $19.0 million ($19.0 million total)
4. Ready Player One – $11.2 million ($114.6 million total)
5. Blockers – $10.2 million ($36.9 million total)
6. Black Panther – $5.3 million ($673.7 million total)
7. Isle of Dogs – $5.0 million ($18.4 million total)
8. I Can Only Imagine – $3.8 million ($74.9 million total)
9. Tyler Perry’s Acrimony – $3.7 million ($37.8 million total)
10. Chappaquiddick – $3.0 million ($11.0 million total)
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]