You never know with kids’ movies, but the surprise of the weekend is the staying power of the Adam Sandler voiced HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA franchise. The third film in the series opened in a prime summer spot and ended up taking the weekend box office in convincing fashion. But most pundits aren’t focused on Drac’s dominance, but rather they’re asking what went wrong with SKYSCRAPER. Is it the fact it’s a DIE HARD rip-off? Are audiences sick of The Rock? Both of those things are true, but I think the answers to SKYSCRAPER all come down to bad timing. We just had RAMPAGE in April and before that JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE in December, so Dwayne Johnson fatigue is a real thing. But The Rock prides himself on making somewhat family friendly action movies and this past weekend he’s competing with more appealing family movies from Marvel, Pixar and Sony Animation. So I don’t look at it as $24 million being disappointing, I look at it as being pretty good given the competition.
Next week should be another interesting showdown between two conflicting movies. First up is MAMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN. The Meryl Streep led original was the surprise movie of 2008 and was almost an event movie for women. I’m not convinced the sequel is going to be able to do the same, especially without Meryl leading the way. Next is THE EQUALIZER 2, which will probably deliver Denzel his standard $30 million opening. This feels like a studio forcing a franchise on us against our will, but we’ll see how it does. My guess is Mama Mia will take the top spot with THE EQUALIZER 2 in second. Note: the numbers below will be updated as they become final.
1. Hotel Transylvania 3 $42.2m
2. Ant-Man and the Wasp $28.1m
3. Skyscraper $24.2m
4. Incredibles 2 $14.5m
5. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom $14m
6. The First Purge $9.5m
7. Sorry To Bother You $4m
8. Sicario: Day of the Soldado $3.4m
9. Uncle Drew $3.1m
10. Ocean’s 8 $2.9m