'The Meg' takes an oversized bite out of the box office


August audiences flocked to The Meg over the weekend, leading the Jason Statham-vs-a-giant-shark extravaganza to outearn expectations in a big way. The film was projected to land somewhere in the $20-$30 million range but instead landed at $44.5 million, the highest non-Fast and the Furious opening of Statham’s career and the third highest overall. The film’s foreign take so far is $97 million, the majority of that ($50.3 million) coming from China.

The Meg’s success puts former reigning champ Mission: Impossible - Fallout in spot number two with $20 million, bringing its domestic gross to $161.9 million after three weekends. Christopher Robin, meanwhile, fell from spot number two to spot number three with $12.4 million (total gross $50 million). Rounding out the top five are a pair of new releases, both of which opened to a respectable amount: Slender Man ($11.3 million) and BlacKkKlansman—$10.7 million on a modest 1,512 screens, the third highest opening of director Spike Lee’s career to date.

Despite opening in nearly 1,000 more screens than BlackKkKlansman, family-friendly comedy Dog Days opened to only $2.6 million, landing it outside the top ten.

The weekend’s highest per-theatre average went to new specialty release Madeline’s Madeline, which opened to $20,225 on a single screen. Also new to theatres were The Island ($282,500 on 40 screens), Skate Kitchen ($17,000 on a single screen) and Prayer Before Dawn ($14,453 on 13 screens).