Box Office Projections: ‘Ocean’s 8’ to Top the Weekend (and ‘Solo’ to Continue Plunging)

(Projections for the weekend for North America for the weekend of June 8-10)

Last year, we were coming off the excellent opening of ‘Wonder Woman’ and a tremendous hold this weekend. It’s fair to point out that 2017’s summer ended up being one of the lowest grossing in recent memory, but as things are going, 2018 isn’t looking that great either. Avengers: Infinity War has become the only undeniable success of the “summer” (it technically opened in April) while both ‘Deadpool 2‘ and ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ have underperformed when compared to their predecessors, with the former being O.K. but not ideal, while the latter is in serious trouble (more on that later).

Hollywood is looking to course correct that this weekend with the release of Warner Bros.’ ‘Ocean’s 8’, the all-female spin-off of the successful ‘Ocean’s 11‘ franchise. However, the industry might have to wait until next weekend with ‘Incredibles 2’ to have a decisive victory.

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Ocean’s 8‘ packs a stellar ensemble cast led by Sandra Bullock (herself in need of a success) , Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, and more. Warner hasn’t been pulling punches with the marketing, advertising the heck out of it from TV ads, to promotional Youtube videos, banners, interviews with the cast, etc. It has attracted a solid amount of interest in social media, especially from women and fans of the previous films. While comps have been made with ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016), it’s apples to oranges, as this film has been positioned as being in the same universe as the other films in its franchise and has cast mostly bankable stars. Ghostbusters, however, never had a demographic to squarely target in its marketing and had a clear tonal and lore problem — it created a cloud of confusion and angered most fans of its previous movies. In that respect, ‘Ocean’s 8’ has mostly dodged a bullet, but still, conversation is still mixed in some places.

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Another positive for Ocean’s is the fact that it was made for “only” 70 million dollars, as opposed to ‘Ghostbusters’’ overblown 150 million budget. It has also achieved a good 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is increasingly important for big openings nowadays. Tracking has suggested an opening for this film between 38 million to 45 million, while some conservative estimates have pegged it in the low-30’s, including Warner Bros.’ own.

Anything in the low-30’s wouldn’t bode well for a continuation of this franchise, while high-30’s to low 40’s would be good. The hope here is for the film to have strong legs from positive word-of-mouth and play over the summer as ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ did way back in 2001, but while reaction has been positive so far, it’s nothing to write home about either and not nearly as strong as that film possessed. High 40’s to low 50’s, however, would be excellent for both the film and its stars. We’ll have to see.

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Also opening this weekend is A24’s ‘Hereditary’. Premiering in Sundance to rave reviews, the horror film is looking to attract both cinephiles and horror-lovers to see this film — aiming it to the same audience ‘A Quiet Place’ targeted to great success earlier this year. It currently holds an amazing 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. A24 is hoping to have their biggest debut yet, with the hopes of it over performing and beat its tracking of 9-12 million. However, while reviews have been excellent, audience reactions have been mixed, which could potentially slow down the word-of-mouth just a bit. The question is, is this more along the lines of ‘A Quiet Place’, or ‘It Comes At Night’, which also held a great RT score but failed to capture audience’s imaginations?

Drew Pearce’s directorial debut ‘Hotel Artemis’ is not looking so good with tracking suggesting a 3-5 million opening weekend. Yikes.

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Also, ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ is looking yet again at a steep drop to land in the mid teens for what’s now sure to become the franchise’s first true failure. Disney and Lucasfilm should definitely be worried.

PROJECTIONS

  1. Ocean’s 8$42M (NEW)
  2. Hereditary$14M (NEW)
  3. Solo: A Star Wars Story$13.5M (-54%; week 3)
  4. Deadpool 2 $13M (-43%; week 4)
  5. Adrift$7M (-40%; week 2)
  6. Avengers: Infinity War$6M (-42%; week 7)
  7. Book Club $5M (-28%; week 3)
  8. Hotel Artemis $3M (NEW)
  9. Upgrade $2.5M (-46%; week 2)
  10. Life of the Party $1.5M (-57%; week 4)

 

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