erik lundegaard

Sunday August 26, 2018

Box Office: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Sets Record for Non-Holiday Drop

Crazy Rich Asians tops U.S. box office second weekend

Happy loving couples make it look so easy.

I hadn’t realized that last December “The Greatest Showman” broke the record for smallest second-weekend drop for super-saturated movies (3,000+ theaters). And it’s not even a drop: Its box office improved by 76% from weekend 1 to 2, which broke the old record—set by, of all films—“Cheaper By the Dozen 2,” which improved 55% in 2005. Both movies were released the weekend before Christmas, and that’s usually how you get on this list. You’re released the weekend before Christmas, when no one has time for movies, and your numbers skyrocket the weekend after Christmas, when everyone has time for movies. Of the 25 top movies with the lowest second-weekend drop, 18 of them, including “Jumanji” and “Avatar,” are weekend-before-Christmas releases.

I’m bringing all of this up in the dog days of August because “Crazy Rich Asians” dropped just 5.7% in its second weekend, grossing $25 mil for a total of $76. If the actuals hold, that would be the 26th-lowest drop since 1980.

And if you remove all those pre-Christmas releases? It’s eighth-lowest.

And four of those are pre-Thanksgiving releases like “The Blind Side.” Same principle: from no time for movies to tons of time for movies. Take out those and “Asians” is fourth.

Here are the others:

5 Mother's Day $8,369,184 $11,087,076 32.5% 4/29/16
19 Shrek $42,347,760 $42,481,425 0.3% 5/16/01
23 Puss in Boots $34,077,439 $33,054,644 -3% 10/28/11
26 Crazy Rich Asians $26,510,140 $25,010,000 -5.7% 8/15/18

Now that I think about it, the three movies above it are also holiday-related in some fashion.

In its second weekend, “Mother’s Day” dropped 31% from the previous Friday, improved 5% Saturday to Saturday, and on Sunday did 150% better than the previous Sunday. Why such a jump? Because it was Mother’s Day, of course.

The first “Shrek” is interesting. It was released on a Wednesday so its first weekend numbers took a bit of a hit, while its second weekend numbers were boosted simply because it was Memorial Day weekend—when people do go to the movies. Plus the only other kids movie in theaters was “Spy Kids,” which had been out nine weeks. Plus word of mouth on “Shrek” was good.

“Puss in Boots”? It was simply misreleased—the week before Halloween, which is not a traditional time to go to a non-scary movie. It saw benefits the weekend after.

As for “Crazy Rich Asians”? It was also released on a Wednesday, so its first weekend numbers were a bit diluted, but that’s about it. Otherwise it’s just marketing and word of mouth. It got great reviews (94% on Rotten Tomatoes), a great CinemaScore (A), and it’s unique (first all-Asian cast since “The Joy Luck Club”). Oh, and shitty competition. The only super-saturated movie released this weekend is Melissa McCarthy’s latest bomb, the R-rated Muppet comedy “The Happytime Murders,” which garnered a 23% rating on RT and managed to scare up $10 mil opening weekend. 

I saw “Crazy Rich” yesterday. Review up soon.

In other box office news:

  • “The Meg” grossed another $13 mil to pass the $100 million domestic mark. Worldwide, it’s grossed north of $400. China loves it even more than we do.
  • “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” came in fourth with $8 mil. It’s at $194 domestic, $538 worldwide. (And that’s without China.)
  • The latest Peter Berg-Mark Wahlberg collaboration, “Mile 22,” dropped 50% in its second weekend, adding just $6 mil. It continues their downward BO trajectory: “Lone Survivor” $125; “Deepwater Horizon” $61; “Patriots Day” $32; “Mile 22”: $25 and counting.
  • “The Equalizer 2” shot down $2 mil more and is just $2 mil from crossing the $100 million mark
  • “Incredibles 2” added $1.6 and it’s $3 mil from $600 million domestic. It’s already the ninth-highest grossing film in U.S. history (unadjusted).

I’m really interested in what happens if/when “Crazy Rich Asians” gets a mainland Chinese release. Does the box office blow up or do the mainlanders give the overseas Chinese a pass? The Chinese government is currently undecided on the matter.

Posted at 06:07 AM on Sunday August 26, 2018 in category Movies - Box Office  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard