Long Range Tracking: ‘The Happytime Murders’ & ‘Slender Man’; ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp,’ ‘Equalizer 2,’ & ‘Skyscraper’ Updates

This week’s report takes a first look at several releases scheduled for August 24, along with updates on key July titles.

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Opening Weekend Range: $70 – 90 million (up from $65-85M)

Social media and general tracking footprints continue to pace slightly behind Doctor Strange and Thor: The Dark World, but remain consistent in terms of the film’s overall positive outlook now that early critics’ reviews suggest another crowd-pleaser.

Skyscraper
Opening Weekend Range: $30 – 50 million (down from $40-60M)

A myriad of factors could still develop to help this reach the optimistic end of expectations, but the slew of male-targeted films in mid-to-late July skews models across the board. Dwayne Johnson’s latest effects-driven actioner is thus far trending more closely to Rampage than San Andreas. Given the lack of any built-in fan base (other than Johnson’s own audience), we’re not ruling a late pop in buzz closer to release.

Equalizer 2
Opening Weekend Range: $18 – 28 million (up from $15-25M)

Tracking has improved in recent weeks, but much like Skyscraper, a major holiday and a handful of films aiming for a similar audience next month could make tracking more volatile on this one. Denzel Washington’s reliable star power will be a key factor.

A.X.L.
Opening Weekend Range: $1.5 – 5 million

Early trends for this tween-driven film are comparable to past titles like Max Steel and Middle School.

The Happytime Murders
Opening Weekend Range: $14 – 24 million (first tracking)

Strong trailer reactions represent the bulk of optimism behind this R-rated Muppet comedy. Melissa McCarthy gives the film some star power to rely on, although her usual fan base isn’t likely to be in this film’s wheelhouse. Fans of Sausage Party and Team America: World Police will be the target here, and pre-release reviews will be important.

Slender Man
Opening Weekend Range: $15 – 25 million (first tracking)

The horror genre has a knack for consistent success in recent years, and early trends suggest this may be the next late summer sleeper for the genre. A PG-13 rating could go a long way toward increasing expectations. For now, a run similar to Lights Out or Don’t Breathe is on the table.

8-Week Tracking

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Opening % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total % Chg from Last Week Estimated Location Count Distributor
7/4/2018 The First Purge $22,000,000 5% $60,000,000 3% 3,000 Universal
7/6/2018 Ant-Man and the Wasp $77,000,000 $205,000,000 4,100 Disney / Marvel
7/13/2018 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation $45,000,000 $155,000,000 3,700 Sony / Columbia
7/13/2018 Skyscraper $36,500,000 -9% $110,000,000 -6% 3,600 Universal
7/20/2018 The Equalizer 2 $23,000,000 15% $67,000,000 15% Sony / Columbia
7/20/2018 Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! $33,000,000 $105,000,000 Universal
7/20/2018 Unfriended: Dark Web $7,500,000 $15,000,000 OTL Releasing / BH Tilt
7/27/2018 Mission: Impossible – Fallout $65,000,000 $200,000,000 Paramount
7/27/2018 Teen Titans Go! to the Movies $16,000,000 $50,000,000 Warner Bros.
8/3/2018 Disney’s Christopher Robin $30,000,000 $110,000,000 Disney
8/3/2018 The Darkest Minds $12,000,000 $38,000,000 Fox
8/3/2018 Searching n/a n/a Sony / Screen Gems
8/3/2018 The Spy Who Dumped Me $17,000,000 $63,000,000 Lionsgate
8/10/2018 Dog Days n/a n/a LD Entertainment
8/10/2018 The Meg $14,000,000 $37,000,000 Warner Bros.
8/15/2018 Crazy Rich Asians $13,000,000 $42,000,000 Warner Bros.
8/17/2018 Alpha $8,500,000 $24,000,000 Sony / Studio 8
8/17/2018 Mile 22 $15,000,000 $44,000,000 STX
8/17/2018 Three Seconds n/a n/a Aviron
8/24/2018 A.X.L. $3,000,000 NEW $7,500,000 NEW Global Road
8/24/2018 The Happytime Murders $18,000,000 NEW $47,000,000 NEW STX
8/24/2018 Slender Man $19,000,000 NEW $51,000,000 NEW Sony / Screen Gems
8/24/2018 Stuck n/a NEW n/a NEW Freestyle Releasing
Shawn Robbins

8 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Edward Douglas June 29, 2018

    I thought there was an “Ant-Man update” but your prediction is still the same 🙂

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Steve June 29, 2018

    The Meg could end up being a late summer sleeper. If it gets good word of mouth and people are not completely worn out from the long summer movie season .I think it could do around 22 million in it’s opening weekend.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Stevenson July 03, 2018

      The Meg cost $150 mil to make. I don’t think $22 mil opening would warrant a “sleeper” hit.

      Reply
  3. Avatar
    Jacen June 29, 2018

    Normally I try to add only positive or at least neutral/civil comments, but this time . . . Puh-LEEZE do not use the business-jargon meaning of wheelhouse. It’s an embarrassing, outdated term that should be left to boats and related discussions, not business and certainly not box office discussions. There was a period of two years during which the writer over at Mojo just HAD to inject into every B.O. result discussion. It was “Hey, look at me, I just learned this new cliche and gosh darn it, I’m gonna run it into the ground like all other business types to show that I’m hip and with it.”
    Ugh.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Fan of Jacen June 30, 2018

      They should let you take over the site so that you could right the course, plot the heading, and steer it toward the future…that would be right in your wheelhouse.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      TTVOMJ July 02, 2018

      brandan grey?

      Reply
  4. Avatar
    Joe Velazquez June 30, 2018

    Where is A STAR IS BORN? Brad cooper and Lady Gaga

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    The Infamous ElJay July 02, 2018

    I think that the estimates for Ant-Man and the Wasp are off by about 10-15 million on the low side. My analysis indicates 90-100m opening.

    As demonstrated by the first Ant-Man 65-70 million is the baseline for the Marvel Fanbase. Figuring in the curiosity of the general film going public as to tie in between AM&W and Infinity War there will be significant spill over from newly converted fans of the franchise augmenting the geek factor.

    Add to that new fans of Black Panther who had previously been unmotivated by the Marvel Brand are now energized to be part of the cultural zeitgeist.

    Reply

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