After a wobbly start, Dwayne Johnson muscled his way to a No. 1 opening for Rampage — but just barely. Close on its heels was the word-of-mouth sensation A Quiet Place in its second week in theatres, and not too far behind that was the Blumhouse horror Truth or Dare in a competitive weekend at the US box office.
Warner Bros. said Sunday that Rampage earned an estimated 34.5 million dollars in its first weekend in North American theatres, and dominated internationally too with 114.1 million dollars from 61 territories.
Based on the classic arcade game, Rampage carried a sizable budget of at least 115 million dollars. Although Rampage pulled in mixed reviews (it’s at 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), audiences were more enthusiastic, giving it an A- CinemaScore.
“I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel on Friday. But when I look at our global number of 148.6 million dollars, there’s a lot to be proud of for Dwayne Johnson,” said Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein. “Talk about a real closer, he knows how to bring it home.”
That Friday, of course, was Friday the 13th and audiences had the choice between two wide-release nail-biters to spend their entertainment dollars on — the buzzy thriller A Quiet Place that dominated the charts last weekend, and the new horror from the shop behind Get Out and Split, Truth or Dare.
After its stunning debut, John Krasinski’s modestly-budgeted A Quiet Place fell only 35 percent in weekend two, adding 32.6 million dollars to its domestic total, which is now just shy of 100 million dollars for Paramount Pictures.
Truth or Dare also found a sizable audience that was mostly young (60 percent under the age of 25) and female (60 percent). The PG-13 rated picture stars Pretty Little Liars alum Lucy Hale.
With a budget of just 3.5 million dollars, the film took in a terrific 19.1 million dollars over the weekend — just the latest in a string of successes for the Blumhouse and Universal Pictures partnership.
“They take high-quality filmmaking at micro-budgets and just consistently over-deliver,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution. “Everyone at Universal is just thrilled to be in business with these guys.”
Orr said despite the competitive marketplace, the studio’s marketing found a lane with the younger female audience and played into the Friday the 13th release.
Sliding into fourth place was Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, with 11.2 million dollars in its third weekend, and in fifth was the R-rated comedy Blockers, with 10.3 million dollars.
Also, after a limited release, Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animated Isle of Dogs added 1,385 locations and took the No. 7 spot with 5 million dollars. Chloe Zhao’s well-reviewed indie The Rider also debuted this weekend in three theatres with 45,268 dollars.
While the success of a horror, especially a micro-budget one, isn’t a surprise for the industry, big-budget films like Rampage continue to face a complex marketplace. For box office analysts like comScore’s Paul Dergarabedian, Rampage’s performance fits into the post-Black Panther narrative for most would-be blockbusters that have followed the Marvel and Disney phenomenon.
“Rampage joins a long list of popcorn movies that have opened in the wake of Black Panther to rely heavily on their international box office revenues,” Dergarabedian said, citing A Wrinkle in Time, Tomb Raider, Pacific Rim: Uprising and Ready Player One as recent examples.
Disney and Marvel’s Black Panther added 5.3 million dollars in its ninth weekend in theatres, bringing its domestic total to 673.8 million dollars.
It’s another down weekend for the industry, too. The same weekend last year saw the massive 98.8 million dollars opening for The Fate of the Furious. ComScore reports that the year to date box office is down just over 2 percent. But the tide could be turning soon.
“We’re just in this lull waiting for Avengers: Infinity War that is going to blow the doors off of the box office in a little less than two weeks,” Dergarabedian said.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1.Rampage, 34.5 million dollars (114.1 million dollars international).
2.A Quiet Place, 32.6 million dollars (22.3 million dollars international).
3.Truth or Dare, 19.1 million dollars (2.6 million dollars international).
4.Ready Player One, 11.2 million dollars (33.8 million dollars international).
5.Blockers, 10.3 million dollars (3.9 million dollars international).
6.Black Panther, 5.3 million dollars (2.6 million dollars international).
7.Isle of Dogs, 5 million dollars (2.3 million dollars international).
8.I Can Only Imagine, 3.8 million dollars (40,000 dollars international).
9.Tyler Perry’s Acrimony, 3.7 million dollars.
10.Chappaquiddick, 3 million dollars.