Labor Day weekend has been a slow time of the year for cinemas in recent years with few blockbusters and more minor offerings taking center stage. However, there was at least some promise that a new number one could take over this weekend while “Crazy Rich Asians”, the champion the last two weeks, sought to continue to show some of the best staying power of any film in 2018. Was the romantic comedy able to hold on for a third week or did a newcomer take the top spot? Let’s take a look in my Box Office Breakdown for August 31 through September 2 of 2018.
While I thought maybe some of the newcomers would give it a run for its money it wasn’t even close. “Crazy Rich Asians” became the fifth movie of 2018 to hold the top spot for three weeks after “Jumanji 2”, “Black Panther”, “Avengers: Infinity War”, and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” hauling in another $22.2 million with only a 10% drop after having one of the lowest second week drops ever last weekend. The film has continued to receive great critical buzz and amazing word or mouth during its fantastic run that has seen it earn over $110.8 million domestically. Add in the nearly $20 million overseas total and the film is closing in on $150 million internationally all but guaranteeing that Warner Bros. will go forward with the sequel considering the film is based on the first entry in a trilogy of novels. Warner Bros. also held the second spot for the third week in a row as the shark thriller “The Meg” earned another $10.5 million on its own to hold on to the runner-up spot. “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” benefited from Labor Day audiences jumping up a spot to third and taking in another $7 million.
You have to go to the fourth spot to find the first new entry in the top ten. Although it had a limited release last week “Searching” expanded wide this past weekend bringing in $6 million in 1,207 theaters. Another film benefiting from cinema-goers seeking diversity, the film is touted as the first Hollywood thriller starring an Asian-American actor in the lead role in John Cho. The movie has received incredible reviews that have called it original and truly gripping. You can read my review of “Searching” here. Right behind “Searching” was “Operation Finale”, a film that tells the story of the capture of one of Hitler’s most deadly generals Adolf Eichmann. Opening in 1,818 theaters “Operation Finale” also took in over $6 million but not enough to defeat “Searching”. You can read my review of “Operation Finale” here.
The rest of the top ten consisted of “Christopher Robin”, “Alpha”, “The Happytime Murders”, “BlacKkKlansman” and “Mile 22”. “Incredibles 2” saw a massive surge thanks to the Labor Day weekend as numerous theaters brought the Pixar film back for the holiday which helped the film become the first animated movie to cross the $600 million mark at the box office domestically. The only other wide release movie of the weekend, “Kin”, had a terrible opening likely due to horrendous reviews from critics. I wasn’t much nicer in my review of the film. Clearly meant to start a franchise of some sort, “Kin” only earned $3 million in 2,141 theaters.
There’s really no telling what will happen next weekend. “Crazy Rich Asians” is in some interesting territory right now with minimal drops over the last two weekends making it very possible the film will repeat once again but its toughest competition is coming up with “The Nun”, a film that made my recent list of the Ten Anticipated Movie of Fall 2018, looks to have a big weekend that should finally top “Crazy Rich Asians”. Considering that the current champion earned $22 million this past weekend and still continues to fall, albeit in small numbers, “The Nun” has a good chance of finally pushing the romantic comedy to number two especially if it tops at least $20 million or more which looks to be the expectation. “Crazy Rich Asians” will also have to contend with the new vigilante film “Peppermint” and the religious film “God Bless the Broken Road” both of which I predict will have a tough time beating “Crazy Rich Asians” but I’ve been wrong before, especially lately. We’ll see if “The Nun” has enough buzz to top the chart next weekend.