The U.S. box office is closing out the season on a high note.
Thanks largely to the success of August hits “Crazy Rich Asians” and shark thriller “The Meg,” the weekend’s top ten films could pull in $102 million this Labor Day weekend, according to analyst Eric Handler of MKM Partners. That’s a whopping 65% increase from last year’s $62 million.
“Crazy Rich Asians” should continue its winning streak as the weekend’s top film, with an estimated four-day haul of $25 million, Handler said, which would push the film to a cumulative total of over $100 million. The movie raked in $34 million during its five-day opening, which included a debut weekend total of $25.2 million, and continued its strong performance into its second weekend, bringing in $25 million. It had a production budget of about $30 million and was made by Warner Bros., a unit of AT&T T, -0.69%
Read: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ actors hope film’s success will open more doors for Asian Americans
Read more: Strong Asian-American turnout helped propel ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ to No. 1
“The Meg”, another Warner Bros. production, is projected to gross $13 million over the long weekend and new release “Operation Finale,” a drama about the capture of one of the architects of the Holocaust, should bring in $9.5 million. “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” is expected to make another $9 million, and Melissa McCarthy’ s R-rated comedy “The Happytime Murders,” widely panned by critics, should bring in $8.5 million.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, revenue for the summer season is estimated to come in at around $4.39 billion, a 14% jump over last year, making it the biggest summer-over-summer increase in over a decade. That could make summer 2018 the fifth-best on record.
But thanks to rising ticket prices, higher grosses don’t necessarily mean more people are going to the movies. The Hollywood Reporter estimated 468 million to 473 million people went to the movies over the summer, an improvement over the 430 million last summer, but that’s still the second-worst showing since 1992.
Blockbusters like Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” which pulled in $679 million, and Pixar’s “Incredibles 2,” which took in $597 million, helped bolster the box office this season. Other heavy hitters included Universal’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” with $413 million; Fox’s “Deadpool 2“ with $318.4 million; Lucasfilm’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” with $213.6 million; and Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp” with $212 million. ”Mission: Impossible — Fallout,” Paramount’s big offering of the summer, has brought in $196.6 million so far.