Weekend Forecast: ‘The Meg’ Sets Sights on ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’; ‘Slender Man’ & ‘BlacKkKlansman’ Vie for Top 5

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Following an incredible hold last week, Mission: Impossible – Fallout remains the film to beat at the North American box office as Tom Cruise’s latest blockbuster heads into its third frame. The biggest challenger on the board appears to be The Meg, spearheaded by fellow action veteran Jason Statham.

Tracking for The Meg has been nothing less than volatile in recent weeks. After early signs of a debut in the low-to-mid teen million range, buzz has picked up recently and driven forecasts higher than initially expected. Industry tracking even suggests the film could debut anywhere between $20-30 million this weekend. Not all models agree, though, as social media metrics remain slightly more conservative with projections ranging between $15-25 million.

It wouldn’t be a complete shock to see the film sneak past Fallout for the first place spot this weekend, especially with Warner’s aggressive 3,900+ location estimate, but Meg‘s greater prospects as a big-budget film likely rest in overseas potential anyway.

With little in the way of new competition, Christopher Robin could reasonably expect to land in the top three again, although trends for Focus Features’ BlacKkKlansman are popping quickly as its semi-wide release in an estimated 1,500 locations draws near. Filmmaker Spike Lee’s latest is hoping to follow in the footsteps of this summer’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor?Sorry to Bother You, and Eighth Grade as successful indie performers, and the filmmaker’s considerable fan base could go a long way to generating a sleeper hit-level performance this weekend. Based on excellent social media performance that has approached Uncle Drew levels, we’re expecting what would be an impressive debut in the top five.

Unfortunately, Slender Man has trended in the opposite direction of the aforementioned openers. Social media metrics are well off the pace of films like Don’t Breathe and Lights Out, which similarly opened in late summer two years ago. Competition from The Meg is likely a strong factor in that change of pace for the usually reliable horror genre. Slender‘s teen-friendly PG-13 rating could still help it surprise this weekend, but we’re moving toward more conservative expectations at this stage.

Last but not least, Dog Days gets an early start to the weekend with its Wednesday release. Pre-release models have generally lined up with those of Show Dogs. Boxoffice forecasts a five-day opening close to $6 million.

Top 10 v. Last Year

Boxoffice estimates this weekend’s top ten films will earn approximately $108 million. That would represent a 14 percent increase from the same weekend last year when Annabelle: CreationThe Nut Job 2, and The Glass Castle debuted as part of an overall $95.3 million top ten frame.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, August 12 % Change from Last Wknd
Mission: Impossible – Fallout Paramount $22,500,000 $165,600,000 -36%
The Meg Warner Bros. $22,000,000 $22,000,000 NEW
Disney’s Christopher Robin Disney $14,300,000 $51,500,000 -42%
BlacKkKlansman Focus Features $12,200,000 $12,200,000 NEW
Slender Man Sony / Screen Gems $10,800,000 $10,800,000 NEW

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