After weathering a setback with Dwayne Johnson’s Skyscraper last weekend, Universal/Legendary is expected to take the upper hand at the weekend box office with Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which is poised to make between $30 million-$36 million at 3,200 locations.
The first film 10 years ago worked, capturing all females from 5-80 and putting up a 5.2 multiple off its $27.8M opening for a $144.1 haul, and the anticipation is that the sequel will do the same. The 2008 title was based off the hit Broadway musical jukebox, and the film sequel is completely original though still based off songs by ABBA and written and directed by Ol Parker. Pic is launching in day-and-date with the U.S. and Canada in 41 territories including the UK & Ireland, Australia, Germany, Norway, Spain and Sweden, with additional markets rolling out through September. Current Rotten Tomatoes for the sequel is 87% fresh.
Oscar winner Meryl Streep returns as Donna, in addition to Julie Walters as Rosie and Christine Baranski as Tanya. Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper reunite as Sophie and Sky, while Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård and Oscar winner Colin Firth reprise their roles as Sophie’s three possible dads: Sam, Bill and Harry. Oscar winner Cher joins the cast as the estranged mother to Donna and grandmother to Sophie who is still the life of the party, while Lily James plays the young Donna.
Sony, after owning last weekend’s crown with Hotel Transylvania 3, is looking to grab older men with Equalizer 2, Denzel Washington’s first sequel ever, which is expected to make around $26M, possibly a bit more. Much like HT3, Sony has a confidence here that the fall 2014 hit, which opened to $34.1M and legged out to $101.5M, can play the summer and reap off midweek business. Pic’s Rotten Tomatoes is 41% rotten. The sequel, directed by Antoine Fuqua, is in a tight spot on the calendar, arriving after the lackluster Skyscraper, which should drop 50% this weekend between $12M-$13M, and ahead of Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout, which is poised to reap a $60M-plus opening. Previews start early on Thursday at 4 PM.
HT3 will be close behind Mamma Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 with a second weekend between $24M-$26M. Within five days, HT3 at $58.8M has exceeded the first-week $57.5M gross of its predecessor Hotel Transylvania 2.
Among limited notable openings this weekend is Lionsgate’s Sundance pickup Blindspotting,which is debuting in 14 theaters in five markets (New York, Los Angeles, DC, Chicago and San Francisco) as well as the pic’s locale Oakland, CA. Pic follows lifelong friends Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal who co-wrote and star in a story about the intersection of race and class, against the backdrop of a rapidly gentrifying Oakland. Current RT is 91% fresh and the movie will go wide next weekend.