Film critics, you're going to need a bigger boat.
The Meg, a Warner Bros thriller featuring a 20-metre shark, smashed forecasts to open as the No 1 film in North American theatres this weekend, toppling Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible and outdrawing a new Spike Lee picture.
Starring Jason Statham as a diving expert on a rescue mission, The Meg brought in US$44.5 million ($67.6m) in the United States and Canada, researcher ComScore estimated, beating Mission: Impossible - Fallout at US$20m. Sony horror film Slender Man opened with US$11.3m, while Lee's BlacKkKlansman, a comedy from Comcast's Focus Features, generated US$10.8m.
As the northern summer winds down, competition at the box office is letting up. Warner Bros, now part of AT&T, has the last high-profile release of the season with Crazy Rich Asians next weekend. After the US Labor Day weekend, studios begin releasing artier films, the smaller-budget drama they hope will be awards contenders.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Fallout and The Meg were neck-and-neck in analysts' estimates, with Box Office Mojo predicting US$23m for both pictures - meaning the shark film almost doubled the forecast.
The Meg is from Warner Bros' Flagship unit - a Chinese joint venture - and qualifies as a Chinese co-production. That means the studio keeps more than the usual 25 per cent share of ticket sales in that country. The Meg split critics, with 50 percent recommending it, according to the Rotten Tomatoes website.