Weekend Movies: “Crazy Rich Asians” won’t get crazy rich, “Mile 22” may mark Wahlberg, “Alpha” won’t be top dog

crazyThe Wednesday opening of “Crazy Rich Asians” came in at $5 million, not the $6 million originally projected (Deadline.com has walked its numbers back). 

Thursday night’s “Mile 22” money wasn’t all that.

And “Alpha” was always going to be a hard sell, a somewhat tough-minded prehistoric boy and his wolf/dog movie launched after the kids have gone to school.

Box Office Mojo is projecting that “Alpha,” undersold and arriving in that August hole where movies without hype wither and die, will earn only $6 million in the U.S. Saturday/Sunday will tell, but lacking matinee Monday, Friday’s not going to help it.

Box Office Guru and everybody else figure that “Crazy Rich Asians” will own the weekend. I do wonder if the advertising has lowered its ceiling — perhaps emphasizing “Asian” too much, “Rich” as well. The earlier $30 million+ suggestions (I was sure the hype would pull in the curious, putting $35 million Wed.-Sun within reach) are gone with the wind. Maybe $27 million sayeth the Guru, $25 is the BO Mojo guess. Maybe $27 Deadline.com concurs.

“Mile 22” is a Mark Walhberg/Peter Berg thriller dumped in the Black Hole of August, pounded by critics and yet its Asian action-nonsensical Hollywood plot mashup could make $16, Box Office Mojo says, $18 million according to the Guru. Wahlberg has had good luck with off-season fare, owning a few Januaries in recent years with smarter action pics than this (“Contraband” for instance). He’s intensely unlikable in “Mile 22,” and his limp “Daddy” comedies and godawful “Transformers” paydays have devalued his brand. This won’t help.

“The Meg” did not fall off a cliff during the week, so the weekend could register another $20 million at the box office. It could conceivably win the Fri-Sunday frame with that, if “Asians” doesn’t hit the sweet spot and land closer to $30. “Meg” will have cleared $85 by midnight Sunday. $100 million is in reach, mark this $130 million Chinese-financed production in black ink. It’s done well all around the Pacific Rim.

“Mission: Impossible–Fallout” is closing in on $175, but won’t stick around to reach $200.

“Equalizer 2” won’t be in the top ten, and is losing so many screens it will fall short of $100 (low 90s, all in).

Disney may yet get to $65 million with “Christopher Robin,” though nobody’s that happy about it.

And “BlackKklansman” will enjoy a decent second weekend. Figure Jordan Peele’s producing help in and Spike Lee’s picture could hit $25 million — eventually.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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