A year after Warner Bros. rode female power all the way to the bank with the box office success of “Wonder Woman,” it is sending in Danny Ocean’s sister to steal away a big pay day at movie theaters with Village Roadshow’s “Ocean’s 8.”
This spinoff of Steven Soderbergh’s “Ocean’s” trilogy is expected to nab the No. 1 spot this weekend from the plummeting “Solo,” taking an opening weekend total of $35-40 million from 4,000 screens. WB is projecting slightly lower with $33-38 million and is reporting the budget at $70 million.
By comparison, “Ocean’s Eleven” was made on an $85 million budget and opened domestically to $38.1 million. While that figure is not an apples-to-apples comparison because “Eleven” was released in 2001, consider that the George Clooney-fronted heist classic went on to have incredible legs with a $183 million domestic total and $450 million made worldwide.
“Ocean’s 8” will try to show similar endurance at the box office, quietly drawing in female moviegoers, while “Incredibles 2” attracts family audiences and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” offers traditional summer spectacle in the coming weeks. Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock thinks the film can get there.
“If you look at the calendar, there isn’t a film specifically aimed for women until ‘Mamma Mia 2’ comes out in late July, and there’s a lot of potential for it to pick up word of mouth,” Bock said. “The June slate is a lot more diverse than what we saw last month, so ‘Ocean’s 8’ shouldn’t have to compete with the films it’s going to be sharing theaters with.”
“Ocean’s 8” follows Danny Ocean’s estranged sister, Debbie (Sandra Bullock) as she organizes an elaborate heist to steal a priceless $150 million necklace from the Met Gala. The film’s ensemble cast includes Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, James Corden and Dakota Fanning. Gary Ross directed from a script he co-wrote with Olivia Milch, with Soderbergh producing with Susan Ekins. The film currently has a 78 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Also coming out in wide release but with smaller screen counts are A24’s terrifying horror film “Hereditary” and Global Road’s stylish action thriller “Hotel Artemis.” Both films are projected to open to $6-8 million this weekend, with “Hereditary” getting released on 2,800 screens while “Hotel Artemis” will roll out on 2,340.
“Hereditary,” which was made for less than $10 million, is expected to top the $6 million opening of A24’s last summer horror release, “It Comes at Night,” though it will try to also top the $8.8 million made by “The Witch” in February 2016. Written and directed by Ari Aster, the horror tale stars Toni Collette as Annie Graham, a woman whose family discovers a horrifying secret about their heritage after the family matriarch passes away. The film has received critical acclaim since its premiere at Sundance, earning a 93 percent RT score.
“Hotel Artemis” stars Jodie Foster as The Nurse, a mysterious woman who runs a members-only hospital for criminals in a dystopian, near-future Los Angeles. Written and directed by Drew Pearce, the thriller also stars Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day, and Dave Bautista. It currently has a 68 percent RT score.
Finally, in limited release, Focus Features will put out “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Directed by Morgan Neville, who won an Oscar for his documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” the film looks at the life and career of Fred Rogers, the famed creator of the children’s PBS series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Releasing in Los Angeles and New York this weekend, the film has been wildly praised since its Sundance premiere, earning a 98 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.