Meg, The: In Good Company with Other Shark Pictures

Warner’s The Meg exceeded expectations in its American debut over the weekend, earning $44.5 million from 4,118 theaters, the biggest opening of all time for a live-action shark picture (not adjusted for inflation).

Heading into the weekend, tracking showed The Meg opening to around $20 million.

It demonstrates that there is room for shark movie every summer , following the success of 47 Meters Down (2017) and The Shallows (2016).

The Meg marks Warner’s biggest opening of the year to date, even better than Spielberg’s Ready Player One ($41.8 million) and Ocean’s 8 ($41.6 million).

China

The big-budget movie is also showing strength overseas. China’s Gravity Pictures, which put up a significant portion of the budget, is handling distribution duties in the Middle Kingdom, where The Meg debuted to $50.3 million for a total foreign launch of $96.8 million and a global tally of $141.3 million. Imax turned in $13.6 million, with more than half coming from China ($7 million).

The pic’s showing in North America was particularly good news for Warner and Gravity, which paid at least $150 million to produce the long-in-the-making film (the studio says the net budget was $130 million), which was directed by Jon Turteltaub. The Meg still isn’t out of danger in terms of making its production and marketing costs back.

Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao and Cliff Curtis star in the movie, which follows a group of scientists trying to stop a mammoth shark from causing destruction.

The film, which succeeded despite negative reviews and receiving B+ CinemaScore, skewed slightly male (52 percent), while nearly 70 percent of the audience was over 25.

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