Weekend Box Office: 'Ocean's 8' Pulling Off $40M-Plus Heist

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
'Ocean's 8'

Elsewhere, the critically acclaimed horror pic 'Hereditary' is coming in ahead of expectations with a projected $11 million-$13 million debut but could get dinged by a D+ CinemaScore.

The gender-bending Ocean's 8 is striking a chord with female moviegoers, earning $15.8 million on Friday from 4,145 theaters for a domestic launch in the $41 million range. That's the best showing of the series, not adjusted for inflation.

The $70 million Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow release will easily wrest the box-office crown from holdover Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Ocean's 8 is among a slew of gender-swapping spinoffs and remakes being plotted by Hollywood studios. Directed by Gary Ross, the $70 million film stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter. Two summers ago, the female-led Ghostbusters reboot opened to $46 million domestically, but was ultimatley a box-office loser because of its hefty $140 million-plus production budget.

Ocean's 8 sees Bullock playing Debbie Ocean, the estranged sister of Danny Ocean, who was portrayed by George Clooney in the trio of Ocean's movies directed by Steven Soderbergh. The story follows the familiar Ocean's formula, with Debbie getting released from prison and assembling a female-led gang of criminal specialists who plot to rob the Met Gala in New York.

It opens 11 years after Ocean's Thirteen hit the big screen, debuting to $36.1 million domestically. By comparison, Ocean's Twelve opened to $39.2 million in December 2004, while Ocean's Eleven launched to $38.1 million in December 2001. Adjusted for inflation, those figures rise to $48.1 million, $57.7 million and $61.7 million, respectively.

The reboot earned a B+ CinemaScore from audiences; the previous three films likewise earned some variation of a B grade.

Coming in No. 2, Solo continues to falter in its third frame with a projected $14.5 million weekend, putting its domestic total at a lowly $176 million through Sunday. In its fourth weekend, Deadpool 2 isn't too far behind the Star Wars installment. The superhero sequel is looking to earn nearly $13 million for a North American cume of nearly $278 million through Sunday.

A24's critically acclaimed supernatural horror pic Hereditary is headed for a fourth-place finish with a better-than-expected $11 million-$13 million from 2,964 theaters after grossing $5.2 million on Friday. The film will mark the highest debut in the history of specialty distributor A24, passing up The Witch ($8.8 million).

One hitch: Hereditary earned a D+ CinemaScore, which could hurt word-of-mouth over the long run. (Last year, Darren Aronofsky's horror film mother! earned an F CinemaScore.)

Hereditary, which premiered in the midnight section of the Sundance in January, marks the feature directorial debut of Ari Aster and stars Toni Collette opposite Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd and Gabriel Byrne. The story follows a family who is haunted following the death of the clan's matriarch.

The third new offering of the weekend, Global Road's Hotel Artemis, is doing dismal business. The action-thriller grossed an estimated $1.1 million on Friday for a projected $3 million opening from 2,407 theaters, behind expectations.

The film, directed by Iron Man 3 scribe Drew Pearce in his feature helming debut, stars Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day and Dave Bautista.

Set in a near-future Los Angeles, the story follows a nurse (Foster) who runs a secret, members-only emergency medical ward for would-be crooks.

There's big action overseas this weekend as Universal and Amblin's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom launches in its first 48 markets ahead of its June 22 North American opening. The tentpole is on course for a foreign start of $146.9 million or more after collecting nearly $40 million on Wednesday and Thursday, including a record-shattering opening day of $9.7 million in South Korea.

At the specialty box office, hopes are high for Won't You Be My Neighor?, the critically acclaimed doc about Fred Rogers, the mastermind behind Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Focus Features opens the film in nearly 30 theaters.

June 8, 2 p.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.
June 9, 7:30 a.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.
June 9, 9:30 a.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.