Weekend Box Office: 'Ocean's 8' Steals the Show With $41.5M Opening

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

Elsewhere, indie horror pic 'Hereditary' survives a D+ CinemaScore with a strong $13 million debut, while Jodie Foster's 'Hotel Artemis' bombs with $3.2 million; overseas, 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' roars to $151 million.

Proving that fanboy-centric tentpoles aren't the only summer box-office jewels, the female-fronted Ocean's 8 opened over the weekend to a series-best $41.5 million from 4,145 theaters to easily place No. 1 in North America.

Overseas, the pic grossed $12.2 million from its first 16 markets, many of them in Latin America, for a global start of $53.7 million.

The movie's debut is a victory for the slew of gender-swapping spinoffs and remakes being plotted by Hollywood studios, and launches two years after the big-budget, female-led Ghostbusters reboot ultimately lost money despite a $46 million opening. 

From Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, Ocean's 8 stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter. The movie scored one of the top 10 openings of the year to date, matching the likes of the far more expensive Ready Player One.

"The target audience — females — are just so underserved," says Warners domestic distribution president Jeff Goldstein.

Women, as well as older moviegoers, fueled the film's opening: Females made up nearly 70 percent of the audience, while nearly 70 percent of ticket buyers were 25 and older. The audience was also diverse: Caucasians made up 56 percent, followed by Hispanics (17 percent), Asians/other (14 percent) and African-Americans (13 percent), according to Warners.

Ocean's 8, which revives the Ocean's franchise after an 11-year absence from the big screen, posted the biggest domestic start of the four films in the series, not accounting for inflation. Ocean's Thirteen debuted to $36.1 million in 2007, preceded by $39.2 million for Ocean's Twelve in 2004 and $38.1 million in 2001 for Ocean's Eleven. Adjusted for inflation, those figures rise to $48.1 million, $57.7 million and $61.7 million, respectively.

The $70 million film stars Bullock as Debbie Ocean, the 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 a diamond heist at the Met Gala.

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

Ocean's 8 easily stole the box-office crown from Solo: A Star Wars Story, which continued to struggle in its third weekend. Solo, which will post the first loss for Disney's Star Wars empire, placed No. 2 with $15.2 million for a domestic total of $176.1 million. Overseas, it limped to $11.3 million from 54 markets for a foreign tally of $136.1 million and a lowly global total of $312.2 million.

Deadpool 2 came in No. 3 with $13.7 million in its fourth weekend for a domestic cume of $278.7 million. The superhero sequel took in another $18.5 million internationally from 79 markets for a foreign total of $376.6 million and a global cume of $655.3 million.

Like Ocean's 8, the critically acclaimed supernatural horror pic Hereditary also prospered, opening to $13 million from 2,964 theaters to deliver specialty distributor A24 its biggest opening to date. The previous record-holder was The Witch ($8.8 million).

So far, Hereditary doesn't appear to be suffering from its D+ CinemaScore. Generally speaking, a failing grade can hurt word of mouth over the long run. Last year, Darren Aronofsky's horror film mother! quickly faded from theaters after receiving an F CinemaScore.

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

The R-rated horror pic came in No. 4, followed by Avengers: Infinity War, which is crossing the $2 billion mark at the worldwide box office in another major victory for Disney and Marvel Studios. Infinity War rounded out the top five domestically with $6.8 million for a North American cume of $654.7 million. Overseas, it amassed another $10.9 million over the weekend — including $6.2 million in China — for a foreign tally of $1.343 billion and a global haul of $1.998 billion. In China, the film has earned a mighty $368.4 million to rank as the No. 3 Western title of all time.

The weekend's third new offering, Global Road's Hotel Artemis, bombed in its North American debut, placing No. 8 with $3.2 million from 2,407 theaters — despite a cast that includes Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day and Dave Bautista. Iron Man 3 scribe Drew Pearce helmed the project in his feature directorial debut.

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

At the specialty box office, Focus Features' Fred Rogers documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? posted a stellar location average of $16,168 upon opening to $470,000 from 29 theaters. The film, which boasts a 99 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, chronicles the life of the late TV icon, the mastermind behind Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. More than half of ticket buyers were under the age of 45, while 53 percent of the audience was male.

"It's aspirational at a time when poeple need it, and the strong word-of-mouth is evident of that," Focus distribution president Lisa Bunnell says. "There's not a dry eye in the theater after seeing the amount of kindness Mister Rogers brought to the world." 

There was big action overseas as Universal and Amblin's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom bowed to $151.1 million from its first 48 markets. (That doesn't include China, where it rolls out next weekend.) Put another way, the dinos have already passed up Solo.

The tentpole, coming in No. 1 everywhere, launched offshore two weeks ahead of its June 22 domestic launch to avoid a showdown with the World Cup. South Korea led with $27.2 million, Universal's biggest debut ever there. The U.K. followed with $19.9 million.

“Audiences gravitate to the nostalgia, storytelling and spectacle, and from this outstanding foundation, we are set for a lengthy international playout," says Duncan Clark, president of international distribution for Universal.