Ocean’s 8, the female-fronted overhaul of the starry heist franchise, opened with an estimated $41.5 million at the box office, taking the weekend’s top spot from the fast-falling Solo: A Star Wars Story
At a lower price point and in less fanboy-guarded franchise, Ocean’s 8 — despite ho-hum reviews — found nothing like the stormy reception than the female-led Ghostbusters reboot did on the same weekend two years ago.
Made for approximately $70 million, Ocean’s 8 and its cast featuring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway, set an opening-weekend best for the franchise, not accounting for inflation. The three previous Ocean’s films — starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon, and based on the 1960 original Ocean’s 11, with Frank Sinatra — all debuted with between $36-39 million in the last decade.
Ocean’s 8, also starring Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter, drew a largely female audience — 69 percent — for a result that slightly surpassed expectations.
“We thought we’d come in in the $35-40 (million) range,” said Warner Bros. distribution chief Jeff Goldstein. “Number one, it’s fun. Number two, it hits an underserved audience. Unfortunately, there is just a lack of stories that are aimed right at women.”
Yet the weekend’s three new wide releases were all female fronted.
“There’s a lot of women-powered revenue at the box office in the heat of the summer season,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. “Films featuring female leads are killing it at the box office, but that’s been going on for quite a while.”