Box-Office Preview: Big-Budget ‘The Meg’ Heads For Lackluster $20M-Plus U.S. Debut

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Warner Bros.’ shark movie swims into theaters in North America and around the globe this weekend, including China. The Meg, which has been years in the making, cost at least $150 million to produce, yet is only tracking to open in the $20 million-$22 million range domestically. (Warner Bros. says the net budget was $130 million).

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The Meg is hoping for a far bigger return offshore. China’s Gravity put up a significant portion of the budget, and is handling distribution duties in China, where the movie opens Friday. Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao and Cliff Curtis co-star in the film, which follows a group of scientists trying to stop a mammoth shark from wreaking destruction.

 

In summer 1975, director Steven Spielberg made history with the classic shark film, Jaws. More recently, Sony’s The Shallows, starring Blake Lively, revived the genre upon grossing $119 million globally against a modest $25 million budget. That was followed by 47 Meters Down last summer with $44.3 million against a $5.5 million budget.

 

The Meg is a far bigger proposition, both on- and off-screen. The movie should bite its way to the top of the food chain unless Mission: Impossible — Fallout enjoys another stellar hold in its third weekend.

 

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett

Photographs are Courtesy:  Warner Bros.

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