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Ocean's 8 opens to series best $41.5 million in the US

Ocean's 8

Story by Jack Foley

FEMALE-fronted heist thriller Ocean’s 8 opened to a series-best $41.5 million in the US, easily claiming the top spot at the box office.

The gender-swap drama, featuring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway among its all-female ensemble, is one of a number of spin-offs and remakes being planned by Hollywood studios in the wake of the new feminist movement sweeping the film industry.

It is also among the top 10 openings of the year to date, matching the likes of Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One.

It is perhaps no surprise that women, as well as older moviegoers, led the film’s opening, with the female contingent making up nearly 70% of the audience.

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

Ocean’s 8, which seeks to put a fresh spin on the George Clooney fronted male franchise, comes 11 years after Ocean’s Thirteen, but it still managed to post the biggest US start of the four films in the series, not accounting for inflation.

By way of comparison, 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. When adjusted for inflation, those figures rise to $48.1 million, $57.7 million and $61.7 million, respectively (according to figures presented by The Hollywood Reporter).

The $70 million film stars Bullock as Debbie Ocean, the sister of Clooney’s Danny Ocean, as she gets released from prison and assembles a female-led gang of criminal specialists who plot a diamond heist at the Met Gala.

The success of Ocean’s 8 is also notable for the fact that it also did much, much better than the female-fronted reboot of Ghostbusters, which actually attracted better reviews, only to be haunted by internet trolls.

Elsewhere at the US box office, Disney’s Solo: A Star Wars Story continued to struggle. The film slipped from first to second with $15.2 million for a US total of $176.1 million.

Overseas, it limped to $11.3 million for a foreign tally of $136.1 million and a lowly global total of $312.2 million. It means Solo will post Disney’s first loss since the studio took over the Star Wars franchise.

Deadpool 2 came in third with $13.7 million in its fourth weekend for a US haul of $278.7 million.

While critically adored supernatural horror flick Hereditary, which has attracted some of the best reviews of the year, opened in fourth with a whopping $13 million to deliver specialty distributor A24 its biggest opening to date. The previous record-holder was The Witch with $8.8 million.

The film, which became a Sundance Film Festival sensation, stars Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd and Gabriel Byrne in the tale of a family who is haunted following the death of the clan’s matriarch. It has been described by some critics as this generation’s The Exorcist.

Rounding out the US top five, meanwhile, was Disney and Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, which is in the process of surpassing the $2 billion mark at the worldwide box office.

Infinity War took $6.8 million in the US for a total of $654.7 million. While overseas, it amassed another $10.9 million – including $6.2 million in China – for a foreign tally of $1.343 billion and global haul of $1.998 billion.

The weekend’s other notable new offering was the latest project from writer-director Drew Pearce (the scribe behind Iron Man 3). But Hotel Artemis bombed in its debut, coming in eighth with $3.2 million despite a cast that boasts Jodie Foster (in a surprise return to acting), Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella and man-of-the-moment Jeff Goldblum.

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