This weekend Warner Bros./Village Roadshow dusted off the “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise – which worked so well for them in the early 2000s with the help of stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon – and set a new high for the movies thanks to an all-female cast.
Starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, and Rihanna, “Ocean’s 8” took in an estimated $41.5 million to win the weekend domestic box office.
That’s a record high for the franchise, passing 2004’s $39.1 million opening. That movie went on to earn $362.7 million worldwide. If the studio can take in that kind of coin for “Ocean’s 8” it will be very pleased. A lot has changed since 2004, specifically the kinds of movies studios will get behind.
In the current superhero binge by the studios, the majors are ignoring most genres, making the “Ocean’s 8” opening a refreshing sight.
The last major opening by an all-female reboot of a franchise was Sony’s “Ghostbusters” in 2016. Completely banished by the core fans of the franchise who didn’t see a reason for the beloved movies from the 1980s starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis to be given the all-female cast relaunch, the movie only took in $229.1 million worldwide for its lifetime box office. It was a disappointing return for a movie that had a production budget of $144 million.
So what did “Ocean’s 8” do right? Well, the movie’s extremely modest $70 million budget is one thing. The pressure to be a major hit wasn’t on its shoulders like it was for “Ghostbusters.” And it wasn’t trying to relaunch a franchise that has such a traditionalist fan base.
It will be interesting to see how “Ocean’s” performs going forward with titles like “Incredibles 2” and “Jurassic Wold: Fallen Kingdom” coming to theaters in the coming weeks.