×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Why ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’s’ Box Office Opening Is Still a Win

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” might not have nabbed the box office crown, but its domestic debut is still something to sing about.

Universal’s jukebox musical launched with a solid $76.4 million globally, including $34 million in North America and $43.4 million overseas. If its predecessors’ lengthy theatrical run is any indication, the future of the “Mamma Mia!” sequel looks promising.

“Mamma Mia!” — the 2008 adaptation of the hit stage musical — bowed slightly behind its follow-up with $27 million. That film, which opened a decade to the month before the follow-up, had long legs at the box office, playing throughout the summer before closing its run in November. Along the way, it generated a massive $465 million internationally and $609 million worldwide. Impressive for most films, but especially given its $52 million production budget.

It’s been a summer flooded with Spandexed heroes and gun-toting vigilantes. Sure, it’s a break from watching the bleak and dreary news cycle, one in which the Mueller investigation and whispers of kompromat dominate the cable chyrons, but “Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado,” “The Equalizer 2,” and “Avengers: Infinity War” aren’t exactly feel-good flicks. That’s where “Mamma Mia! 2” steps in. In true popcorn season form, it’s part of a pseudo-franchise, but unlike its fellow box office counterparts, the “Mamma Mia!” sequel is a bit bouncier.

“There was big pent up demand for a movie like this,” said Eric Handler, an analyst with MKM Partners.

Aside from “Ocean’s 8” and “Book Club,” few offerings in the past few months have targeted females. Even less have been family-friendly, and of those, almost all were animated adventures. The audience for “Mamma Mia!” was majority female and skewed younger than the original. In his review for Variety, Owen Gleiberman called the sequel “another kitsch patchwork.” But given both films in the series have earned an A- CinemaScore, that might be exactly what audiences are looking for.

“You can’t make everything for 13-year old-boys. Summer, for the most part, is that,” Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations, said. “I don’t think that’s entirely true of the audiences tastes anymore.”

“Mamma Mia!” is the perfect antidote to traditional summer blockbusters — it’s low-stakes, it’s lighthearted, and it’s pure fun. Moviegoers are hungry for escapism that’s a little lighter. The perfect recipe could be a slice of Lily James’ soulful rendition of “Mamma Mia,” a hint of Greece’s crystal blue waters, and a dollop of Cher.

“In the last year and a half, there has been so many negative things,” Bock said. “[Audiences] wanted to leave the theater with something to feel good about.”

More Film

  • Actress Shirley MacLaine poses at the

    Shirley MacLaine Selected for AARP Career Achievement Award

    Shirley MacLaine has been selected as the recipient of the AARP’s 2018 Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award. MacLaine will be honored at the 18th annual Movies for Grownups Awards ceremony on Feb. 4 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. MacLaine has credits on more than 50 feature films, won a best [...]

  • 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette' Trailer: Cate

    Cate Blanchett Disappears in 'Where’d You Go, Bernadette' First Trailer

    Cate Blanchett goes missing in the first trailer for Richard Linklater’s latest film, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.” Based on Maria Semple’s 2012 novel, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” follows agoraphobic architect Bernadette Fox (Blanchett), who disappears just before a family trip to Antarctica. “Something unexpected has come up,” Blanchett’s character says on the phone. “It has much [...]

  • Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in

    'The Favourite' Leads London Critics' Circle Nominations

    Yorgos Lanthimos’ dark historical comedy “The Favourite” lived up to its title with the London Film Critics’ Circle on Tuesday, nabbing 10 awards nominations from the group – twice as many as its nearest rivals. Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here,” Rupert Everett’s “The Happy Prince” and Pawel Pawlikowski’s European Film [...]

  • Picture Tree Intl. Rolls Out Pre-Sales

    Berlin: Picture Tree Intl. Rolls Out Pre-Sales on B.O. Hit ‘100 Things’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID — In the long run-up to February’s Berlin Festival, Picture Tree Intl. has rolled out multiple pre-sales on “100 Things,” which Warner Bros. Pictures bowed in Germany on Dec. 6 to a robust first eight-day €2.7 million ($3.07 million). “100 Things” will receive a market screening at the Berlinale’s European Film Market. The third [...]

  • Mid 90s

    Jonah Hill's 'mid90s,' Pauline Kael Documentary to Screen in Berlin's Panorama Section

    Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, “mid90s,” about a 13-year-old skateboarder’s coming of age, and a documentary on influential film critic Pauline Kael are among the works that will screen in the Panorama section of the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. Films starring Tilda Swinton and Jamie Bell and titles from countries including Israel, Brazil and Japan were [...]

  • 'Your Name' Director Makoto Shinkai Readies

    ‘Your Name' Director Makoto Shinkai Readies 'Weathering'

    Three years after the animation “Your Name” began its long triumphant reign over the Japanese and international box office, its director Makoto Shinkai has announced his next animated feature. Titled “Weathering With You,” the film will arrive in theaters in Japan on July 19 of next year, with Toho distributing. Set in a world where [...]

  • Berlin: The Match Factory Boards New

    Berlin: The Match Factory Boards Competition Titles From Fatih Akin, Emin Alper (EXCLUSIVE)

    German indie powerhouse The Match Factory will handle world sales on two Berlin Film Festival competition titles: German director Fatih Akin’s serial-killer chiller “The Golden Glove” and Turkish director Emin Alper’s family drama “A Tale of Three Sisters.”  Akin, a Hamburg native whose “Head-On” won the Golden Bear in 2004, is returning to the Berlinale [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content