It’s not every day that a movie can exceed expectations — let alone meet them.
Not every movie is going to break records at the box office, but this is definitely the case for some.
Whether it’s a strong plot, convincing acting, or good timing, there are plenty of reasons why a movie can earn millions of dollars in profit after all of its expenses.
Here is a look at the three of biggest and most surprising box-office hits from this summer.
1.) “Crazy Rich Asians.” This romantic comedy has been a major success in its first few weeks in theaters — and has drawn a lot of attention in part because of its Asian-majority cast.
Based on Kevin Kwan’s 2013 novel of the same name, the movie focuses on a Chinese-American woman who travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family.
What she does not know heading in, however, is that they are the richest people in the city-state.
The reviews for the film on Rotten Tomatoes have been strong (93 percent positive) and, apparently, the movie’s patrons have mostly agreed with critics. Just 20 days after it was released, the movie had earned $137.2 million ($117.3 million domestic, $19.9 million foreign) on a $30 million budget.
In its opening weekend, the film was projected to earn about $20 million at the box office by many experts — but instead, it took in $35.3 million. And it has not slowed down since.
A sequel is already in development.
2.) “The Meg.” “The Meg,” which features high-profile actors including Jason Statham (shown above right), Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson and Ruby Rose, focuses on the character of Jonas Taylor (Statham) and his quest to save a deep sea submersible from a giant prehistoric shark called a Megalodon.
Set in (and partly shot in) China, and released by both Gravity Pictures (in China) and Warner Bros. (in the United States), “The Meg” has enjoyed a great deal of success across the globe. After 25 days at the box office, the film had earned $467.6 million worldwide ($123.8 million domestic, $343.8 foreign) on a $130 million budget.
Notice that the overwhelming majority of the earnings were from outside the United States. This is a growing trend for movies today, as domestic theaters continue to struggle to put people in seats and movie budgets balloon higher and higher.
3.) “Mission: Impossible — Fallout.” The sixth film in the “Mission Impossible” series marked yet another success for the franchise. The film — released in late July — has a 97 percent fresh critic score and an 89 percent fan score on Rotten Tomatoes.
In this film, super spy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise, shown above left) and his team are tasked with recovering stolen plutonium; they’re tracked by a CIA agent after one of their prior missions does not go as planned.
From a financial standpoint, the movie has also enjoyed some major success; through 39 days in theaters, it has earned $649.4 million at the box office ($206.7 million domestic ,$442.3 million worldwide) on a $178 million budget.
It is shockingly the third biggest earner of all the “Mission Impossible” movies and will likely become the highest soon — quite a feat for a sixth entry.
Watch the trailer for “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” below:
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.