'The Meg' Opening Weekend Box Office Projected at $20 Million Plus

With summer movie season winding down, many of the most highly-anticipated blockbusters have [...]

With summer movie season winding down, many of the most highly-anticipated blockbusters have already landed in theaters, though this weekend will see the arrival of the shark spectacle The Meg. The Jason Statham-starring horror-comedy has little competition in the way of new releases, yet the film is slated to land in the $20-$22 million range.

Taking in more than $20 million for a movie like this isn't inherently a disappointment, though The Hollywood Reporter claims that the film's production budget reached the $150 million range, potentially hinting at the film ultimately failing to recoup its cost.

With its crew trapped inside as the submersible lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest trench in the Pacific, expert deep-sea rescue diver Taylor is recruited by visionary Chinese oceanographer Dr. Minway Zhang to save the crew — and the ocean itself — from the unstoppable over-sized shark. Taylor, who encountered the terrifying creature years before, will team with Suyin and must confront his fears to save everyone trapped below — bringing him face to face once more with the greatest and largest predator of all time.

Jaws is the seminal shark blockbuster, with the film's legacy still setting the standard for a summer blockbuster. In 2016, the Blake Lively-starring shark horror film The Shallows became a standout hit, while last year's 47 Meters Down also became a big enough hit to earn a sequel. The Meg, however, doesn't look to be recreating those films' successes, possibly signaling the diminishing interests of audiences in sharks-themed adventures.

The film was likely hoping to cash in on the popularity of the novel of the same name, though it seems even having an established fan base might not be enough to take a bite out of the box office this weekend.

Making these projected numbers even more disappointing is that director Jon Turteltaub cut many of the more gruesome scenes that would have earned the film an R rating so that a larger number of audiences could enjoy the adventure.

"We shot or even did a lot of visual effects for [gory scenes]," Turteltaub shared with Bloody Disgusting. "We just realized there's no way we're keeping this PG-13 if we show this. It's too fun a movie to not let people who don't like blood and people who are under, say, 14 years old into the theater. I was very hesitant to cut out a lot of blood and gore. I wouldn't have if I thought it was wrecking the story but it wasn't. It still looked okay. I'll sit down privately with your audience and take them through some really nasty sh-t."

The Meg lands in theaters this weekend.

Do you think this horror movie deserves to take in more at the box office? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!

[H/T The Hollywood Reporter]