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Credit: Warner Brothers Pictures

We're gonna need a bigger box office: The Meg to chomp on $44.5 million domestic debut

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Aug 12, 2018, 11:12 AM EDT

Steven Spielberg should be proud of the latest monster shark blockbuster from director Jon Turteltaub. The Meg is easily swimming toward $44.5 million at the box office during its first weekend in North American theaters, estimate outlets like Variety.

This total exceeds original expectations of $40 million and will allow the movie to chew on the top spot, sinking Mission: Impossible - Fallout into second place in its third week at the box office. According to Variety, The Meg has also made $97 million from 42 overseas markets, $50 million coming from China alone, bringing its global total to $141.3 million. 

In regular shark movie fashion, The Meg focuses around a giant killer shark and a group of humans (more like hors d'oeuvres) trying to stop it. However, the latest offering to the water-based horror genre (based on Steve Alten's 1997 novel) ups the ante by making the main antagonist a Megalodon, a prehistoric shark that was the size of a whale. Jason Statham (The Fate of the Furious) leads a cast that includes Rainn Wilson (The Death of Superman), Li Bingbing (Transformers: Age of Extinction), and Cliff Curtis (Fear the Walking Dead).

As for the IMF, the sixth Mission: Impossible movie should bring in between $19 million and $20 million from 3,888 theaters. So far, the film's made $147 million in the U.S. and $224 million internationally. Disney's Christopher Robin is on course for the third spot during its second weekend in theaters, with around $12.7 million from 3,602 domestic theaters, bringing it across the $50 million mark in North America.

In fourth place, we've got Sony's horror feature Slender Man, which stars Joey King and is partly based on the real-world story where two young girls stabbed one of their classmates to please the titular monster. Despite trouble behind the scenes of the movie's theatrical release and a 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, the Sylvain White-directed Slender Man will scare up an estimated $11 million from 2,358 locations in the U.S.