“Star Wars,” “Jumanji” Were Very Good Over Pre-XMas Weekend… Most Other Movies Received Coal

StarWarsJumanjiLucasfilm / Sony Pictures

Film  3-Day Weekend 4-Day Weekend Current Gross
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Lucasfilm/Disney) $71.56m $99m $395.6m
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Sony) $36.4m $55.4m $72m
Pitch Perfect 3 (Universal) $19.9m $26.4m $26.4m
The Greatest Showman (20th Century Fox) $8.8m $14.4m $19m
Ferdinand (20th Century Fox) $7.3m $10.1m $29.6m

The question of whether the box office could withstand an influx of new movies while still playing Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi around the clock was answered by Sunday when The Last Jedi remained atop the box office and only a few new movies made any sort of mark.

The Rian Johnson-directed ninth installment of the franchise (including last year’s spin-off Rogue One) went into the weekend with just under $300 million grossed in its first week.  The Last Jedi  added another $24.7 million on its second Friday, down 77% from the movie’s first Friday which included $45 million from Thursday previews.  The movie took in $71.6 million over the weekend, which was a similarly horrifying 67% drop in its second weekend, but according to estimates, The Last Jedi picked up enough business on Christmas Day to hit $99 million over the four-day weekend. That brings its domestic total to $395.6 million, which is significantly less than The Force Awakens‘ $540 million grossed in its first two weeks in 2015. The Last Jedi should still be able to achieve that amount by early January. The way its going, Last Jedi probably will top out around $650 million, which would make it the fifth highest grossing movie domestically, but it could make a push to surpass Jurassic World ($652 million) and even Titanic ($659 million).

Overseas, The Last Jedi added another $76.1 million to bring its international total to $381.2 million. Added to the domestic gross, that’s almost $750 million globally in less than two weeks.

Opening last Wednesday, Sony Pictures’ Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a reboot of the 1995 family movie that starred Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan, opened decently with $16.6 million in its first two days. The movie added another $12.5 million Friday then $36.4 million over the three-day and an est. $55.4 million including Christmas Day. In its first six days, Sony’s holiday hit grossed $72 million, and with the holiday break just beginning, it should be able to cross the $100 million mark by sometime Wednesday or Thursday. Jumanji scored an “A-” CinemaScore, although the film’s business from word-of-mouth makes one think audiences liked it even more than that.

Jumanji also grossed $49.5 million in 53 international markets with more than half of them taking the #1 spot for the weekend. That’s $100 million worldwide in less than a week.

Wrongly thought by some (including your truly) to fare decently against the other new fare, Universal Pictures’ Pitch Perfect 3, starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and the popular Barden Bellas from two previous movies, opened meekly with $10.6 million on Friday in 3,450 theaters, but didn’t fare better over the weekend. Pitch Perfect 3 is estimated to make $20 million over the three-day weekend and $26.4 million including Monday, so clearly the holidays were a bad choice of release date. The previous installment Pitch Perfect 2 opened in mid-May 2015 with a $69 million opening before grossing $184 million domestically. Clearly, that franchise ran its course with that first sequel, because its sequel ended up well below expectations. It also had the same “A-” CinemaScore as Jumanji, so clearly the fans who went out to see the movie seemed to enjoy it.

Pitch Perfect 3 also only grossed $9.8 million in 14 markets, so it was behind Last Jedi and Jumanji in third place worldwide.

Pitch Perfect‘s biggest competition probably came from the Hugh Jackman-led PT Barnum musical The Greatest Showman, which Fox released last Wednesday in 3,000 theaters. It grossed $4.6 million on Weds. and Thurs., trailing far behind Jumanji, then scored $8.8 million over the three-day and $14.4 million over the four-day weekend. (For some reason Fox seems to overestimating the jump Greatest Showman might have on Christmas Day, so we’ll have to see if that number sticks.) Greatest Showman‘s “A” CinemaScore was the best of the new movies, so that could account for why it had grossed just $7 million less than Pitch Perfect 3 by Christmas Day. The Greatest Showman also took in $3.1 million overseas  in just 3 territories, doing particularly well in Korea.

Fifth and sixth place were taken by the animated films Ferdinand from Fox and Coco from Disney/Pixar with $9.7 and $7.4 million respectively, minimal 26-28% drops. Then again, Coco has grossed $163.5 million, having racked up quite a lot of business before The Last Jedi opened, while Ferdinand only has $29.2 million so far. Both movies should do decently over the next week with schools out across the country and family fare being a premium.

Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, starring Matt Damon, bombed with a $5 million its first weekend in 2,688 theaters to take seventh place, with $7.7 million including Christmas Day. Payne’s comedy averaged less than $3,000 per theater over the four-day weekend, which is never a good way to start the holidays. The Paramount release’s “C” CinemaScore also doesn’t bode well for the movie’s holiday legs, but it’s better than the scores for Damon’s previous Paramount film Suburbicon and Darren Aronofsky’s mother! starring Jennifer Lawrence.

Focus Features successfully expanded the Gary Oldman drama Darkest Hour into over 800 theaters on Friday where it grossed $3.8 million over the three-day weekend and $5.5 million with Monday.It fared slightly better than Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water,which was expanded by Fox Searchlight into 726 theaters where it grossed $3 million for tenth place, an est. $4.4 million including Monday. Darkest Hour is at $8.4 million while Shape of Water is ahead with $9 million so far.

The Warner Bros. R-rated comedy Father Figures, starring Owen Wilson and Ed Helms, did even worse than Downsizing with $5.4 million over the four-day weekend in 2,902 theaters. That average of less than $1,900 per theater is pretty terrible on any normal weekend, and its “B-” CinemaScore makes it doubtful the comedy’s business will pick up over the next week with such stronger competition.

Opening Christmas Day, Ridley Scott’s JP Getty kidnapping drama All the Money in the World, starring Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg and new addition Christopher Plummer (replacing Kevin Spacey as Getty), grossed an est. $2.6 million in 2,050 theaters or $1,268 per theater. Although family fare tends to do better over the holiday break, prestige films like this one from TriStar Pictures can also find an older audience.

Also opening in around 270 theaters yesterday was Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut Molly’s Game, starring Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom, and it grossed just over a million or almost $4,000 per theater. Sorkin’s film will open nationwide on Jan. 5, though with two weeks of business already accumulated in the country’s larger cities.

On Friday, 20th Century Fox also opened Steven Spielberg’s Pentagon Papers drama The Post, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, in 9 theaters in select cities where it grossed $762,000 in its first four days. The $84,673 average per theater is one of the year’s highs, and it’s a good start for the movie, which will expand nationwide on Jan. 12.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Haneke’s new movie Happy End and Scott Cooper’s Hostiles starring Christian Bale, each opened in three theaters in New York and L.A., but neither grossed more than $33,000 and less than $11,000 per theater over the four days.

Also of note in terms of specialty releases was the fact that Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird became A24’s highest grossing film over the weekend with $28.7 million grossed through Christmas Day. It surpassed the $27.8 million grossed by this year’s Best Picture winner Moonlight.

(Source: boxofficemojo.com. Figures represent estimated numbers at time of writing, and they may change.)

  | East Coast Editor
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Still quiet here.sas

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