Sony / 20th Century Fox
If there’s anything you learn from writing about the box office as long as I have (16 years and counting!) is that nothing ever goes as planned. The only thing that’s true about the MLK weekend is that, as I mentioned Thursday, it is going to be a mess with very few of the new movies doing very well. In fact, the three new wide releases (not counting Spielberg’s The Post) will likely end up in the $11 to 16 million range over the four-day weekend.
As expected, Sony Picture’s hit Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will win the four-day holiday weekend, and it’s already ahead based on it’s Friday estimate of $6.1 million. Even so, Spielberg’s The Post is going to come in a strong second with $5.9 million grossed Friday after Fox expanded it nationwide into 2,819 theaters. Although it’s close, Jumanji will pick up business over the holiday weekend and should be good for another $30 million grossed through Monday. The Post should be good for $21 million over the four-day weekend.
The Liam Neeson action-thriller The Commuter came in third place yesterday with $4.6 million, which should be enough for it to take third place for the weekend with around $15 to 16 million over the four days.
Screen Gems’ Proud Mary, starring Taraji P. Henson, made an est. $3.2 million on Friday, and that might not be enough to get past some of the returning films like Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Greatest Showman. It probably will end up with around $12 to 13 million over the MLK weekend.
The biggest disappointment of the weekend is likely to be Warner Bros’ Paddington 2. Picked up from the bankrupt Weinstein Co. just two months ago, it was expected the family film with 100% Fresh reviews would at least do as well as the first movie three years ago. Nope! Paddington 2 brought in just $2.4 million Friday, the worst of the new releases, and it might struggle to make $12 million over the extended holiday weekend.
Either way, these are all projections based on Friday estimates, and a lot can change over the weekend.
Check back on Monday for the full box office report.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor