The first frame of 2018 saw the funny guys (and gal) from Jumanji winning the game and booting Star Wars from the number one spot thanks to fantastic buzz from moviegoers. Following two red hot weeks in second place in the shadow of The Last Jedi, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle enjoyed a terrific hold dropping only 28% to an estimated $36M leading all films in North America this weekend.
The Sony smash averaged $9,471 per theater – an incredible figure for any film’s third weekend. Jumanji has already climbed to an eye-popping $244.4M domestic and has the potential to add another $100M to its treasure by the end of the run. For Dwayne Johnson, this is now the third highest grossing film of his career after Furious 7 and Moana while for Kevin Hart it ranks number two behind the animated film The Secret Life of Pets. This is the second pairing of Johnson and Hart after Central Intelligence.
With audiences having a wild time filled with laughs and adventure, recommendations have been key in getting more ticket buyers to show up. With next weekend’s Martin Luther King holiday frame giving the box office a boost, there is still plenty of business to come. Jumanji may even surpass Spider-Man: Homecoming to become the fifth biggest blockbuster to come out of 2017.
Globally, Jumanji crushed the half-billion mark this weekend and will enter China this coming Friday for what should be a powerful debut, especially with Johnson going to Beijing just days ago to promote there. The international total is now $275M putting worldwide at $519M.
Opening to fantastic results in second place was the horror sequel Insidious: The Last Key which took in an estimated $29.3M from 3,116 locations for a stellar $9,392 average. Early January is often used by studios for new fright films as the feel-good holiday season finishes and genre audiences go back to what they crave, often with no good films since Halloween. The Universal release powered ahead of the $22.7M of the last film in the series, Insidious: Chapter 3 from the summer of 2015. Four films into a series, this usually does not happen.
The studio marketed the PG-13 thriller very well and although critics were not on their side, audiences instead responded to the promotional push and liked what they got. The CinemaScore was a B- which is pretty good for horror films. The new Insidious had broad appeal as studio data indicated that the crowd was split 51/49 female/male. 59% were under 25 and 57% were non-white. Sony is distributing overseas where the weekend saw an estimated $20.1M from 33 markets. The Insidious franchise has now grossed over $400M worldwide and counting with production budgets for the four-pack combining to a mere $27M. Low budget horror is still alive and well in the new year.
Suffering the largest drop in the top ten was Star Wars: The Last Jedi which tumbled 55% to an estimated $23.6M boosting the domestic cume to an astounding $572.5M which is number six all-time. 24 days into its run and the new episode is running 30% behind the pace of The Force Awakens but 20% ahead of Rogue One. All released at the same time of year in mid-December and benefitted from the holiday season. Last Jedi was very close in gross and decline to Rogue One‘s fourth frame from a year ago when it did $22.1M falling 56%. The newest Star Wars is eroding a bit faster than Rogue One so a final of about $635M now seems likely for a drop of 32% from Force Awaken‘s all-time record of $936.7M. This coming Christmas will have no Star Wars film but Episode IX opens on December 20 of 2019 concluding the current trilogy.
Overseas, The Last Jedi opened in China, its final market, with less than impressive results. The weekend estimate is $28.7M which is slightly below Rogue One. But even recent action films Geostorm and The Mummy opened better in China. The international total on Jedi rose to $632.7M putting the global gross at $1.2 billion with the final trajectory heading to $1.4 billion. While some may have expected more, this is still a massive gross for any film and will challenge Avengers: Age of Ultron for number seven all time.
Displaying fantastic legs, the Hugh Jackman-led musical The Greatest Showman dipped only 11% to an estimated $13.8M boosting Fox’s cume to $76.9M to date. Among all the actor’s live action films where he is not playing Wolverine, this PG-rated crowdpleaser is quickly becoming one of his top career grossers as it heads into the $100M club joining Van Helsing ($120.1M) and the musical Les Miserables ($148.8M).
Pitch Perfect 3 followed with an estimated $10.2M, down 39% from last weekend, putting Universal at $86M as it runs 42% behind the pace of its 2015 predecessor. The Fox toon Ferdinand was off 32% to an estimated $7.7M for a new cume of $70.5M.
Aaron Sorkin’s film Molly’s Game starring Jessica Chastain expanded nationwide and saw decent results with an estimated $7M from 1,608 locations for a $4,356 average for STX. Focus followed closely with its play for adult audiences, and awards voters, Darkest Hour which grossed an estimated $6.4M, up 16% after another expansion. Totals to date are $14.2M and $28.4M, respectively.
Pixar’s hit animated film Coco dipped only 26% to an estimated $5.5M lifting Disney’s domestic sum to $192.1M with global now up to $589.1M. Sony’s All the Money in the World rounded out the top ten with an estimated $3.6M, down 36%, and $20.1M overall.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $143M which was up a healthy 19% from last year when Hidden Figures took over the number one spot with $22.8M; and dead even with 2016 when The Force Awakens remained in the top spot for a fourth time with $42.4M.
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