Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Audiences Went to The Next Level for Jumanji

Plus, Frozen II and Knives Out hang on, while Richard Jewell and Black Christmas fail to make an impact on the weekend of December 13-15.

by | December 15, 2019 | Comments

Movie audiences went to The Next Level this weekend, literally. The third Jumanji film was the clear victor, garnering the second-best opening of the holiday season to date with the further promise of solid returns through the Christmas vacation. Adult fare, on the other hand, hit the wall this week, unable to draw even $10 million between them as many may have chosen to avoid controversy and politics as part of their escapism. That said, there might still be interest in another film with those themes coming down the pike.

King of the Crop: Jumanji Destroys the Competition

Sony Pictures

(Photo by Sony Pictures)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle opened on a Wednesday, five days after the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and in its first five days, it grossed $52.77 million. Jumanji: The Next Level took just three days to make $60 million, way ahead of its ultra-conservative estimates of just $35 million. That may only be the 13th best start for a film in the month of December, but if it follows suit with the other films like it, The Next Level should pass $200 million with no issue. Sony has a much higher number in mind, given that Jungle had the second-best December multiple of all time (after Avatar) when it earned 11.18 times its opening Fri-Sun weekend, amounting to over $400 million domestic. Another $557 million internationally gave the film enough ($962 million) to place among the Top 50 grossing films ever; a spot it is likely to relinquish soon after The Rise of Skywalker opens. Can The Next Level reach the $300 million level? Only 12 other films to have started in December (including the limited release of American Sniper, which broke through in January) have done it. Four are Lord of the Rings/Hobbit films, three are Star Wars, two are from James Cameron, and the others are Aquaman and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Budgeted at $125 million, The Next Level’s global total currently stands at $113 million and will have no problem turning a profit for Sony.

Rotten Returns: Richard Jewell and Black Christmas Fail to Make an Impact

‘Tis the season not to release films about terrorist bombings and serial killers. It is hard to say whether or not the accompanying controversy over the portrayal of a journalist in Richard Jewell really kept people away, but a Clint Eastwood film without a big star at its center (like Tom Hanks, Bradley Cooper or… Clint Eastwood) is normally not a big draw. The last Eastwood film without any of those faces in front of the camera to gross over $50 million was 2003’s Mystic River. But the last of his films to open as weak as Jewell ($5 million) was, ironically, True Crime, back in 1999. Eastwood the actor only drew a $5.27 million opening for that February release, which went on to gross just $16.64 million. His Best Picture nominee, Letters from Iwo Jima, made just $13.75 million. Jewell may still find itself grossing over $20 million, but it will rank as one of the lowest-grossing wide releases of his career and one of the bigger losers, given its $45 million budget.

Then there is Black Christmas, the second remake of Bob Clark’s first great Christmas film from 1974. The 2006 remake opened to just $3.72 million and finished with $16.27 million. The 2019 version did not do much better, with a $4.4 million start after what turned out to be an against-the-odds projection of $10-12 million. Horror has not been a popular genre to release in December, and the numbers show why. Going all the way back to 1981, only three horror films have opened to more than $10 million in December (Scream 2, Krampus, and the 1998 remake of Psycho) and only four horror films have grossed over $30 million (Scream, Scream 2, Krampus, and Dracula 2000.) In Blumhouse fashion, the budget for Black Christmas was only $5 million, so it is not some major financial disaster, but if it fails to reach the $16 million benchmark set by the 2006 remake (Rotten at 14%), that has to stand as a big disappointment.

The Top 10 and Beyond: Frozen II Hangs on, Uncut Gems and Bombshell Are Solid in Limited Theaters

The champion of the past three weeks fell to second place, as Frozen II missed becoming the 45th film to gross more than $20 million in its fourth weekend of wide release, though its $19.18 million raised its tally to $366.54 million, which is the 19th best ever after 24 days. That’s about $9 million higher than The Hunger Games: Catching Fire had back in 2013, when it was the original Frozen’s November partner in grossing $400 million. Frozen II’s fourth weekend is also around $6 million more so we should expect no less than $430 million domestic in its pocket by the end of its run. Most importantly, though, Frozen II has become Disney’s 6th film this year to cross the billion-dollar mark which makes it the 38th highest-grossing film ever, and it will ultimately join the Top 25. The original Frozen currently ranks 15th, with $1.274 billion. Frozen II is only $242 million behind right now.

Then we have two films making their runs toward $100 million. Ford v Ferrari is nearly there after another $4.14 million this weekend. Its total stands at $98.2 million domestic, but it is the $175 million global tally that lingers for Fox, as that is still around $75 million behind where it needs to be to recoup its costs. Rian Johnson’s Knives Out is already into profit for Lionsgate and is now just trying to leg it out to the milestone. With $78.8 million so far, the murder mystery is hitching a ride on the numbers that Creed had at this point, within a million behind of both it’s 19-day tally and its third weekend. Creed finished with $109 million. That is a number that Ferrari is also headed towards and even with Knives a few million behind its pace it looks like it should still cross the finish line and may even pass Ferrari worldwide as it currently has $162 million.

Benny and Josh Safdie’s Uncut Gems (92%) with Adam Sandler had a stellar showing in just five theaters grossing $525,498. While that is the second best per-theater-average of the year ($105,099) behind just Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite ($128,072 in each of three theaters), it is the fourth-best ever for a film released in five theaters. Only La La Land ($881,104), The Master ($736,311), and Brokeback Mountain ($547,425) opened better. Gems also just missed a personal best PTA for A24, passing such notable titles as Lady Bird ($91,109) and this year’s The Farewell ($88,916), but was just behind Moonlight ($100,519) as the all-time champion. We will see if the estimates come out higher on Monday. The studio’s $50,000+ PTAs have all grossed at least $7.3 million. The Safdies’ last film, Good Time with Robert Pattinson, grossed a total of $2.02 million.

The list of four-theater openings is a little steeper, but Jay Roach’s Bombshell nevertheless had a solid showing this weekend. With $312,000 the Fox News sexual harassment expose became the 15th best opening within that group ahead. Among the top 15 films in that group, 11 of them were nominated for Best Picture (with The Farewell TBD) including the aforementioned American Sniper (the all-time champ with $873,667) and Moonlight, which went on to win the Oscar, as did Birdman ($424,397).

Terrence Malick’s latest, A Hidden Life, had a less than great showing with just $52,000 in five theaters. That comes between his last two narrative releases, Song to Song ($50,559 / Rotten at 43%) and Knight of Cups ($60,551 / Rotten at 47%), which were only in four theaters initially. A Hidden Life’s PTA ($10,400) is the director’s third lowest since his return to cinema in 1998 with The Thin Red Line and could be second lowest if the estimates fall. This has to be cited as a big disappointment for Fox Searchlight, who released the three-hour film featuring his first positive score with critics (78%) since The Tree of Life in 2011.

This Time Last Year: Spider-Verse Swings into First Place

Sony Pictures Animation

(Photo by Sony Pictures Animation)

The Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature first took the #1 spot at the box office this weekend. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse opened to $35.36 million, doubling the take by Clint Eastwood’s The Mule, which began with $17.50 million. In turn, Eastwood’s film more than doubled the start of Mortal Engines ($7.55 million) which ultimately barely doubled its opening weekend to become one of the biggest bombs of 2018. Both Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Ralph Breaks the Internet passed $150 million, and Creed II got over $100 million. James Wan’s Aquaman earned $2.9 million in special previews and that was good enough to grab the tenth slot on the list. Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk opened to $224,476 in four theaters, which amounted to the eighth best per-theater-average of the year. The Top Ten films grossed $101.64 million and averaged 67% on the Tomatometer.

This year’s Top Ten grossed an estimated $112.24 Million and averaged 76.7% with critics.

On the Vine: Jumanji Is Back, Along with a Slew of Awards Hopefuls

© Lucasfilm

(Photo by © Lucasfilm)

The week fans both young and old have been waiting decades for is finally here: The big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats arrives to storm the box office with its blend of live-action FX wizardry and angel-like lyrics. All kidding aside, while that all remains to be seen, it is also the week that the Skywalker Saga comes to an end. For years, fans all over the world have been anticipating the conclusion of the nine-film arc that George Lucas hinted at so many years ago. And now Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Episode IX of the series, arrives and will undoubtedly be one of the biggest hits of 2019 and ultimately give Disney its 7th billion-dollar film of the year and push their grosses to over $11 billion.

The Full Top 10: December 13-15

  1. () – $60.1 million ($60.1 million total)
  2. Frozen II (2019) 77% – $19.18 million ($366.54 million total)
  3. Knives Out (2019) 97% – $9.25 million ($78.91 million total)
  4. Richard Jewell (2019) 77% – $5 million ($5 million total)
  5. Black Christmas (2019) 40% – $4.42 million ($4.42 million total)
  6. Ford v Ferrari (2019) 92% – $4.14 million ($98.12 million total)
  7. Queen & Slim (2019) 83% – $3.6 million ($33.17 million total)
  8. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) 95% – $3.35 million ($49.32 million total)
  9. Dark Waters (2019) 89% – $2 ($8.89 million total)
  10. 21 Bridges (2019) 54% – $1.19 million ($26.36 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

94th Oscars Musicals Nickelodeon South by Southwest Film Festival 90s Apple TV Plus sopranos Fox Searchlight Best Picture classics dragons hist best Sony Pictures gangster elevated horror hidden camera Star Trek Infographic all-time black dexter Food Network 73rd Emmy Awards Shondaland Drama Tubi TNT Amazon Studios boxing Binge Guide spanish language Sneak Peek Ovation composers First Look criterion jurassic park Extras TIFF SundanceTV DirecTV Women's History Month foreign pirates of the caribbean blockbuster Legendary Crackle Star Wars Celebration joker travel Sundance Now Amazon based on movie Winners Awards Comic Book Exclusive Video dreamworks video on demand disaster football TLC know your critic Sony young adult Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ABC Watching Series stand-up comedy target 45 women satire name the review Sundance rt labs TV movies war summer TV Sci-Fi Country adenture Fargo stoner HBO Superheroes scene in color film series The Witch Geeked Week SXSW 2022 quibi National Geographic period drama 2018 Spike Premiere Dates halloween 4/20 Pop Showtime Focus Features Apple italian mockumentary Pixar Chernobyl San Diego Comic-Con American Society of Cinematographers ABC Family Disney Channel vampires laika The Arrangement japanese jamie lee curtis screen actors guild Holidays scene in color diversity New York Comic Con Lucasfilm cats cancelled television japan films DGA mission: impossible sequel legend children's TV binge screenings king arthur Disney Plus SXSW politics GLAAD Superheroe NBA nfl doctor who telelvision Song of Ice and Fire Super Bowl romance obituary Quiz Family franchise Ghostbusters dramedy Western IFC History Animation 24 frames streaming movies Disney miniseries unscripted vs. christmas movies Adult Swim Stephen King hispanic heritage month anime sag awards Cartoon Network YouTube Premium Rock rom-coms Summer Film worst Disney streaming service APB sports facebook boxoffice Opinion FOX YA crossover HBO Max FX on Hulu scary movies 2016 cartoon festival twilight mutant Writers Guild of America Wes Anderson Paramount Pictures Winter TV police drama ID BET tv talk Marathons BET Awards Grammys Trailer summer preview richard e. Grant GoT Fall TV Reality Competition spider-man free movies summer TV preview interviews singing competition directors Rocky Hear Us Out First Reviews E! OneApp Pacific Islander Rocketman basketball movies crime Holiday HFPA Turner TV Musical docudrama Countdown rotten Epix video AMC Plus crime thriller Podcast kong superhero The Walking Dead kids Captain marvel critics Pride Month Schedule trophy 72 Emmy Awards Avengers USA Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Creative Arts Emmys razzies Comedy Central french Image Comics saw book adaptation indiana jones Set visit Teen chucky Hallmark Christmas movies Mary Poppins Returns dogs marvel cinematic universe scene in color series 71st Emmy Awards indie Fox News Black Mirror Lifetime Christmas movies Amazon Prime Starz breaking bad spinoff Acorn TV venice casting TV renewals Action dark stop motion comic book movies El Rey asian-american child's play werewolf finale RT21 latino TCA Winter 2020 Bravo Heroines Tumblr Vudu slasher Peacock CNN broadcast PaleyFest fresh blaxploitation Polls and Games streaming Cosplay cults harry potter spider-verse Turner Classic Movies scorecard serial killer PlayStation remakes golden globe awards Character Guide monster movies TCM james bond AMC Black History Month TCA 2017 Mary poppins supernatural Marvel Television 93rd Oscars rt labs critics edition Thanksgiving Comics on TV Netflix Christmas movies archives Lionsgate TCA Awards Netflix Hallmark 2019 new zealand documentaries DC Comics movie 1990s live action feel good godzilla Cannes zombies renewed TV shows anthology Dark Horse Comics canceled TV shows what to watch marvel comics TBS See It Skip It YouTube Red toy story nature Mystery Pirates ghosts Hulu technology 2021 MSNBC Toys VH1 universal monsters television Classic Film Sundance TV Pet Sematary Crunchyroll thriller Star Wars Reality sitcom 79th Golden Globes Awards streamig HBO Go USA Network cancelled TV shows robots target scene in color Marvel Studios Trophy Talk Christmas 21st Century Fox strong female leads south america adventure art house dc zombie talk show genre 2017 GIFs IFC Films sequels deadpool Prime Video trailers green book Television Critics Association space halloween tv IMDb TV MGM heist movie toronto Shudder WarnerMedia festivals action-comedy Instagram Live political drama Marvel Academy Awards series aliens Pop TV cancelled ViacomCBS obi wan BBC One 007 international 20th Century Fox comic books President Calendar Nat Geo Spectrum Originals olympics Disney+ Disney Plus australia Television Academy lord of the rings Interview die hard Alien LGBTQ game of thrones The Academy comics CBS Masterpiece reboot Universal Pictures suspense teaser Martial Arts Syfy TV One Video Games dceu natural history Best Actor posters Film Festival spanish news Arrowverse Best Actress Mudbound Tomatazos TruTV transformers Paramount Plus hispanic book witnail BAFTA Native Oscars psychological thriller TCA VOD OWN WGN new york LGBT parents Certified Fresh Logo aapi cancelled TV series kaiju 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Amazon Prime Video Awards Tour comedies A&E documentary true crime historical drama Oscar reviews comiccon hollywood zero dark thirty spy thriller Columbia Pictures Emmy Nominations Lifetime cooking Music Warner Bros. Comedy A24 Hollywood Foreign Press Association animated wonder woman CW Seed docuseries mob fast and furious Britbox Kids & Family black comedy Mindy Kaling adaptation Rom-Com Discovery Channel ESPN a nightmare on elm street MTV 2020 rotten movies we love biography Biopics BBC America popular comic versus concert critic resources Travel Channel Anna Paquin justice league DC streaming service Tokyo Olympics biopic YouTube Best and Worst award winner Nominations X-Men Neflix Valentine's Day Paramount Apple TV+ Horror romantic comedy emmy awards SDCC cinemax nbcuniversal live event DC Universe NYCC FX MCU new star wars movies comic book movie revenge Emmys psycho Endgame Funimation Photos game show science fiction E3 VICE royal family CBS All Access NBC Red Carpet Broadway debate ITV PBS The CW Tags: Comedy spain canceled Paramount Network Ellie Kemper medical drama Elton John ratings Indigenous superman golden globes crime drama blockbusters slashers independent scary Brie Larson Mary Tyler Moore Freeform king kong cops Box Office discovery Election Fantasy Spring TV Year in Review CMT batman Universal high school mcc Tarantino RT History Walt Disney Pictures FXX worst movies 2015 TV Land cars social media Trivia Esquire rt archives prank 99% The Walt Disney Company Comic-Con@Home 2021 The Purge Baby Yoda BBC ABC Signature theme song Best Director leaderboard