It’s a jungle out there. With five new movies in wide release, two limited openings and a nationwide expansion, this holiday weekend was certainly congested – and that doesn’t even take into account movies that took the stage on Monday, Christmas Day! Thanks to a massive dip in attendance for ‘Star Wars’, almost all of the new releases found success.
Note: This post was written on Christmas Eve based on three-day weekend estimates and does not contain Christmas Day estimates.
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘ had no trouble retaining the top spot at the box office, but attendance fell a lot harder than the last episode in the series. Over the three-day weekend, the film dropped 69% from its opening. Compared to a 40% drop for ‘The Force Awakens’ (which also had a debut $28 million higher than ‘The Last Jedi), the week-to-week difference from $220 million and $68.4 million is steep. At this point, ‘The Force Awakens’ had $540 million at the domestic box office, while ‘The Last Jedi’ is only up to $365 million.
Don’t get me wrong, the numbers for ‘The Last Jedi’ are still insanely high and more than enough to be considered a smash hit, but you can’t help noticing a correlation between its mixed reception and the box office dip.
‘The Last Jedi’ continues to play strongly internationally, but for ‘Star Wars’, foreign numbers don’t single-handedly determine if a movie is going to be a financial success. The global box office totals for ‘The Force Awakens’ were nearly split 50/50 between the international and domestic box office. ‘The Last Jedi’ follows suit. It has $380.3 million foreign, just $15 million more than North America. Worldwide, it has $745.3 million and is expected to be near $800 million once the Christmas Day totals are added.
The biggest of this weekend’s new releases was ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle‘, which landed in second place with $34 million. The sequel took flight on Wednesday and capitalized on kids being out of school for Christmas break. It grossed $16 million pre-weekend, giving it a five-day total of $50.6 million. Overseas, it took $49.5 million, placing the family movie’s worldwide debut just over the $100 million mark. Produced on a $90 million budget, ‘Jumanji’ is off to a solid start.
Even if it hadn’t already been the self-proclaimed end of the franchise, based on this weekend’s box office, ‘Pitch Perfect 3‘ would have signaled an end to audience interest. The original movie caught audiences off-guard. Although it opened wide to just $14.8 million, it went on to earn $65 million domestically. The sequel launched to an astounding $69.2 million and bowed with $184.2 million. ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ debuted at #3 with $20.4 million, a fraction of the previous installment’s opening. $9.8 million overseas (from an unspecified number of markets) brings its global opening to $30.2 million. With a budget of $45 million, Universal is likely hoping for a big Christmas Day turnout.
Hugh Jackman’s musical ‘The Greatest Showman‘ opened alongside ‘Jumanji’ on Wednesday, but hasn’t had nearly as much success. On Wednesday and Thursday, the film collected $4.5 million in ticket sales. Over the weekend, it made a fourth place finish with $8.6 million, giving it a $13.1 million five-day opening. Another $5 million is expected to come in on Christmas Day, but that’s still not enough to give the $84 million musical a healthy start. International numbers have yet to be released.
Two-week-old ‘Ferdinand‘ rounded out the Top 5 with $7 million. The $111 million animated picture has a domestic ten-day total of $26.5 million. With $7.6 million at the foreign box office, its worldwide total is up to $34.1 million.
Alexander Payne’s ‘Downsizing‘ had a fittingly small opening. From 2,668 locations, it made $4.6 million and a #7 debut. Produced on a $68 million budget, Paramount is likely to lose money on this one. To turn a profit, it will have to earn heaps of money when the international launch begins.
The nationwide expansion of ‘Darkest Hour‘ was fruitful. From 806 locations, it grossed $4.1 million, bringing its domestic total up to $6.9 million. Internationally, the film has drawn $5.4 million, bringing its worldwide box office to $12.3 million.
Warner Bros.’ long-delayed R-rated comedy ‘Father Figures‘ opened at #9 with $3.2 million. With a budget of $25 million, this won’t be the studio’s biggest loss of the year (ahem, ‘Justice League’, ahem), but it’s certainly a dud.
In limited release, Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Post‘ saw great results from its nine-screen debut. The journalism drama earned $495,000 and a per-screen average of $55,000. On the other hand, Christian Bale’s Western ‘Hostiles‘ saw so-so returns. From three locations, it pulled $26,000 for a per-screen average of $8,667. Both movies are expected to expand wide in January.
1. ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ (Buena Vista) – $68,486,000
2. ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ (Sony) – $34,000,000
3. ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ (Universal) – $20,451,000
4. ‘The Greatest Showman’ (Fox) – $8,600,000
5. ‘Ferdinand’ (Fox) – $7,050,000
6. ‘Coco’ (Buena Vista) – $5,208,000
7. ‘Downsizing’ (Paramount) – $4,600,000
8. ‘Darkest Hour’ (Focus) – $4,105,000
9. ‘Father Figures’ (Warner Bros.) – $3,200,000
10. ‘The Shape of Water’ (Fox Searchlight) – $3,050,000