Weekend Box Office: ‘Jumanji’ Tops Weak Frame

The mid-January box office blues set in this week across North America as three new films – 12 Strong, Den of Thieves and Forever My Girl– all failed to make much of an impression with ticket buyers. All three also failed to dislodge the Sony blockbuster Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle from the number one spot.

Populated by aging hits and an unappealing selection of new offerings, the top ten dropped 17% from last weekend’s totals and roughly 11% from one year ago at this time.

The Jumanji sequel stayed strong in its fifth weekend as it added an estimated $20 million from 3,704 screens, a decrease of only 29% from the film’s MLK holiday business. Jumanji’s domestic total now stands at a whopping $317 million. The film should pass Furious 7’s $353 million domestic total to become the biggest film of Dwayne Johnson’s career within the next few weeks.

Does it have what it takes to hit the $400 million milestone by the end of its run? That depends on how well it continues to hold. At the very least, it should hit $375 million. That would be enough to become Sony’s biggest domestic hit in sixteen years. Overseas, Jumanji has banked a superb $450 million to date.

Hoping for another American Sniper but most likely winding up with another 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Warner Brothers trotted out the military drama 12 Strong this weekend where it was met with mixed results. The Chris Hemsworth film opened on 3,002 screens Friday where it earned an estimated $16.5 million.

Reviews for the Nicolai Fuglsig-directed feature were lukewarm at best, with the feature scoring a 54% approval on Rotten Tomatoes and a 55/100 on Metacritic. The film played better with ticket buyers, who gave 12 Strong an “A” on CinemaScore.

Third place went to STX’s cop thriller Den of Thieves with an estimated $15.3 million from 2,432 theaters. The $6,299 per screen average was the highest in the top ten. Critics largely dismissed the Christian Gudegast feature, which stars Gerard Butler, O’Shea Jackson and Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson. Den of Thieves scored a 50/100 on Metacritic and a 40% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Ticket buyers gave the film a “B+” CinemaScore grade.

In fourth place was Fox’s The Post. The future Oscar contender scored an estimated $12.1 million from 2,851 theaters in its second weekend of wide release. Off a modest 37% from the previous week, the Steven Spielberg drama has brought in a decent $45 million so far. Depending on how many Oscar nominations the film scores this upcoming Tuesday, The Post could power its way to at least $90 million domestically.

Oscar nominations or not, Fox’s The Greatest Showman is proving to be just as popular choice with audiences nationwide as the Jumanji sequel. The musical may have lost 115 screens in its fifth weekend, but in terms of business the decrease was once again the lowest in the top ten: a mere 12%. Now on 2,823 screens, The Greatest Showman landed in fifth place, scoring an estimated $11 million in sales. The new domestic total for the $84 million production is a great $113.4 million. A finale close to $145-150 million is possible, which is spectacular for a film that opened with only $8.8 million. The foreign total for Greatest Showman is currently $118 million.

  1.  Paddington 2 (Warner) $8.2 million (-25%); $25 million
  2.  The Commuter (Lionsgate) $6.6 million (-51%); $26 million
  3.  Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Disney) $6.56 million (-45%); $604 million
  4.  Insidious: The Last Key (Universal) $6 million (-52%); $59 million
  5.  Forever My Girl (Roadside Attractions) $4.7 million (NEW)

This low-budget – $3.5 million- Nicholas Sparks romantic weepie wannabe scored a dim 18% on Rotten Tomatoes and few ticket buyers in its debut on 1,115 screens.

Next weekend should see Jumanji’s January box office domination come to a close -I’m sure Sony will be crying in their beers over that one- when Fox’s Maze Runner: The Death Cure opens. Next Friday will also see the nationwide expansion of the Christian Bale film Hostiles, which was originally set to expand this past Friday.

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