Weekend Box Office: ‘Star Wars’ Strikes Down Several New Films
With lots of new competition in the marketplace over the long Christmas weekend, Star Wars: The Last Jedi remained the biggest movie in the world. It did drop nearly 70 percent from weekend to weekend after its gargantuan opening. Here’s the full weekend’s box office report. (The weekend and per-screen numbers are for Friday-Sunday; the totals reflect the four-day weekend and include Monday’s additional grosses):
|1||Star Wars: The Last Jedi||$68,486,000 (-69%)||$16,183||$397,271,356|
|2||Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle||$36,400,000||$9,668||$68,755,967|
|3||Pitch Perfect 3||$20,000,000||$5,802||$25,601,000|
|4||The Greatest Showman||$8,800,000||$2,927||$18,598,731|
|8||Darkest Hour||$3,895,000 (+359%)||$4,833||$8,255,077|
|10||The Shape of Water||$3,010,000 (+76%)||$4,46||$8,865,665|
A drop of nearly 70 percent week over week is not great for The Last Jedi’s prospects; Box Office Mojo attributes part of that decline to the fact that Sunday was Christmas Eve, a particularly weak day for movies in theaters. For sake of comparison, The Force Awakens dropped just 40 percent in its second weekend in theaters in 2015. However, its second weekend began with Christmas on a Friday, so it didn’t take that Christmas Eve hit. Over the four-day Christmas Holiday, The Last Jedi made $100 million, and has now grossed $397 million in the U.S. and an additional $380 million worldwide. After 11 days in theaters, it’s the third biggest movie of the year behind Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman, which it should pass next weekend.
The second, third, and fourth places on the weekend box office chart all went to new movies just opening in theaters. In second place was Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the sequel to the ’90s family film about a board game that comes to life. This update, about a magical video game and starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, grossed $52.1 million over the four-day holiday. In 1995, the original Jumanji made just $11 million in its opening weekend. With a reported $90 million budget, and an A- from CinemaScore, the film has the makings of a modest hit.
In third place for the weekend was Pitch Perfect 3, which made $25.6 million over the long holiday. That’s way up from the first film, about a girls’ a cappella group, which grossed $5 million in its opening weekend on just 300 screens. But it’s way down from Pitch Perfect 2, which outgrossed the first film in just one weekend, when it opened with $69.2 million in 2015. The competition was stiff, and it also got an A- from CinemaScore voters, but still; that is a major drop from the last film and could spell the end of the franchise in its current form.
The fourth place film was The Greatest Showman, Hugh Jackman’s circus musical about the life of P.T. Barnum. The movie reportedly cost $84 million and grossed just $14 million over the four-day holiday. These are not the sort of numbers you would expect from the greatest showman; its opening weekend ranks below musicals like Rent, Jersey Boys, and even the original Grease. Fifth place on the chart belonged to Ferdinand, the animated film featuring the voices of John Cena and Kate McKinnon. After 11 days in theaters, it has made a not-exactly bullish $29.1 million in U.S. theaters.
Star Wars had a very solid per-screen average for the four days of Christmas 2017, but the best PSA of the weekend belonged to The Post, Steven Spielberg’s newspaper thriller. It made an average of $92,222 on nine U.S. screens, for an opening weekend total of $830,000. Not every auteur had a good Christmas this year, though; Alexander Payne’s Downsizing made just $2,729 per screen over the weekend, grossing $7.2 million in its debut. That’s the biggest opening of Payne’s career, but it’s also his widest opening by about 2600 screens and his biggest budget ever, at $68 million. Even worse, CinemaScore voters gave the film a lowly C. Bah, humbug.
Gallery - A Visual History of Star Wars Posters: