The January box-office has been unusually buoyed by holiday holdovers and Oscar contenders for the first few weeks of the month, but this weekend a batch of new releases more in line with what we typically expect from January finally slowed the box-office momentum. It did not slow Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle down much, however. The Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart pairing continues to perform solidly, holding on to the top spot for the third week in a row (after trailing The Last Jedi in its first two weeks). Moviegoers added another $19 million into Sony’s coffers, bringing the sequel to $316 million overall. That makes it the fifth highest grossing movie ever for Sony Pictures behind four Spider-Man movies. It’s also added nearly $400 million overseas to bring its worldwide total to about $700 million.
Jumanji also bested all newcomers this weekend, including Chris Hemsworth’s 12 Strong, a fairly generic war movie about the first battles in Afghanistan following 9/11. It scored $15.3 million at the box office, which is actually not bad for a film that only cost around $30 million to make and that will probably earn much of its money back from digital rentals and television licensing rights (12 Strong is a film that almost feels like it was made to air on TNT). Its modest success also has to seem like a small relief for Hemsworth, whose track record with opening films has been abysmal outside of the Thor movies (Blackhat, In the Heart of the Sea and Rush were all box-office bombs).
Not far behind is Den of Thieves with $14.7 million. A knock-off version of Heat, the Gerard Butler/50 Cent heist film had to compete with both 12 Strong and Liam Neeson’s The Commuter for the older male demographic. Like 12 Strong, Thieves is also designed to perform better in the home markets, and for Gerard Butler, he got a better opening from this $30 million film than he did with the $120 million Geostorm or the $140 million Gods of Egypt.