There was a lot more excitement than anticipated for the first box-office weekend of 2018. Two years ago, The Force Awakens didn’t give up the top spot at the box office until mid-January when Kevin Hart’s Ride Along 2 finally toppled it. This year, The Last Jedi fell a week sooner, but again, it was vanquished from the top spot by a Kevin Hart movie. In this case, it was Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which has pulled off an unusual feat for the modern box office: It reached number one for the first time in its third weekend. It racked up $35 million this weekend, which is not that big a drop from last weekend’s $50 million. Indeed, Jumanji has become a word-of-mouth hit (it is a blast to see in theaters). All the families who have already seen Last Jedi are now returning to theaters to catch Jumanji, which benefited from an East Coast snowstorm that kept a lot of kids out of school on Friday. It’s now earned $244 million domestic, making it the biggest live-action hit ever for Kevin Hart and Jack Black. It clearly still has a lot of life left in it, too, so $300 million is not out of the question. It’s also performing very well overseas, having racked up over $160 million and it still hasn’t opened in China yet.
Meanwhile, Last Jedi fell to number three this weekend, although it still earned a healthy $24 million in its fourth weekend, padding its title as the top movie at the 2017 box office. It’s now earned $572 million. It is not going to reach the $936 million of The Force Awakens, but that was the biggest movie of all time in North America. It might surpass the $623 million earned by The Avengers to take fifth place behind the $652 million of Jurassic World (how strange to think that a Jurassic Park movie will hold a higher position on the all-time charts than a Star Wars movie).
In at number two this weekend was Insidious: The Last Key. Historically, studios release low-budget horror movies on the first weekend of the year, and typically, they fetch between $10 and $15 million in their opening weekends. Insidious, however, is a powerful horror franchise that was able to propel the fourth entry in the franchise (second chronologically) to a robust $25 million opening weekend. That’s all the more impressive because it’s a Jason Blum film, which means it was made for a virtual song ($10 million budget), so it’s already well on its way to profitability. In fact, it improved upon the $22 million opening of Insidious Chapter 3. The fourth entry is supposed to be the final installment of the Insidious franchise, but it’s hard to see Blum turning off the money spigot, even if this film nicely connected back into the original Insidious installment.