The box office numbers aren’t quite what they were predicted on Christmas Day for some films (Rise of Skywalker). while they are even bigger than predicted for others (Little Women). The big story this weekend, however, is whether Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker can keep pace with its immediate predecessor, The Last Jedi. The five day grosses are coming in short of the initial predictions. It looks like $134.7 million since Wednesday (and $72 million over the weekend) for a 10-day total of $361 million. The Last Jedi opened 5 days earlier, but after its tenth day of release (which was Christmas Eve), it had earned $368 million, so the two movies are running fairly even, with Skywalker about $6 million behind. Skywalker should, however, end up with similar domestic numbers as The Last Jedi — around $600 million — and the story is similar overseas, as Skywalker is poised to ease past $700 million this weekend. The mixed reviews do not seem to have put much of a dent in Skywalker’s box office, as audiences are obviously still turning out to see the culmination of a 42-year-old story.
The numbers aren’t as big as predicted for Jumanji: The Next Level, either, but a five-day total of $59 million and $175 million overall puts it in very good shape, all the same, although it is lagging well behind Welcome to the Jungle) ($219 million) over the same period in 2017. Frozen 2, meanwhile, had a big jump over the holidays, earning $26 million over the five-day Christmas holiday frame for a cumulative total of $421 million. It’s the fifth biggest movie of the year, but it’s poised to pass two other Disney films (Captain Marvel and Toy Story 4) to land at number three for the year, before it is pushed back to number four by Skywalker (and yes, 7 of the 10 biggest films of the year are Disney-owned).
At least Sony is also having a very good holiday, as Greta Gerwig and a phenomenal cast have given new life to the Little Women property to go along with the success of Jumanji. Little Women scored $29 million over the five-day holiday period, and it will probably stick around for weeks as plays in awards season, where the movie — and it’s 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — is poised to continue doing well (it has already racked up a number of nominations and awards). Spies in Disguise comes from Fox Animation, which is now owned by Disney, so it’s modest success this holiday period will go on Disney’s ledger, too. The film is essentially running even with Little Women — $22 million over 5 days — as it is appealing heavily to the 8-12 year old crowd.
In its 5th week, Knives Out fell to sixth place over the three-day weekend, but it has plenty to brag about with $17 million over five days and $110 million overall. Moreover, driven by exceptional reviews and insanely good word of mouth (plus several awards nominations, including a Best Picture Golden Globe nod), the film from Lionsgate and MRC will cross $200 million at the worldwide box office this weekend. With the success of Knives Out and the John Wick franchise, Lionsgate better watch out, lest Disney take an interest.
Adam Sandler’s Uncut Gems, meanwhile, is looking like a solid hit for A24 films. It has earned $18.8 million since Christmas Day, the biggest opening ever for A24. Including its limited release numbers, it’s earned $20 million now, which places it 7th all time for the indie studio and it’s poised to at least become the studios 3rd highest grossing film all time behind Lady Bird ($48 million) and Hereditary ($44 million).
Meanwhile, in eighth place, Cats came in even lower than originally estimated, earning only $8.7 million over the five-day frame to bring its total to a dismal $17.8 million after 10 days. Meow. It will go down as one of the year’s biggest misfires, as even the cast is distancing themselves from the film.
Based on true story pics, Bombshell and Richard Jewell, round out the top ten. With $8.4 million over five days and $15.6 million overall, Bombshell has earned back half its production budget, so far. Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell has a bigger $45 million budget to overcome, and it has earned only $16 million after three weeks, as it is shaping up to be a very rare dud for Eastwood (they both also feature outstanding performances from Margot Robbie and Charlize Theron in Bombshell and Paul Walter Hauser and Sam Rockwell in Jewell).
Next week, holdovers are expected to dominate the field, with Star Wars, Jumanji and Little Women adding to their totals. There is one new release, however, as The Grudge remake be the annual horror film released on the first weekend of a new year. It’s a pretty good weekend for horror pics, too, as Escape Room, Insidious: The Last Key, and Underworld: Blood Wars have done fairly well the last three years in that slot.