Box Office Report: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Overcomes Its Write-offs, While 'Jumanji' Heads for Major Milestone

Box Office Report: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Overcomes Its Write-offs, While 'Jumanji' Heads for Major Milestone

Jan 02, 2018

Star Wars: The Last JediHere's your estimated 4-day box office returns (new releases bolded):

1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi - $68.3 million ($533.0 million total)

2. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle - $66.5 million ($185.7 million total)

3. Pitch Perfect 3 - $22.7 million ($69.2 million total)

4. The Greatest Showman - $20.7 million ($54.2 million total)

5. Ferdinand - $14.6 million ($56.7 million total)

6. Coco - $9.6 million ($182.0 million total)

7. Darkest Hour - $7.6 million ($20.2 million total)

8. All the Money in the World - $7.5 million ($14.7 million total)

9. Downsizing - $6.1 million ($18.5 million total)

10. Father Figures - $5.0 million ($14.1 million total)


The Big Stories

Remember all that panic last week over The Last Jedi? Not that Alex Jones kind where he believes it is trying to brainwash America. But its prospects after a larger-than-expected drop on a weekend including a holiday where theaters either close-up shop early or altogether? All of a sudden there was backlash panic that was going to spill over into next summer’s Solo: A Star Wars Story and maybe even into Episode IX. Solo is indeed it’s own story but The Last Jedi has just passed The Dark Knight to become the sixth-highest grossing domestic film of all-time. It took Christopher Nolan’s film 233 days to reach its spot. It took The Last Jedi just 18.


Tale of The Last Jedi

Kids are on Holiday Break. Adults got back-to-back four-day weekends. Yet there was panic in the streets of box office observers that Star Wars: The Last Jedi was succumbing to a fringe group of haters who couldn’t nitpick their way into a Sadie Hawkins dance. Sure, last week I reported right here that Episode VIII had fallen behind the pace of Jurassic World. That was a fact. But the context surrounding it showed the circumstances given this bizarre time of year when mid-week grosses are higher than usual plus the aforementioned Christmas Eve anamoly.

In just one week, The Last Jedi went from approximately $18.7 million behind Jurassic World to over $30 million ahead. It also had roughly the same third weekend gross and if it can continue that pace through a rather lackluster January that would put it at $682 million; still well below the all-time champ in The Force Awakens but good enough to pass Titanic to become the third highest-grossing film of all-time. It has also joined the billion dollar club worldwide; the fourth this year and the 32nd ever.


Tales of the Top Ten

While the massive numbers of The Last Jedi are being taken for granted in the light of expert expectations (even I thought a billion domestic was possible), Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has exceeded most all expectations (mine excluded, of course.) This was a film that always felt like it had Night at the Museum potential. In 13 days that Ben Stiller fantasy (which had Jumanji-like inspiration) had made $136.6 million. Jumanji Deux is up to over $185 million.

There have only been nine films that opened in December that reached $300 million. They include the first four Peter Jackson/Tolkien films, the last three Star Wars films and those two big James Cameron movies. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is currently ahead of the pace of both The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ($163.8) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ($179.5) but behind The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ($210.1) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($232.3). That would put the film somewhere in-between $313-339 million when all is said and done.

Reports of Pitch Perfect 3’s demise were again greatly exaggerated, as the film is just below $70 million after 11 days. Last year’s Passengers had just $55.3 million at the same point and just got over the $100 million hump. Anchorman 2 had $77.8 million, so it’s reasonable to put Pitch Perfect 3’s final estimate between $110-120 million. Fox’s The Greatest Showman is in its 13th day with $54 million. But it went from a $14.4 million four-day weekend (with Christmas Eve) to a $20.7 million four-day which means it's finding its voice with adults (if not with critics, given its 55% rating at Rotten Tomatoes). It has at least three more weeks in the Top Ten and could still very well reach the $100 million mark. The studio’s Ferdinand had a five-day headstart on it and has still only cleared $56 million. Fox’s new owner, Disney, is having much better success with Coco, which is making a slow march towards $200 million with a 97% approval compared to Ferdinand’s 72%.

Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World got more press in the weeks leading up to its release then it’s going to get in box office columns going forward; earning just $14 million in its first eight days with a respectable if unspectacular 77% critical score. That’s lower than Aaron Sorkin’s well-advertised Molly’s Game (80%), which is up to $6 million in just 271 theaters and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread (90%), which has made $611,000 in a mere four theaters since Christmas Day. His last film, Inherent Vice, made $490,263 in five theaters by that point of its release. The Master made $1.05 million in its first seven days in five theaters as well. There Will Be Blood opened the day after Christmas in two theaters and made $469,651 in its first eight days.

Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour (84%) might not be quite up to the pace of his Atonement (the multi-nominated film also featuring a Dunkirk cameo) which is still his highest-grossing film to date at over $50 million. But with over $20 million (on still less than 1,000 screens since its limited opening Thanksgiving week) the film is moving up the Focus charts, currently ranking 33rd overall. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water (93%) is only 48th on Fox Searchlight’s all-time chart but it is making a strong run (in just 756 theaters currently) to surpass both Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Gifted to become its top-grosser of the year. Steven Spielberg’s The Post (85%), meanwhile, has racked up just under $2 million in just nine theaters and goes wide this Friday. Finally, a hearty congratulations to Stephen Chbosky’s Wonder. At $122+ million it has passed Fahrenheit 9/11 to become the ninth highest-grossing film in Lionsgate’s history and the second-highest non-franchise film behind only La La Land’s $151 million.

If you want to listen to Erik Childress’ Holiday Box Office Prediction Show, you can download the podcast.

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[Box office figures via Box Office Mojo.]

Categories: Features, Box office, Geek
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