- “Jumanji: The Next Level” topped the domestic box office with a big $US60.1 million opening.
- Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell” was a bust, as the movie only brought in $US5 million.
- The movie marks the first time an Eastwood-directed title didn’t earn at least $US10 million since 2010’s “Hereafter.”
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Sony’s “Jumanji: The Next Level” flexed its muscles big time over the weekend, dethroning “Frozen II” at the domestic box office with an estimated $US60.1 million.
That’s the biggest opening ever for a Sony title in the month of December, blowing past the studio’s $US36 million opening weekend projection for the movie.
The action comedy, powered by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan (with Awkwafina, Danny DeVito, and Danny Glover added in the sequel), proved that the hit performance by the 2017 release wasn’t a fluke.
Its next test will be going up against Disney’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which opens this Friday. In 2017, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” opened the week after “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and enjoyed a strong box office through the new year, ending with close to $US1 billion earned at the global box office.
Starting a week before “Star Wars” this time around shows that Sony is confident its franchise can go up against one of the biggest earners of them all. We won’t know until January if “Jumanji” can hold its own, but this weekend’s performance does show the potential for a fun showdown in the weeks to come.
Over at Warner Bros., one of its longtime reliable performers didn’t come through this weekend as Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell” failed to find an audience.
The dramatic look back at the man who saved thousands when a bomb went off during the 1996 Summer Olympics and was later a suspect (he finally was cleared of any wrongdoing), only took in $US5 million over the weekend.
That’s the first time an Eastwood-directed movie hasn’t earned at least $US10 million at the domestic box office since 2010’s “Hereafter,” starring Matt Damon.
Though “Richard Jewell” features top-flight performances from Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, and Paul Walter Hauser as Jewell, the movie has been shrouded in controversy as it claims the reporter (played by Olivia Wilde) at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who broke the story that Jewell was a suspect of the FBI slept with an agent (played by Jon Hamm) in exchange for the information. The paper claimed that never happened and before the movie’s release it demanded Warner Bros. place a disclaimer regarding the reporter.
Regardless if that affected folks from going to see the movie, “Jewell” is a disappointment for Eastwood (the movie was projected to make at least $US10 million) and for a studio that has had a rough go of it this year.
Though Warner Bros. saw a huge return with “Joker” and “Shazam!,” it had a lot more busts: “Shaft,” “The Good Liar,” “The Kitchen,” “Doctor Sleep,” and “The Goldfinch.”
Box office highlights:
- A24’s “Uncut Gems” brought in $US525,000 on five screens, with a $US105,000 per screen average. That’s the best ever for an A24 movie. It opens nationwide Christmas day.
- “Frozen II” has crossed the $US1 billion mark at the worldwide box office with a $US1.032 billion take to date. It’s the 6th Disney title to hit $US1 billion in 2019.
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