'Jumanji' takes down 'The Last Jedi' to win the weekend box office

Sony‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.’
  • “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” won the weekend with an estimated $US36 million.
  • It finally knocked “The Last Jedi” from its three-week perch on top of the domestic box office.
  • “Insidious: The Last Key” came in second place and earns twice as much as its production budget.

While “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has been dominating the domestic box office since opening in mid December, another title has been hot on its heels and this weekend it finally knocked down the Disney cash cow.

Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” won the weekend box office, taking in an estimated $US36 million, according to boxofficepro.com. The sequel to the 1995 hit starring Robin Williams took the number one spot after “The Last Jedi” was king of the mountain for three consecutive weeks, and earned over $US550 million domestically(over $US1 billion worldwide).

But “Welcome to the Jungle” – fuelled by the star power of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black – has been building its own strong gross both domestically and abroad thanks to the good word of mouth (it has a 77% critic score/90% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes).

It’s a credit to Sony understanding it had a title audiences would go to once they got “Star Wars” out of their system (or those who just aren’t fans of the saga), that since opening on December 20 it has kept “Jumanji” on as many screens as it possibly could (“The Last Jedi” has been playing on over 4,200).

Insidious Last Key UniversalUniversal‘Insidious: The Last Key’ also had a strong weekend.

Showing on over 3,700 screens its first two weekends, “Welcome to the Jungle” accomplished the rare feat by a Hollywood blockbuster of gaining audiences. This weekend it jumped up to 3,800 screens and saw a minuscule drop from last weekend (-28%). The accomplishment is even more impressive after taking into account the awful deep freeze the Northeast is suffering through.

With a domestic total now of $US244 million, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” marks the highest-grossing live-action movie for Kevin Hart and the third-best for The Rock (behind “Furious 7,” $US353 million and “Moana,” $US248.7 million).

The only new release this weekend was the lastest Universal/Blumhouse collaboration, “Insidious: The Last Key,” which came in second place with $US29.2 million. “The Last Jedi” finished in third with $US23.5 million.

It’s another success for Blumhouse, the company behind last year’s 1st quarter sensations, “Split” and “Get Out.” Budgeted at $US10 million, the fourth “Insidious” movie is already making a profit and had a bigger opening than 2015’s “Insidious: Chapter 3” ($US22.6 million). But it’s not topping the best opening of the franchise, 2013’s “Insidious: Chapter 2” ($US40.2 million).

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