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New Year Weekend Box Office: Star Wars Edges Jumanji, While Greatest Showman Sets Record

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By Chris Kavan - 01/01/18 at 01:16 PM CT

Happy New Year to all and to all a good... year, I guess? In any case, it's so cold here, frost is forming inside my house (on a window handle, it's not like I'm without heat). So I'm sitting inside, drinking a cup of cheer and looking at the returns both Disney and Sony have to be happy with the second long holiday weekend in a row as both Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle continue to post impressive numbers. But those weren't the only movies getting love as Hugh Jackman's Greatest Showman pulled off an impressive feat of its own. With no new wide releases, the top five remained the same with the biggest push coming from All the Money in the World which couldn't quite break into the top five.


After a rather large tumble that had some calling The Last Jedi done and over, just because of some harsher-than-normal fan backlash, The Last Jedi recovered in its third weekend, taking the top spot with $52.66 million ($68.3 million including New Year's Day) for a new total of $533 million. That 31% drop is actually one of the best third-week holds among films opening with $100 million or more, and its total places it sixth on the all time list - just above Rogue One ($532 million) and just below The Dark Knight ($534 million). It will have no problem topping that in the next day, while it sets its sight on The Avengers ($623 million) next. That also makes it the top 2017 release and it has topped $1 billion globally and will soon top Fate of the Furious ($1.23 billion) and Beauty and the Beast ($1.26 billion) to take the global crown as well. For all the naysayers and doom-and-gloomers who think Rian Johnson just ruined the franchise... well, I guess they're just flat-out wrong.


It was a tight finish for first and Jumanji tried its hardest. It came close, with a second-place finish of $50.35 million for the weekend and $66.5 million including the holiday. That represents an increase of 38.3%, the fourth best increase for a movie opening on 3000 or more screens and 8th best for one opening on 2500 or more. That is an excellent result no matter how you look at it. That gives it $185.7 million, the second best total a live-action Dwayne Johnson domestic film (behind Furious 7) and it has a very good chance of topping Moana ($248 million) in the long run. It is already easily the biggest domestic live-action hit for Kevin Hart and Jack Black (Karen Gillan has those Guaridans of the Galaxy films in her wheelhouse). The family-friendly actioner is looking to top $275 million, and if it can at least hit $257 million it would be Sony's sixth biggest hit behind four Spider-Man films and Skyfall. It will be really interesting to see how it does next weekend, but it could become the highest-grossing film to never hit first place (Sing has that title now with $270 million).


The Bellas continued to score with their target audience. Even though it was one of the rare films to dip in audience totals (down 15.5% for the weekend). The third film in the Pitch Perfect franchise still brought in $16.84 million for the weekend and $22.7 million including the holiday. That gives the third film a solid $69 million, topping the total for the original Pitch Perfect ($65 million). It has made nearly $100 million worldwide so there will be no trouble with the $45 million film making it into the black. It should to out at over $100 million domestic alone before it ends its run. It has been said this is the final film in the series, but we'll see if the Bellas prove popular enough to squeak in another show.


While the opening for The Greatest Showman was somewhat of a snooze, Hugh Jackman's musical about the life of P.T. Barnum pulled off a New Year's feat worthy of song. The Greatest Showman posted a 77% increase over its Fri-Sunday $8.8 million opening last week. That is a new record for any film opening in 3000 or more theaters. Not just a record, but blowing away the old one set by Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (which posted a 55.4% gain back in 2005). It was also among the top five in both 2500 or more theaters and 2000 or more theaters. Even going back to 600 screens or more, Greatest Showman looks strong, posting the biggest gain in 31 years. All that means that Greatest Showman scored a $15.55 million weekend ($20.75 for the holiday) and a total of $54.26 million. It now looks more and more likely that the musical can hit $100 million total, good news for a film that had a worrying opening, but it seems audiences have found it and are embracing the story.


Rounding out the top five, the animated Ferdinand also posted gains, jumping a hefty 55.8% for $11.4 million for the weekend and $14.6 million for the holiday. The animated family bull story crossed the $50 million mark with a new $53.56 million total. It still has a long was to justify that $111 million budget, but it's looking every so slightly better. Still, I have a feeling as the kids go back to school that the bull run is going to be over and Ferdinand is still going to finish in the red.

Outside the top five: All the Money in the World, known by most for its hasty reshoots to replace the disgraced Kevin Spacey, opened on Christmas Day and topped out at $5.6 million for the weekend ($7.53 for the holiday), a 7th place finish. The $50 million film has earned $14.7 million thus far, and is drowning in a sea of holiday fare that both the adults and kids can enjoy.

Next week horror comes early with Insidious: The Last Key and we also get an expansion of Molly's Game, which follows an Olympic skier who hosted the world's most prestigious poker game - until she ran afoul of the FBI.


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