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Weekend Box Office: Maze Runner On Top While Jumanji, Greatest Showman Continue Strong Runs

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By Chris Kavan - 01/28/18 at 06:08 PM CT

While Maze Runner: The Death Cure may have topped the weekend box office, it was the continued strong performance from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Greatest Showman that continued to turn heads. Meanwhile, there is a new champion among Indian-language films as well as an impressive expansion for the western drama Hostiles. Overall, the box office was down by about 7% compared to the same weekend last year as January closes out with a whimper despite the records being broken.


The third film in the Maze Runner franchise delivered a weekend-topping performance of $23.5 million but also continued to show a progressive decline for the series as well. The original Maze Runner opened with $32 million while the Scorch Trials sequel delivered a $30 million opening. It doesn't help the last in the trilogy was delayed by over a year due to the on-set injury of star Dylan O’Brien. But at least the series is getting a proper end - something the likes of Divergent, Golden Compass and Chronicles of Narnia look to never receive. So while this is the most expensive ($62 million) of the series and opened with the least amount, Death Cure should still come out on top once worldwide totals are tallied. The film is looking at a domestic total around $60-$65 million but as the first two films wound up with over $300 million worldwide, Death Cure should hold on strong enough to become profitable for the studio. The YA market has struggled after Harry Potter and Hunger Games, but has never truly gone away and with the likes of Fantastic Beasts and the upcoming Mortal Engines catering to a slightly more adult crowd, perhaps the market has shifted as the audience who grew up with those films has grown up themselves.


With an impressive hold and mere 16% drop compared to last weekend, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle added $16.4 million to its $338 million total. That was enough to propel it passed both Spider-Man: Homecoming ($334.2 million) and Spider-Man 3 ($336 million) to become Sony's third-best domestic film of all time. It also passed the totals of the likes of Suicide Squad ($325 million), Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice ($330 million), Guardians of the Galaxy ($333 million) and It ($327 million). It is also looking strong on the worldwide market where is is now Sony's fifth-highest grossing film of all time as well as only the sixth film from Sony to cross the $800 million mark (where it sits at $822 million and counting). And even after six weeks, it continues to look strong with only Black Panther likely to be able to slow it down.


The western drama Hostiles had an excellent expansion from 119 to 2,816, jumping by over 1658% into third place with $10.2 million and giving the grim western a new $12 million total. Despite having a decent critical reception, Hostiles hasn't gotten awards season attention, which makes this result an even more impressive feat. It only earned a so-so "B" Cinemascore, and it will face upcoming competition, but even if it only has this weekend, you have got to give distributor Entertainment Studios credit. They are new kids on this block and scored with 47 Meters Down and got burned by Friend Request - but Hostiles is definitely a win. While Hostiles isn't going to get an awards-season boost, if it can hang tough for a least a couple of weeks, it should turn out fine.


Continuing to exceed all logical expectations, The Greatest Showman actually rose a spot, from fifth to fourth place, with another inexplicably impressive hold with a mere 10.8% decrease. With another $9.5 million in the bank, Greatest Showman now boasts a $126.4 million total, crossing that $125 million mark with ease. It seems inevitable that is will pass La La Land ($151 million) at this point - and with no Oscar attention to boost it. And when (not if) it hits $143 million, it will top Scream as the third leggiest wide-release film of the past 20 years, save for that behemoth known as Titanic and another musical, Chicago. All in all, Greatest Showman is seemingly unstoppable and an anomaly the likes of which we're not going to be seeing in a long time (another 20 years perhaps?).


Swapping places with The Greatest Showman, The Post dropped a spot to round out the top five with a $8.85 million weekend (down 24.5%) and a new total of $58.5 million. With that, Fox studio can also claim three out of the top five films, as well as about 50% of the total box office for the weekend. While not the buzziest Oscar-nominated film, it still helps when it is nominated at all. The Post also added $10.2 million overseas (including a $3 million chart-topping debut in France) for a new international total of $24.5 million. The drama is still looking like at least a $75 million domestic earner at this time.

Outside the top five: The Hindi film Padmaavat cracked the top 10 with $4.27 million and a weekend-best $13,188 per-theater average. Despite opening in just 324 theaters, it set a new record for a U.S. release of an Indian language film, topping the $3.56 million opening of P.K. back in 2014.

Almost all of the big Oscar nominated film capitalized on their fortunes - The Shape of Water led the nominations, and also led the pack - it added over 1000 screens and jumped from 16th to 8th place (a 160.7% increase) with $5.7 million and a new $37.67 million total. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri added over 500 screens and went from 17th to 13th place (a 87.8% increase) with $3.6 million and new $37 million total. I, Tonya added 161 screens and had a modest 3.8% increase, but still fell from 14th to 16th place with $2.3 million and a new $18.8 million total. Lady Bird added nearly 500 screens itself, going from 22nd to 19th place (a 61.2% increase) for a $1.9 million weekend and new $41.6 million total.

With the Super Bowl coming this weekend, there will be just one new wide release, the historical horror film Winchester and the box office will likely have another soft weekend as February opens.


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