Saturday Update: Living up to volatile forecasts before release which had called for anywhere between $35 million and $70 million+ in its domestic launch, Jumanji: The Next Level‘s pendulum has swung back upwards with an opening day reported at $19.4 million by distributor Sony. That includes Thursday’s preview grosses ($4.7 million) and puts the sequel on course for a debut weekend in the vicinity of $55 million, give or take some change. (Sony conservatively upped their projection to $50 million this morning.)
For comparison, Next Level exceeded the opening day of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ($12.665 million) by a whopping 53 percent. That animated title opened one year ago this weekend, and didn’t have the face the challenge of a Star Wars film opening one week later. The previous film, Welcome to the Jungle, bowed to $7.2 million on a Wednesday five days before Christmas (and five days after The Last Jedi).
Once again, Sony and the Jumanji series have smartly used the release schedule to its advantage as it becomes a candidate to clear $200 million domestically by the end of its run with big boosts expected in the holiday corridor ahead. While that will mark a noticeable decline from Welcome to the Jungle‘s $404.5 million domestic take two years ago, it would meet pre-release expectations and still represent another big hit for the studio and the franchise.
Overall box office for the weekend remains on target with expectations of exceeding $100 million from the top ten alone, generating an approximate 3 to 8 percent increase from the same frame one year ago.
Moving down to second place, Frozen II added $4.411 million to begin its fourth frame yesterday. The Disney animated sequel owns a $351.8 million domestic total through 22 days of play as it heads toward an estimated $19.6 million fourth weekend.
In third, Knives Out tacked on another $2.65 million, down just 36 percent from last Friday. The buzzy whodunnit from Rian Johnson has tallied $79 million stateside through 17 days and is charting a path to around $9.3 million this weekend.
Black Christmas debuted in a disappointing fourth place with $1.81 million yesterday, apparently not able to benefit from the synergistic Friday the 13th release that’s benefited past PG-13 horror titles. Opening weekend looks to register around $4.4 million.
Also falling well below expectations, Richard Jewell bowed to $1.55 million on Friday. Despite having no Thursday previews, and given the likelihood that weekend play will generate stronger business with its target 35+ audience, opening weekend looks to register close to $5.2 million — half of what industry expectations and our own pre-release models suggested. The upside is positive word of mouth and reviews could yet help generate a lengthy run in the weeks ahead, but that remains to be seen as the effects of this week’s “controversial” story around the film is an unknown element in affecting the film’s trajectory.
On the prestige front, Uncut Gems opened to $210K from 5 locations ($42K per location) yesterday, marking another winner for A24. Meanwhile, Bombshell pulled $134K from 4 locations ($33.5K per), while A Hidden Life earned $16K from 5 locations ($3,200 per). Weekend estimates for all three can be found below.
Early Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, DEC. 13 – SUN, DEC. 15
|1||Jumanji: The Next Level||$55,000,000||—||4,227||—||$13,012||$55,000,000||1||Sony Pictures|
|4||Richard Jewell||$5,200,000||—||2,502||—||$2,078||$5,200,000||1||Warner Bros.|
|5||Black Christmas||$4,400,000||—||2,625||—||$1,676||$4,400,000||1||Universal Pictures|
|6||Ford v. Ferrari||$4,200,000||-37%||2,895||-851||$1,451||$98,304,794||5||20th Century Fox|
|7||Queen & Slim||$3,500,000||-47%||1,560||-155||$2,244||$33,074,870||3||Universal Pictures|
|8||A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood||$3,400,000||-35%||2,855||-636||$1,191||$49,374,891||4||Sony Pictures|
|9||Dark Waters||$1,900,000||-52%||2,112||100||$900||$1,900,000||4||Focus Features|
|10||21 Bridges||$1,200,000||-58%||1,533||-932||$783||$26,371,366||4||STX Entertainment|
|12||Playing with Fire||$690,000||-66%||1,381||-872||$500||$43,284,818||6||Paramount Pictures|
|13||Playmobil: The Movie||$200,000||-70%||2,337||0||$86||$1,022,723||2||STX Entertainment|
|1||Last Christmas||$475,000||-53%||616||-644||$771||$34,415,840||6||Universal Pictures|
|4||Jojo Rabbit||$365,000||-35%||400||-179||$913||$19,971,764||9||Fox Searchlight|
|5||Maleficent: Mistress of Evil||$195,000||-64%||345||-383||$565||$112,751,631||9||Disney|
|6||Terminator: Dark Fate||$130,000||-60%||250||-181||$520||$62,074,270||7||Paramount|
|7||No Safe Spaces||$100,000||-67%||165||-35||$606||$1,023,785||8||Atlas Distribution|
|9||En Brazos de un Asesino||$60,000||-74%||160||0||$375||$365,920||2||Lionsgate / Pantelion Films|
|3||A Hidden Life||$50,000||—||5||—||$10,000||$50,000||1||Fox Searchlight|
|4||Downton Abbey||$27,000||-44%||59||-58||$458||$27,000||13||Focus Features|
Friday Report: Sony / Columbia’s Jumanji: The Next Level scored $4.7 million from Thursday’s opening at 4pm in 3,778 locations. That’s a strong start for the anticipated sequel not just with regard to the weekend, but its holiday run ahead.
By comparison, Next Level exceeded the $3.5 million earned by Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on this same weekend one year ago. That film started one hour later in the day at 5pm in 3,321 theaters (and its figure didn’t include sneak preview grosses from the week prior).
Sony continues to project around $35 million for the weekend, but our current projections stand in the $40 – 50 million range.
Meanwhile, Black Christmas bowed to $230K last night from 2,100 locations. That seems like a modest start compared to Krampus‘ $640K Thursday opening four Decembers ago, but Friday the 13th today is likely skewing teen and young adult attendance more toward Friday evening.
Warner Bros. did not hold Thursday night screenings for Richard Jewell.
More updates to come.