Weekend Forecast (Updated): Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Chases $75-80M+ Second Frame, May Overtake Pace of Last Jedi; Little Women & Uncut Gems Open Strong

Post-Christmas Update: As Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker continues to lead the domestic box office by significant margins, its potential second weekend is coming into better view as the holiday corridor plays out. Through Wednesday, the pic had earned $259.2 million domestically and now looks ahead to the post-Christmas chase days. The film is now just $19.5 million off the six-day pace of The Last Jedi ($278.7 million) and looks to potentially close that gap by the end of the weekend. We’ve revised our second weekend forecast to a final range of $75 – 90 million.

In a strong second place showing, Jumanji: The Next Level has tallied $129 million stateside through Christmas Day and looks to come in on the high end of expectations for its third weekend depending on how the next few days play out.

Meanwhile, Little Women is off to a strong midweek start and Uncut Gems is wildly exceeding expectations. Updated forecasts for the top five films (those included) this coming weekend are in the chart immediately below.

Weekend estimates to come on Saturday morning.

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, December 29 % Change from Last Wknd
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Disney / Lucasfilm $81,400,000 $371,100,000 -54%
Jumanji: The Next Level Sony / Columbia $28,900,000 $169,100,000 9%
Little Women (2019) Sony / Columbia $16,700,000 $29,200,000 NEW
Frozen II Disney $16,900,000 $421,700,000 31%
Uncut Gems A24 $10,000,000 $21,500,000 4046%

Tuesday Morning: Fresh off the third highest debut in December history, and the third best weekend of 2019, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker now sets its sights on the lucrative holiday corridor in front of its feet over the next two weeks.

Disney reported on Tuesday morning that the blockbuster trilogy-capper added $29.2 million domestically on Monday, lifting its four-day total to $206.6 million. Yesterday’s earnings represented an encouraging 27 percent drop from Sunday and gave the film the sixth best Monday gross in history.

Christmas Eve will naturally see a sharp decline for Star Wars and all other films in release before significant boosts return on Christmas Day Wednesday and beyond. In fact, Rise of Skywalker is currently on pace to soar past The Last Jedi‘s $27.5 million Christmas Day gross for the second best of all-time on the holiday — behind only The Force Awakens‘ $49.3 million.

By Thursday’s end, the film may be sitting around $285 – 300 million stateside, at which point it would remain on a possible trajectory to score a $100 million second frame. It’s not a foregone conclusion, and that’s not the marker for a strong hold by any means, but it would become only the seventh film in history to reach nine digits in a sophomore weekend if it does. (The Last Jedi did not accomplish such a feat, earning $71.6 million in its comparable frame with Christmas Eve deflating earnings somewhat.)

Bottom line: Despite opening 19 percent lower than Last Jedi last weekend, Rise of Skywalker will be making up a lot of ground in the days ahead and looks to potentially match the former’s 10-day total of $368.2 million by the end of the coming weekend — if not exceed it. Though some point to the film’s franchise-low review score from critics and “B+” CinemaScore, the verified audience score on Rotten Tomatoes has remained at 86 percent since opening day.

In a strong second place this weekend is expected to be the third inning of Jumanji: The Next Level. The sequel continues to hold up well even with Star Wars in the market as audiences come out for multiple holiday movie viewings. Another $20 – 25 million+ is certainly on the table for the hit sequel.

Sony counter-programs this week with the anticipated Little Women remake from Greta Gerwig. We continue to expect some breakout potential for the generational adaptation thanks to excellent reviews, modest competition for female audiences of all ages, and the prestige aura created by the film’s cast and crew. Sony is cautiously expecting a five-day start of $16 – 17 million (Wednesday through Sunday), although the weeks ahead into January will be very favorable in terms of projected staying power — so, despite our more bullish forecasts, a debut close to Sony’s range would still position it for success.

Meanwhile, Disney will release Fox’s Spies In Disguise with expectations of a $20 million five-day bow. We’re actually more conservative, however, given the lingering impact of Star Wars, Jumanji: The Next Level, and Frozen II — all of which will boast strong appeal to families throughout the holiday week.

Lastly, Uncut Gems expands into wide release following its strong platform launch over the past two weekends. Forecasts for prestige titles are notoriously challenging around holiday corridors such as this, but a three-day weekend north of $5 million seems more than achievable given the current buzz around Adam Sandler’s performance and the film itself.

Weekend Ranges

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2nd weekend) ($85 – 105 million 3-day)
  • Little Women ($16 – 21 million 3-day)
  • Spies in Disguise ($8 – 13 million 3-day)
  • Uncut Gems ($5 million+ Expansion)

Top 10 vs. Last Year

Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will increase approximately 14 to 19 percent from the same weekend one year ago. At the time, Aquaman lead the box office with $52.1 million in its second weekend as part of an overall $165.7 million top ten aggregate.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, December 29 % Change from Last Wknd
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Disney / Lucasfilm $100,300,000 $400,500,000 -43%
Jumanji: The Next Level Sony / Columbia $24,200,000 $154,100,000 -9%
Little Women (2019) Sony / Columbia $18,000,000 $33,500,000 NEW
Frozen II Disney $17,000,000 $421,100,000 31%
Spies In Disguise Fox $8,900,000 $16,000,000 NEW
Knives Out Lionsgate $8,000,000 $105,300,000 24%
Cats Universal $5,700,000 $18,800,000 -14%
Uncut Gems A24 $5,300,000 $9,200,000 2097%
Bombshell Lionsgate $4,400,000 $14,800,000 -14%
Richard Jewell Warner Bros. $2,700,000 $15,100,000 5%

Forecasts subject to change as location counts are finalized before Friday

The chart above excludes releases and potential expansions from limited and platform films

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