Categories: Entertainment

Weekend box office – 1917 dethrones Star Wars

This weekend past at the US box office, it was the War of Wars! as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker tried to hold onto the top spot it’s occupied since its release a month ago, while Sam Mendes’ major Oscar contender World War I drama 1917 got a wide release. And in the end, audiences chose trenches in Europe instead of asteroid fields in a galaxy far, far away as 1917 dethroned Lucasfilm’s sci-fi blockbuster handily.

Buoyed by its Best Director and Best Motion Picture wins at the Golden Globes a week ago (and people like myself not being able to shut up about what a masterpiece it is), 1917 blew past Universal Pictures’ modest $20 million predictions with a very impressive $36.5 million opening as it expanded from 11 to 3400 cinemas. With an “A” Cinemascore, it would appear that audiences are as in love with Mendes’ serious Oscar contender as critics were which means that it should have strong box office legs during the quieter early year period. 1917 opened in 30 markets internationally as well, to the tune of $20 million, with further expansion – including South Africa – planned over the next for this coming weekend.

As for The Rise of Skywalker, it dipped 57% as it added another $15 million to its domestic coffers. With another $24.2 million coming from international markets, it leaves the film on the cusp of joining the billion dollar club with a current global tally of $989.6 million. There was a school of thought that had predicted The Rise of Skywalker would have crossed this milestone this weekend past already, but the final entry in the Skywalker saga has not been able to match the pace of its peers despite still making a massive amount of money.

With Jumanji: The Next Level rounding out the top three with a relatively strong $14 million for its fifth week on the charts, two newcomers on the charts – Like a Boss and Just Mercy – had to settle for a tied fourth place as both earned $10 million. It was Just Mercy that won out in the court of public opinion though as it went from a limited four-cinema run to a full domestic release. Director Destin Daniel Creton’s true-story court drama starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx earned full marks with an “A+” Cinemascore and strong reviews. On the flip side, the Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne and Salma Hayek-led R-rated WB comedy Like a Boss saw it earn only a “B” with audiences and a RottenTomatoes score of just 21%.

The final newcomer this past weekend was the Kristen Stewart-led aquatic horror-thriller Underwater. Unfortunately, it was more sink than swim as Underwater came in under predictions at just $7 million in seventh place, with mixed reviews from both critics and audiences. And the film’s international earnings won’t be helping much in this case as it was a non-event. Maybe itif Fox actually had released in more than just half a dozen cinemas in the entire South Africa we could have helped a little.

Let’s see what the rest of the US box office chart looks like:

No.Movie Name Weekend gross Percentage change US Domestic gross Worldwide gross Last Week's Position
11917 $36.5 million +5 809% $39.2 million $60.4 million 17th
2Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker $15 million -56% $478.1 million $989.5 million 1st
3Jumanji: The Next Level $14 million -46% $257.1 million $671.1 million 2nd
4Just Mercy $10 million -12 952% $10.4 million $10.4 million 29th
5Like a Boss $10 million NE $10 million $10 million NE
6Little Women $7.6 million -43% $74 million $107.2 million 3rd
7Underwater $7 million NE $7 million $14.1 million NE
8Frozen II $5.7 million -51% $459.3 million $1.371 billion 4th
9Knives Out $5.7 million -35% $139.6 million $265.4 million 7th
10Spies in Disguise $5.1 million -50% $54.6 million $115 million 6th

NE = New Entry

Last Updated: January 13, 2020

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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