Water is wet. Ice is cold. And you don’t compete against Star Wars at the box office. These are the facts of life. And yet, two years ago Sony did exactly that when it released Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle just a week after Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Of course, not only did Jumanji turn out to be unexpectedly amazing, it earned just shy of $1 billion over the subsequent weeks, holding its own strongly against Star Wars. Now with just a few days to go before the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Sony is rolling the dice once more… and it’s worked again! At least for now!
Jumanji: The Next Level hugely exceeded projections (Sony had been conservative in their predictions of around $35 million) as it opened in the top spot in the US this weekend past to the tune of $59.2 million. That is waaaaay higher than the $36 million its predecessor opened to in 2017. In fact, it took Welcome to the Jungle over five days to get to what The Next Level did in just three.
Internationally, The Next Level had already opened in some markets last weekend, and it added another $85.7 million as it took its global total to an impressive $212.6 million. Again, that outstrips its predecessor handily. Of course, the difference here is that the previous film had a huge amount of buzz as audiences, who expected it to be a cheap cash-in on the Jumanji brand name, were shocked at how good it was. The Next Level is getter much milder reviews as Sony played it very safe on the sequel, just giving more of the same of what came before. Time will tell if that will hold up when Rise of the Skywalker shows up.
One film that’s not concerned about Star Wars as it’s already left its mark is Frozen II. As predicted, the Disney animated sequel officially crossed the $1 billion mark, as it added another $19 million domestically and $84 million internationally. At $1.032 billion it’s the seventh-highest worldwide release for an animated film ever. It’s also the sixth billion-dollar release for Disney this year. It may have lost its box office thrown to Jumanji, but Frozen II is already a massive success.
With Knives Out hanging on in third place with $9.5 million, that means that we have to go down to a respective fourth and fifth place to find the two other newcomers of this past weekend. And damn they did not do well. Clint Eastwood directed true-life drama Richard Jewell could only debut to $4.6 million, while Black Christmas, a remake of a 70s holiday slasher flick, limped in with just $4.2 million. As both films had wide releases of between 2000-2500 venues, that gives them some of the worst opening numbers this entire year. Black Christmas is lucky though as it’s another shoestring budget Blumhouse production, which means it with another $3 million from international markets, it’s already turning a small profit.
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|
|1||Jumanji: The Next Level||$59.2 million||NE||$59.2 million||$212.8 million||NE|
|2||Frozen II||$19 million||-45%||$366.4 million||$1.033 billion||1st|
|3||Knives Out||$9.1 million||-35%||$78.8 million||$162.8 million||2nd|
|4||Richard Jewell||$4.6 million||NE||$4.6 million||$4.6 million||NE|
|5||Black Christmas||$4.2 million||NE||$4.2 million||$7.2 million||NE|
|6||Ford v Ferrari||$4 million||-38%||$97.1 million||$185 million||3rd|
|7||Queen & Slim||$3.5 million||-46%||$33.1 million||$33.1 million||4th|
|8||A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood||$3.2 million||-37%||$49.2 million||$49.2 million||5th|
|9||Dark Waters||$1.8 million||-52%||$8.7 million||$9.1 million||6th|
|10||21 Bridges||$1.1 million||-58%||$26.3 million||$37.8 million||7th|
NE = New Entry
Last Updated: December 17, 2019