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Christmas Weekend Box Office: Last Jedi Tumbles, Still Easily Tops Jumanji, Pitch Perfect 3

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By Chris Kavan - 12/26/17 at 07:16 PM CT

In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, Star Wars: The Last Jedi held on to its top position over the long Christmas box office period. What may come as a shock is how much it fell, especially compared to The Force Awakens. Granted, there has been a lot of audience backlash (which I am still trying to get myself), but even with the somewhat large decline, The Last Jedi is still going to wind up a huge film. Jumani: Welcome to the Jungle and Pitch Perfect 3 looked great in their debuts while Downsizing and Father Figures failed to gain much traction. While the results will likely not be quite enough to stem the tide from a lackluster summer movie season, the strong fall-holiday box office frame will at least make things look respectable.


It was no contest once again as Star Wars: The Last Jedi took the top spot with a $71.5 million weekend and $99 million Christmas total. Final numbers aside, by this time The Last Jedi is looking to cross the $400 million mark by the end of today, as it stood at $395.6 million on Christmas Day. That will make The Last Jedie the second-biggest film of 2017 in less than two weeks. Still, that 67% second-week drop meant The Last Jedi shed $148 million from its opening weekend, topping the $121.7 million drop suffered by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. While that's not exactly the kind of record you want, I don't think Star Wars is in any danger. It is still looking at topping $600 million domestic, and it should have already topped $800 million worldwide by today. Even with the competition and fan backlash that has hit, The Last Jedi is still going to be a very successful film and I doubt it will spell the end of anything. I look for this to continue its run well into the new year.


The biggest non-Star Wars film of the long holiday weekend was Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a semi-sequel to the 1995 classic. Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan play video game alter egos of four high school students who find themselves sucked into the Jumanji world and must work together to not only survive, but get back to the real world. The film brought in a healthy $36.4 million for the weekend and $55.4 million over Christmas. Including its early Wednesday opening, Welcome to the Jungle sits at a $72 million total, less than $20 million away from its $90 million budget. It will easily hit that mark this week and is looking at a total around $200 million - possibly higher if it can keep hold of the family market in the long run. Still, it's a huge win for Sony, who usually doesn't see this much success outside of their franchise films like James Bond and (until recently) Spider-Man. In any case, perhaps this will turn into a new franchise. It might be too early, but audiences are certainly happy, awarding the film an "A-" Cinemascore.


The second new film to break into the top five was the third entry in the Pitch Perfect franchise and it landed firmly in third place. The Bellas sang their way into a $20 million weekend, rising to $26.4 million over Christmas. That is a solid opening for the $45 million sequel (and reportedly the final one). Sure, it's well below the $69 million opening of Pitch Perfect 2, but considering the competition, it was never going to be that big of hit. Still, the last call for the Bellas also earned an "A-" Cinemascore from audiences and should wind up around the $100 million mark. Factor in the international audience, and this should about match the original film in terms of grosses.


The last of the new films to grace the top five was Hugh Jackman's musical take on the life and times of P.T. Barnum. Another family-friendly title, this opened to an $8.8 million weekend and $14.4 million for the holiday. Like Jumanji, this one opened early, leading to a total of just over $19 million. The film drew a mostly female audience (63%) with 60% coming in under 35 and it was awarded an "A" Cinemascore. Still, it's not looking great for the film in the long run, as about $50-$60 million is the best the film will be looking at. It was tracking a lot like Annie, but reaching that film's $85 million mark seems out of the question. It's a bit early to tell, but considering the choices, Greatest Showman is just going to fall through the cracks.


Rounding out the top five, the animated Ferdinand took a 24.5% hit - not bad with all the competition, especially targeting families. With a $7.3 million weekend and a $10.11 million holiday frame, Ferdinand now stands at $29.6 million. While the hold is impressive, its total is worrying compared to its reported $111 million budget. Even with international help, Ferdinand is essentially the poor man's choice compared to Coco and will probably struggle to $50 million domestic and will slightly double that worldwide. It's not looking likely this will make much, if any, in the long run.

Outside the top five. It wasn't good news for the other two wide releases, Downsizing and Father Figures. Alexander Payne tried to court the adult audience amid a sea of family titles, but they weren't having it. Downsizing only had a $5 million weekend leading to a paltry $7.6 million holiday. Audiences were cold, awarding it a "C" Cinemascore, which doesn't bode well for its long-term prospects. Even worse, the R-rated comedy Father Figures was a non-starter as the Ed Helms/Owen Wilson buddy comedy about tracking down their biological father earned blistering reviews and opened to just $3.28 million and $5.48 million including the holiday. This will likely be out of theaters soon, so if you want a "B-" chuckle, best check it out now.

In expansion, Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water jumped 75.4% (158.4% for the holiday) hitting 10th place in both cases with $3 million and $4.4 million respectively. The Darkest Hour also expanded (which I failed to cover - I'll hit that this week) and actually did better, hitting 8th place with $3.89 million and $5.5 million, a jump of 359.2% and a whopping 550.7% including the holiday.

Also opening on Christmas Day (and another I will cover later this week) All the Money in the World hit $2.6 million.

No milestones to speak of outside the major films - next week there are no new wide releases aside from the already-mentioned movies.


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