UPDATED AS OF MONDAY DECEMBER 25TH, 12:00 PM
With Star Wars: The Last Jedi opening huge last weekend and the Christmas long weekend upon us, could the Disney machine keep rolling through the holidays? Compared to last weekend it was up against anticipated wide releases in the form of Jumanji and Pitch Perfect 3. Could it keep pace with previous Star Wars entries? Let’s take a look!
With a $220 million opening last weekend, Star Wars: The Last Jedi had a steep 68% drop over the three-day weekend bringing in $71.7 million. Early projections for the holiday Monday have it finishing around $103 million for the long weekend but that number will likely change. Comparing that to previous two Star Wars releases, The Force Awakens managed $149 million in only 3 days and Rogue One brought in $64 million over three days and $96 million including the holiday. Domestically it will fall just shy of $400 million by the end of the long weekend with around $397 million in total box office.
That current total puts it behind The Force Awakens by 30% at the same period and ahead of Rogue One by 25%. It has seen the largest drop of the new crop of Star Wars films with TFA dropping a tiny 39.8% and Rogue One a modest 58.7%, this is likely due to several factors, not least of which the poor reaction to the film which has seemingly divided audiences. It is also facing the arduous task of being the third film now since the resurgence back in 2015, expectations will have to be tempered going forward for all future releases.
Internationally it’s doing what it’s supposed to do with China still yet to open on January 5th. Initial projections had The Last Jedi finishing around 23% below The Force Awakens but that number is closer to 30% now. All told it added $75 million to its now $380 million international total. The reason for the drop is likely due to the previously mentioned other big wide releases such as Jumanji which opened to #1 in 28 markets around the world. To date, the worldwide total for The Last Jedi stands at $745 million and should enter the top 5 for the year next week.
Opening in over 3,700 theatres was the anticipated remake of Jumanji starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart finishing as expected in second place. The Sony distributed action film definitely took a bite out of Star Wars with a $53 million opening, taking advantage of an early Wednesday start and once the holiday Monday numbers are in should be around $70 million for the long weekend. That plus a great start overseas where it debuted #1 in 28 markets earning $50 million for a nice opening weekend of around $110 million on a modest budget of $90 million. If it continues to play well against Star Wars it could have legs considering it has a ton of markets left to open in including Japan, China and Australia.
In third place was the weekends other big release Pitch Perfect 3 which made $19.9 million over the three days and should add another $7 million after the Monday numbers come in. Being touted as the series finale, it has a strong “A-” CinemaScore but will see big diminishing returns compared to the previous 2 which had much better release dates and didn’t have to go up against a slew of holiday releases. At a production cost of $45 million plus advertising I could easily see this film having a hard time breaking even. The studio’s hope is likely getting enough bang for their buck for a potential spin-off that would cost a lot less down the road.
Rounding out the top 5 are Hugh Jackman’s The Greatest Showman in fourth and the Fox animated feature Ferdinand in fifth. Another early start, the P.T. Barnum musical earned $8.6 million over three-day weekend and should be looking at around $18 million over six days of release. Fox spent very little marketing dollars on this film but a very strong score and word of mouth could keep this film in theatres for quite a while. The audience skews female in a big way which typically make or break long-term projections. Ferdinand added only $7 million to its now $26.5 million domestic total which puts it way back of its $111 million production costs. It’s barely showing any life overseas ($7.6m) and is just simply getting swallowed up by holiday releases. Not to mention the much more popular animated film Coco is still going strong in its fifth week of release.
Next weekend we’ll see the release of the controversial All the Money in the World and the fourth entry in the Insidious series of films Insidious: The Last Key. The Blumhouse horror series averages $63 million openings but showing signs of diminishing returns, not to mention an odd time of year for a horror film. But they micro budget these films to death so like the rest should see a profit and have an effect on the top 5. All the Money in the World is reeling after Ridley Scott replaced Kevin Spacey for Christopher Plummer after Spacey was publicly outed for years of sexual misconduct. The move seems to be a good one as this film figures heavily come award season and Plummer himself getting good reviews for his work.