Box Office Week: Star Wars: The Last Jedi is #1 again with $68.3M, passing $500M domestic, $1B worldwide, and domestically is now the highest grossing film of 2017. Jumanji: WTTJ has fantastic second weekend at #2 with $66.5M. All the Money in the World has weak wide release opening at #7 with $7.5M

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1. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” — $52.4 million ($517.1 mil.)
2. “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” — $50.5 million ($169.8 mil.)
3. “Pitch Perfect 3” — $17.7 million ($64.2 mil.)
4. “The Greatest Showman” — $15.2 million ($48.7 mil.)
5. “Ferdinand” — $11.6 million ($53.8 mil.)
6. “Coco” — $6.5 million ($178.9 mil.)
7. “All The Money In The World” — $5.4 million ($12.6 mil)
8. “Darkest Hour” — $5.2 million ($17.9 mil.)
9. “Downsizing” — $4.6 million ($17 mil.)
10. “Father Figures” — $3.7 million ($12.7 mil.)

Notable Box Office Stories:
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi - The extremely expected total dominance of The Last Jedi over the box office continued this week as despite a weaker than wanted New Year's Day haul the film still managed to come in at #1 with $68.3M for the four day weekend. That pushed the film past $500M domestic, with a current haul of $533M. That means it's surpassed the lifetime domestic gross of Beauty and the Beast (2017) making it domestically the highest grossing film of 2017. In fact that makes it the first time ever a franchise has had the #1 domestic grosser of the year for three consecutive years. It also means that now 8 out of the 10 theatrically released Star Wars films have managed to make it to #1 in their respective year (Attack of the Clones and Clone Wars were the only exceptions). In comparison The MCU has released 16 films and only one (The Avengers) has had the biggest gross of the year. It should also be noted TLJ was the second fastest a film has crossed $500M doing so in just 16 days (below of course The Force Awakens which did it in 10). The film also crossed the magic $1B worldwide mark this week, doing so in just 19 days. Yet despite all that it's fair to notice that things don't quite look like the homerun they could be. For one, this weekend TLJ was dangerously close to Jumanji: WTTJ which had a huge jump up this week while TLJ dropped 26.4%. That isn't a huge drop but compared to say Jumanji gaining 38% it doesn't look good. The film also did not get the #2 spot for the highest New Year's Day gross but rather the #6 spot with $15.7M behind...Jumanji which got the #5 spot with $16.1M. It is not only under The Force Awakens on that day but also under Rogue One as well which up to now TLJ has consistently beat on every metric. And this is a New Year's Day on a Monday, usually the best possible placement for films to have a fabulous daily gross. The fact TLJ couldn't deliver here speaks volumes. There's a lot of possible reasons for TLJ's weakening holds: the backlash from many in the fandom, the extended length, and just the darker tone overall. This is not to say TLJ is a flop (remember it made more domestically than EVERY other film released this year in just three weeks) but there does seem to be a cooling effect coming. The big test will be Solo which was only #5 on Fandago's most anticipated of 2018 survey and doesn't even have a full poster/trailer yet despite being less than six months away. And then if Solo bombs, we have a year and a half break until Episode IX which could really damage the brand. The big issue is this was a rough year for franchise fair that followed roughly reviewed films, especially Transformers: The Last Knight and Justice League. Disney may not have a serious problem on their hands now, but TLJ may be the spark that starts the fire that burns the whole franchise down.
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle - While The Last Jedi continued its odd mix of extreme success and weird downward spiral, Jumanji: Welcome the Jungle continued its incredibly surprising box office run as it very closely raced behind TLJ with an amazing second weekend with $66.5M for the four-day. That marks a 38% increase for the three-day weekend, one of the best holds ever for a film in wide release. If that wasn't enough the film also managed to actually beat TLJ for the New Year's Day box office with $16.1M, the fifth best New Year's Day haul ever and was almost enough for the film to squeak by TLJ's four day gross. Coming into the the Christmas release it felt like Jumanji was a big gamble, a nostalgic remake with a big budget mostly do to its big paycheck commanding stars. However the film has just had amazing holds, even more than TLJ where it's barely dropped and often even gained during the weekdats. New Year's Day couldn't come at a better time for the film, as the box office always sees a major bum when it lands on a Monday and Jumanji was the best choice for kids out of school, becoming the family film of the Christmas season. Currently the film is rocketing towards $200M domestic, a major end of year gift for Sony who have a lot of ups and downs this year (and hell had a lot of ups and downs just this week).
  • All the Money in the World - While Sony was having a great week with Jumanji they couldn't quite celebrate all around as the quickly reshot film All the Money in the World had its first wide release weekend at #7 with $7.5M for the four-day. The film became one of many films and TV shows tainted by the wave of harassment allegations the rocked Hollywood towards the end of 2017. This time the accusations were against Kevin Spacey who originally was starring in the film as J. Paul Getty, but was accused by multiple people of sexual assault. Instead of doing the expected and delaying or even shelving the film director Ridley Scott did perhaps the craziest move possible and quickly recast the role with Christopher Plummer and in nine days reshoot all 22 of Spacey's original scenes, pushing back the film's release date by just 3 days. The reshoots are a remarkable filmmaking achievement in terms of production but they did add a hefty $10M to the budget ballooning it to $50M total. The most obvious issue for the marketing is that it meant Sony also had to drop all the advertising with Spacey and quickly scramble to sell the film with Plummer. The film was released Christmas Day to a decent opening but hasn't expanded at all and this first weekend could barely hold despite being the most profitable weekend of the year. Since we don't have the ability to see the alternate universe where Spacey isn't a harasser and the film was released as is we can't know for sure if this was just disinterest or the reshoots caused too much confusion in the marketplace. I don't think Sony will be mad about the choice to reshoot the film over scrapping it (better to cover some costs on $50M then no costs on $40M) but I don't think Ridley's choice will be one we will ever see repeated again.
  • Oscar Movie Round-up - It seems we have finally found our Oscar race box office hit as Darkest Hour once again had a great expansion, adding 137 theaters for a total of 943 closing out the four-day weekend with $7.5M. The film starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill has been the major front-runner for Best Actor which is always a significant boom (see: The Revenant). Box office and awards consideration are often a two-headed beast so this box office run may increase Oldman's chances and as Oldman's chances increase the box office increases and so on. The caliber of a film matters for awards but so does popularity (think Get Out would be a front-runner if it only made $30M?) and with this renewed interest Oldman may well stand out from the pack now. This week also saw the expansion of two well reviewed movies that feels like they are just on the fringes of Oscar consideration. The first is Molly's Game, the directorial debut of writer Aaron Sorkin, a biopic about Molly Bloom and her extremely successful illegal poker games. The film debuted this week in 271 theaters to $2.3M, a per theater average of $8,598. While solid it's not quite the level of previous Sorkin openings like The Social Network or even Steve Jobs. With lead Jessica Chastain seemingly out of the best actress race and Sorkin's script at best in third place for Best Adapted (behind Call Me By Your Name and The Disaster Artist) I think this film will just be lost in the pack. Finally this week saw the opening of Phantom Thread, the latest film from Paul Thomas Anderson and supposedly the final performance ever by Daniel Day Lewis, which opened in 4 theaters to $295,000, a per theater average of $73,750. Surprisingly Lewis has not been a major force in the Best Actor race despite being the only person in history to win that category three times. That said PTA has always been more of a critical darling than an Oscar one and it seems this year will be the same. The film has been beloved by critics but doesn't seem to have any heat on it besides Best Original Screenplay which is one of the tightest races of the year. It doesn't help either that PTA has never been a box office draw as well (Jumanji: WTTJ made more in two weeks than every film PTA has ever made combined) so this one will probably be like all the other PTA films: a box office disappointment with no Oscar love but beloved by critics and cinephiles.

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