Weekend Wrap-Up

by Tim Briody

January 28, 2017

God, I know the production values are bad. Quit harping on it!

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It took until the last weekend of January, but we finally have a 2018 release at the top of the box office. It's going to be a weird box office year if the first month is any indication.

The Maze Runner: The Death Cure leads the way, earning $23.5 million. That seems okay until you look at the previous entries in the franchise, where The Maze Runner (released at the height of the Hunger Games craze, when any young adult franchise got turned into a movie, to wildly varying results) opened with $32.5 million in September 2014, and earned $102.4 million. That was followed the next year by The Scorch Trials, which opened to $30 million but only finished with $81.6 million. Given that performance, I’m stunned that they didn’t try to make two movies out of the last book. The gap between the second and third films in this series was rather long, and Fox should feel very lucky that more of the audience didn’t move on entirely. I’d expect rapid declines from here on, and if it can make it to $50 million, the filmmakers should feel fortunate (though it has cracked $100 million when you include international earnings).

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle drops to second place after a ridiculous January run. It dropped only 16% from last weekend, adding another $16.4 million and $338 million in its sixth weekend. Christmas releases, especially those aimed at families, are supposed to fall off a cliff once the holidays are over. Instead, Jumanji used January to become the fifth biggest film of 2017, squeaking past Spider-Man: Homecoming this weekend. Unsurprisingly, news of a sequel made the rounds this week, but unless they bring everyone back, I don’t know if they can capture lightning in a bottle twice.

Hostiles over performs with $10.2 million on the weekend. Actually released in December in three theaters (perhaps some contractual obligation?), it expanded very slowly and earned $1.5 million over the last month before expanding to 2,800 theaters this weekend. Released by the unheralded and not generally named at all Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures (who released 47 Meters Down and the megaflop Friend Request), Hostiles was expected to earn mid-single digits per most prognosticators, but the Christian Bale film managed to beat that. Still, I don’t expect much staying power here, either, and they should be happy with what they get.

The Greatest Showman again defies all odds and dips just 11% to $9.5 million in its sixth weekend, giving it $126.4 million to date. While it was slightly deflated by including Christmas Eve and a Wednesday release, movies are not supposed to beat their opening weekend box office five weekends in a row. The musical has had some old school legs we’ve not seen in a long time. While it only walked away with one Oscar nomination (for Best Song), it’s the likely frontrunner in that category, having already pocketed the Golden Globe for “This Is Me.”




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The Post earned nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress for Meryl Streep, but still drops 24% (an improvement over last weekend’s 39% decline, though) to $8.8 million and $58.5 million after three weekends in wide release. The Steven Spielberg film is just happy to be there, as it’s a long shot for both awards.

12 Strong drops 45% from its opening weekend to $8.6 million and $29.7 million in two weekends. Den of Thieves also does pretty much the same thing, earning $8.3 million and $28.5 million to date. Both films were likely candidates for larger declines, though Den of Thieves is the bigger surprise here so far.

With 13 Oscar nominations, The Shape of Water expands from 853 theaters to 1,854 and earns $5.7 million, giving it $37.6 million to date. Picking up a nomination in nearly every single category it was eligible for, it will be interesting to see how this oddity of a film plays to a wider audience; those who understand Guillermo del Toro’s work likely sought it out during its expansion, as witnessed by its decently sized earnings despite not cracking 1,000 screens until this weekend.

Paddington 2 places ninth with $5.5 million, a 30% decline from last weekend, and it has earned $32 million in three weekends. We’re going to be looking at this one 11 months from now and wondering how a film with a 100% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes only earned this much. And if it’s not among the top ten (or even five) best reviewed films of 2018, well, then it was a pretty amazing year for movies.

We get a surprise entrant in tenth place as Padmaavat squeezes just ahead of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (falling out of the top ten after six weekends, what a flop!) with $4.2 million in just 324 theaters. As Kim Hollis mentioned yesterday, an Indian film released in IMAX 3D (the first film from that country to do that), this is a record opening weekend for a film in Hindi. If you recall, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion opened to $10 million last year, but that was released in two other Indian languages at the same time. Considered a very controversial film in it home country, it also opened in India this weekend, being moderately successful, and this time we are the international earnings that will boost up the film’s box office.

Your top 12 films earned $108.7 million this weekend, a slight drop from last year’s $117 million when Split led the way with $25.6 million and the top opener was A Dog’s Purpose with $18.2 million. Next weekend, it’s Super Bowl weekend, so the only new release is supernatural thriller Winchester, starring Helen Mirren.


Top Ten for Weekend of January 26-28, 2017
Rank
Film
Distributor
Estimated
Gross ($)
Weekly Change
Cumulative
Gross ($)
1 The Maze Runner: The Death Cure 20th Century Fox 23.5 New 23.5
2 Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Sony 16.4 -16% 338.0
3 Hostiles Entertainment Studios 10.2 +1,659% 12.0
4 The Greatest Showman 20th Century Fox 9.5 -11% 126.4
5 The Post 20th Century Fox 8.8 -24% 58.5
6 12 Strong Warner Bros. 8.6 -45% 29.7
7 Den of Thieves STX Entertainment 8.3 -25% 28.5
8 The Shape of Water Fox Searchlight 5.7 +161% 37.6
9 Paddington 2 Warner Bros. 5.5 -30% 32.0
10 Padmaavat Paramount 4.2 New 4.7
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations

     


 
 

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