Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis

January 12, 2020


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With awards expansion season comes the promise of increased box office for some. Also, some middling-to-terrible January releases flooded the market and performed about as well as you'd expect.

Our top film of the weekend is that aforementioned expansion film, 1917. After nine nominations at the Golden Globes last week, it won the biggest one of all - Best Motion Picture - Drama. Sam Mendes also took the prize for Best Director. With increased attention and great critical response, 1917 was due for a solid breakout.

On Friday, 1917 earned a terrific $14 million, which should mean that the weekend total will wind up around $40 million. It had a reported $90 million budget, solid for a war film that requires so many set pieces and effects, and will easily pass that mark by the time it exits theaters, possibly with some Academy Awards wins.

Second, then, goes to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which earned just $3.9 million yesterday as the holiday season is in our rearview mirror. It's probably going to bring in $15 million for the weekend, and may yet limp along to a "mere" $500 million. It's *very* close to the billion mark worldwide.


Out of our other new openers and expansions, Like a Boss had the best Friday of any of them despite awful, awful reviews and just a "B" Cinemascore. It made $3.9 million yesterday and will likely have a weekend total of around $10.4 million.

It's better news for Just Mercy, which had a small Christmas release and expanded to 2,375 theaters this weekend. With a $3.7 million take, the Michael B. Jordan/Jamie Foxx/Brie Larson film increased some 16,000+ percent over last Friday. It may manage $11 million and continue on a good trajectory as long as it's in theaters. It has the A+ Cinemascore, which means people are talking about it in the best possible way.

Although it managed middling reviews, Underwater still got the attention of almost no one, earning $2.5 million yesterday. The Kristen Stewart film was originally a Fox release, and I guess it's still listed as such, but it's really Disney's. They're just trying to empty their shelves of the obligatory garbage the Fox acquisition left them with. Anyway, look for maybe $7 million before it's forgotten forever.



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