Weekend Wrap-Up

By Tim Briody

January 19, 2020

We're so old.

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A January long weekend brings two high profile releases, one a long since thought dead franchise and another starring one of the most successful actors of the decade, now looking for something else to do since that's all over and done with now. Audiences responded to one, not so much the other.

Bad Boys For Life was huge this weekend, earning an estimated $59.1 million, which is a January opening weekend record. (American Sniper's overall record of $89.2 million in 2015 was an expansion from limited release.) The return of Will Smith (Aladdin had the Disney touch, but Gemini Man was out and out rejected) and Martin Lawrence (who apparently had been waiting years for a text message letting him know either this film or Big Momma's House 4 had been greenlit) wasn't guaranteed to be a success but apparently the timing was right. Bad Boys 2 was released in 2003 and earned $138.5 million, which adjusted for inflation is now $209.3 million. So it made sense to try again eventually, but I have no idea why it took so long.

The ads for Bad Boys For Life (a title they may now regret going with as a fourth installment is now in the works, and that would have been a much better title) weren't the best, but they got the job done and it came in with better reviews than anticipated (rating 76% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes). With a budget of $90 million, a figure that Bad Boys has already surpassed when you throw in overseas earnings, Sony is off to a good start in 2020.

Meanwhile, Robert Downey, Jr.'s Dolittle earns $22.5 million for the weekend. While that doesn't sound that terrible in and of itself, consider that the film had a price tag of $175 million. It also was eviscerated by critics, rating just 18% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. From the moment the first trailers were released last year, a lot of people saw this moment coming, especially Downey, who apparently is just completely bored now that he's in the post-Iron Man stage of his career. We're in the third weekend of the year and we already have a candidate for biggest flop of the year. It's gonna be a long year.

There's no big noticeable impact on the box office from the Oscar nominations (Parasite, Jojo Rabbit and Ford v Ferrari all add a decent amount of screens but don't crack the top ten), but 1917 has essentially established itself as the frontrunner with a second wide weekend of $22.1 million, down 40%. It's got $76.7 million to date. Picking up Best Picture at the Producers Guild Awards last night has cemented it as the clubhouse leader with its 10 nominations, tied for second most (1917 was basically nominated for everything except acting). Financially, with an estimated budget of $100 million, it's a badly needed win for Universal, as it's headed to that total pretty easily, and any awards it does pick up at the Oscars next month will raise its box office ceiling.




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Jumanji: The Next Level gets a decent holiday weekend hold with $9.5 million (down 32%) and $270.4 million in six weekends. It's creeping towards $300 million, a total Sony would be absolutely thrilled with, but it's looking to fall just a little short of that by the time its done.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker drops to fifth with $8.3 million (down 45%) as it loses a ton of screens. It's still got $492 million to date, and should probably get to the $500 million mark by the end of next weekend. Sunday marks 31 days in theaters and it's a full $100 million behind The Last Jedi, but as we stated last weekend, Rogue One ended up becoming the more direct comparison. At its one month point, the spinoff had $498.5 million and finished with $532 million. I feel pretty confident saying that $520 million is the ceiling for The Rise of Skywalker right now. A result of film quality/content or the changing box office habits over the last few years? You decide!

Just Mercy adds $6 million (down 38%) in its second weekend in wide release and it has $19.6 million to date. Its faint hopes for a Jamie Foxx nomination were over on Monday, but it's finding its target audience and Warner Bros. will probably be happy with the box office outcome here, as this couldn't have been that expensive to make,

Little Women got six Academy Award nominations but lost a chunk of screens to drop 24% to $5.9 million in its fourth weekend, giving it $84.4 million to date. The Greta Gerwig film is still a big hit, looking to cross $100 million within a couple more weekends. and only cost $40 million to make.

Knives Out only had the expected Original Screenplay nomination but continues to hang in there with $5.9 million and $145.9 million in eight weekends. Remember, this one came out over Thanksgiving and it actually has the lowest remaining screen count among the films in the top ten this weekend.

Like a Boss stumbles badly in its second weekend, plummeting 52% to $3.8 million and $16.9 million to date. Comedy has been a tough sell for some time now in theaters and the Tiffany Haddish film couldn't breakthrough. It cost around $30 million to make and won't get that back in theaters.

Frozen II wraps it up this weekend, having been snubbed for a Best Animated Feature nomination (though some say it didn't deserve one) with $3.7 million (down 37%) and a whopping $464.8 million in nine weekends. After this weekend though, we now, uh, let it go.

The top 12 films this weekend earned $151.6 million, which is pretty good! It's ahead of last year's $115 million, when Glass led the weekend with a disappointing $40 million. We're three weekends in and 2020 box office has beaten 2019 every weekend so far this year, but uh, wait for it.

Next week brings a much more typical January weekend, with only horror entry The Turning and Guy Ritchie crime thriller The Gentlemen, giving Bad Boys an easy path to a second weekend on top.


Top Ten for Weekend of January 17-19, 2020
Rank
Film
Distributor
Estimated
Gross ($)
Weekly Change
Cumulative
Gross ($)
1 Bad Boys For Life Sony Pictures 59.1 New 59.1
2 Dolittle Universal 22.5 New 22.5
3 1917 Universal 22.1 -40% 76.7
4 Jumanji: The Next Level Sony Pictures 9.5 -32% 270.4
5 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Walt Disney 8.3 -45% 492.0
6 Just Mercy Warner Bros. 6.0 -38% 19.6
7 Little Women Sony Pictures 5.9 -24% 84.4
8 Knives Out Lionsgate 4.3 -24% 145.9
9 Like a Boss Paramount 3.8 -62% 16.9
10 Frozen II Walt Disney 3.7 -37% 464.8
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations

     


 
 

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