January 5, 2020

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 1.5.2020


OPENINGS:  THE GRUDGE (Columbia/Sony) tried to take advantage of Hollywood’s early January fallow period, but at $11.3M, the reboot of a remake found few takers, far below the $29.6M for 2018’s Insidious: The Last Key, and also less than the $13.7M for 2017’s Underworld: Blood Wars and the $15M for 2015’s The Woman In Black 2:  Angel Of Death.  The extremely low exit poll results indicate word of mouth will be awful, so this Grudge may not get past $25M in the US.  Internationally, things are similarly dim with $5.8M in 29 territories.  Reports are that while production costs were low, they weren’t at the microscopic level of some Blumhouse releases, so the ink here will likely be blood-red.

THE GENTLEMEN (STX) doesn’t open in the US until January 24, but it had a fair start in 3 markets with $7.6M.

HOLDOVERS:  As we predicted last week, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (Lucasfilm/Disney) ran out of holiday before it could catch up to The Last Jedi.  But we didn’t expect the bottom to fall out of the film’s box office, a 53% drop to $33.8M that was the worst crash in the Top 10 (yes, worse than Cats).  It now isn’t clear whether Skywalker will get within $100M of Last Jedi‘s $620.2M US total, putting it in the #3 slot for 2019 releases behind Endgame and The Lion King.  Business is holding up somewhat better internationally, where Skywalker is at $468M after a $50.5M weekend, with Korea (where Last Jedi earned $8M) still on deck.  A $1.1B worldwide total would place it at #6 among 2019 releases, but if it can’t reach $1.05B, it would slip to #9.

JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL (Columbia/Sony) dropped 25% to $26.5M, and might be able to reach $300M in the US, which would be down about 25% from its predecessor.  Overseas, it’s at $374M after a $42.4M weekend in all major markets except Brazil (where the last installment earned $24M).

LITTLE WOMEN (Columbia/Sony) has become a genuine hit, down 19% to $13.6M, and on track to hit $85M in the US, with upside if Oscar nominations materialize.  It has $20M overseas after a $9.5M weekend in limited release.

As long as you don’t consider the all-CG version of The Lion King to be “animated,” FROZEN 2 (Disney) became the world’s biggested animated hit this weekend, not adjusted for inflation.  In the US, it declined 33% to $11.3M, on its way to $480M, which would be 20% better than the first Frozen.  Overseas, it’s at $875.3M after a $42.4M weekend, also above its forebear.

SPIES IN DISGUISE (Blue Sky/20th/Disney) lost 25% to $10.1M, on track for a quiet $70M in the US.  It’s similarly undistinguished overseas, where it has $42.1M.

KNIVES OUT (MRC/Lionsgate) continued to amaze with the best hold in the Top 10, down just 9% to $9M in its 6th weekend, and now on target for $150M in the US.  It also has $117.2M overseas (fun footnote:  Rian Johnson’s thriller has earned more in China than Rise of Skywalker), and unsurprisingly there’s already talk of a Hercule Poirot-like movie franchise.

UNCUT GEMS (A24) dropped 18% to $7.8M, belying its low exit polls, and it now seems likely to get past $50M in the US, making it A24’s biggest hit.  If it reaches $52M, it will also be Adam Sandler’s most successful non-comedy, and it’s another film that will be hoping for some attention from the Oscar nominations.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas.

BOMBSHELL (Lionsgate), held well, down 15%, but its $4.1M weekend still puts its trajectory at a mild $35M in the US, unless awards can lift it up.  It’s barely opened overseas.

CATS (Universal) fell 46% to $2.6M, and may not see $30M in the US.  Things are slightly better overseas, where it has $32.4M, but it’s likely to lose close to $100M for its backers.

RICHARD JEWELL (BRON/Warners) failed to generate positive word of mouth, down 45% to $1.7M, with little chance of getting much past $25M in the US.  It has $2M in sparse overseas release.

LIMITED RELEASE:  1917 (Universal) held beautifully, actually up 2% from last week’s opening for a $54K per-theatre weekend average at 11 as it heads into wide release next weekend.  A HIDDEN LIFE (Fox Searchlight/Disney) added 31 theatres for a total of 149 and averaged $1800.  JUST MERCY (Warners) stayed at 4 theatres and dropped to a $19K average.  THE SONG OF NAMES (Sony Classics) averaged $4K at 17.  CLEMENCY (Neon) expanded to 9 with a $3600 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  New releases remain slow, with the comedy LIKE A BOSS (Paramount) and the thriller UNDERWATER (20th/Disney) arriving, along with the wide releases of 1917 and Just Mercy.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."