January 13, 2018

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Jumanji” Still Driving MLK Box Office; “The Post” Expands Well, “Proud Mary,” “Paddington 2,”” “The Commuter” Flounder


As the 2018 box office enters the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, most of its strength still lies in 2017 releases.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (Columbia/Sony) is on track to win its 4th weekend of release.  Friday’s $6M take was down 44% from last week, and with a stronger than usual Sunday due to the holiday, the weekend should be $24M ($30M with Monday).  Jumanji faces very limited competition over the next several weeks, and it should reach $325M+ in the US, with a real chance of supplanting Spider-Man: Homecoming and its $334.2M to become the #5 film released in 2017.

THE POST (DreamWorks/Reliance/Participant/20th) expanded into wide release at 2819 theatres with $6.1M on Friday, better than the $5.4M opening day for Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, which ultimately earned $72.3M in the US.  The Post should reach $18M by Sunday and $21-22M with Monday, and much of its fate will depend on whether it receives more affection from Oscar voters than it’s so far gotten from other awards groups.

It’s a reliable fact that when studios start spreading the word about their limited investment in a film, the box office will be limp, and that’s the case with THE COMMUTER (Studiocanal/Lionsgate), which is following Liam Neeson’s recent string of non-Taken action disappointments with $4.3M on Friday, just 10% above the $3.9M for Run All Night, which only reached $26.5M in the US (plus a still-dim $45.2M overseas).  Commuter may get to $12M by Sunday and $14-15M with Monday.  Even if Lionsgate is only footing the bill for marketing costs, money will still be lost at that rate.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (Lucasfilm/Disney) fell 56% from last Friday to $2.9M, for an $11M weekend, $14-15M with Monday.  It should end up around $620M in the US, down 34% from The Force Awakens, and #5 or #6 all-time at the US box office, depending on whether it can pass The Avengers and its $623.4M.

PADDINGTON 2 (Studiocanal/Warners) was acquired from Weinstein Company in its fire sale of properties, and reportedly the acquisition and marketing costs for Warners will be $75M+ (for US release only).  It’s off to a very soft start with $2.6M on Friday, 45% below the opening day for the first Paddington, which was also on MLK weekend.  The holiday will give it a healthy weekend multiple, but $10-11M by Sunday and $14M with Monday still puts it on track for a money-losing $40-45M in the US.  Luckily for the producers, it’s been much more robust overseas, with $125.2M to date.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (20th) continues its crowd-pleasing ways, down just 25% from last Friday to $3.1M.  With $11M by Sunday and $14M with Monday, it could hit $125M in the US, still some distance from profit, but a much more feisty contender than it had seemed.

INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY (Blumhouse/Universal) behaved in the way of most low-budget horror, plunging 75% from last Friday to $3.1M, on its way to a $10M 3-day weekend and $12M with Monday.  (Last year’s Split, a rare horror movie with legs, dropped just 46% on its 2nd Friday, and Get Out was down only 26%.)  A $70M US total would nevertheless be up significantly from the $52.2M for the last Insidious.

PROUD MARY (Screen Gems/Sony) napped into release with $3.3M on Friday, on its way to $10M by Sunday and $12M with Monday.  It’s unlikely to get much higher than $30M in the US.

PITCH PERFECT 3 (Gold Circle/Perfect World/Universal) continued on its way down, with a 56% decline from last Friday to $1.4M for $5M by Sunday and $6.5M with Monday.  If it reaches $105M in the US, that will be a 43% drop from Pitch Perfect 2.

DARKEST HOUR (Focus/Universal) benefited from Gary Oldman’s awards wins last week, down only 27% from last Friday to $1.3M.  It’s headed for $5M by Sunday and $6M with Monday, and it’s poised to pass The Big Sick‘s $42.9M in the next week or two to become 2017’s highest-grossing indie (for the moment, anyway).

MOLLY’S GAME (H Brothers/STX) had a mediocre hold, down 52% from last Friday to $1.1M for $3.5M by Sunday and $4.5M with Monday, another film hoping for awards help.

I, TONYA (Neon) expanded to the low end of wide release at 517 theatres, and it might have a $6K per-theatre average for the 3-day weekend, a bit below the $7200 3 Billboards averaged at 614.

Thinking of which, 3 BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (Fox Searchlight) attempted to capitalize on its Golden Globe wins by jumping back to over 1000 theatres, where it should average a mild $2200 over the 3-day weekend.

THE SHAPE OF WATER (Fox Searchlight) also won some awards this week, and at 723 theatres it should average $3200 over the 3-day weekend.

PHANTOM THREAD (Focus/Universal) had its first significant expansion, to 62 theatres.  It’s headed for a $15K Fri-Sun per-theatre average, just about the same as Darkest Hour averaged at 53.


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."