January 6, 2018

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Jumanji” Tops “Insidious,” Heavy Drop For “Last Jedi,” “Molly’s Game” & “Darkest Hour” Expand


2018, as is often the case, is kicking off at the box office, with low-budget horror, and according to preliminary numbers at Deadline, INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY (Blumhouse/Universal) easily took Friday with $12.5M (including $2M from Thursday night).  That’s a very solid number, not up to the $16.8M for January 2012’s The Devil Inside, but better than the $10.2M for 2013’s Texas Chainsaw 3D and the $8.7M for 2014’s Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.  It should translate into a $25-26M weekend, which would put it behind only Insidious 2‘s $40.3M opening in the 4-film franchise, and aims it at a $50M+ US total on minimal costs.

Despite the Friday win for Insidious, the weekend will go to JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (Columbia/Sony), which continues to impress.  Its $10.8M Friday was down 39% from last week, and since the Sunday comparisons this week should tick up compared to New Year’s Eve, it could reach $35M+ for the weekend, putting it on track for $300M in the US, which would place it in the Top 7 films released in 2017.  It will also be the #2 film of Dwayne Johnson’s career, behind only Furious 7.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (Lucasfilm/Disney), by comparison, is on an express train downward.  Its Friday-to-Friday drop of 64% brought the day to $6.8M for a $24M weekend, and it now seems like it won’t get beyond $625M in the US, which to be sure is still huge (The Avengers is the #5 film in US history at $623.4M), but would be 33% behind The Force Awakens, a bit more of a dip than might have been expected.  In addition, the early word from China is that the film is heading for a grim $25-30M opening weekend there, which may put it behind Rogue One, let alone Force Awakens.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (20th) is still going to struggle to match its costs, but it’s hooked onto its audience.  The Friday-to-Friday drop was a mere 22% to $4.1M, which should give it a $14M weekend, and the real possibility of reaching $100M in the US.

PITCH PERFECT 3 (Gold Circle/Perfect World/Universal) may also get to $100M in the US, but in a much more front-loaded way (its opening weekend was $30.3M, compared to $8.8M for Greatest Showman).  It fell 50% from last Friday to $3.3M for a $10-11M weekend.

As kids head back to school, the animated titles are losing their audience.  FERDINAND (Blue Sky/20th) fell 47% from last Friday to $2.3M for an $8M weekend and a US total around $85-90M.  COCO (Pixar/Disney) dropped 45% to $1.6M for a $6M weekend and an eventual $205M in the US.

A pair of awards contenders expanded release.  MOLLY’S GAME (STX) jumped from limited release to 1608 with $2.2M on Friday for a $7M weekend, alive in the WGA and PGA awards as well as the Golden Globes.  DARKEST HOUR (Focus/Universal) almost doubled its theatre count to 1733, but only increased its Friday total by 6% to $1.8M for a $6M weekend, and will hope for a Gary Oldman victory at the Globes Sunday night.

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD (Imperative/TriStar/Sony) remained subdued, down 40% from last Friday to $1M for a $3M weekend and a US total that may not get past $30M.

In limited release, THE POST (DreamWorks/Reliance/20th) expanded to 36 theatres and is on target for a strong $45K weekend per-theatre average, considerably above Lady Bird‘s $32K average at 37.  PHANTOM THREAD (Focus/Universal) added 2 more theatres for a total of 6 and should average $35K for the weekend, a bit better than Call Me By Your Name‘s $32K average at 9.  FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL (Sony Classics) stayed at 4 theatres and had little traction with a $5K weekend average.


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."