‘Star Wars’ Suck-Ceeds and ‘Jumaniji’ Waits for Next Level - Weeks 7 & 8 | Black Christmas | Bombshell | Cats

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‘Star Wars’ Suck-Ceeds and ‘Jumaniji’ Waits for Next Level - Weeks 7 & 8

Black Christmas
Ford v. Ferrari
Frozen II
Jumanji: The Next Level
Knives Out
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Christmas may be coming, but movie studios have been sending out their gifts early to theaters across the nation hoping for some Holiday Rush buyers. The returns are indicating that more than ever people may be waiting to order their movies online… or maybe not at all. Where some hoped for record-breaking openers, others found the twelfth biggest domestic opening of all-time. We’re #12, we’re #12!

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was most poolers’ pick to be the #1 film this season and that still looks likely to be the case. However, it has to be noted that it’s $177.4 million opening weekend is over $40 million less than Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s $220 million debut in 2017. Were there really that many more people more concerned with staying home and watching The Mandalorian’s latest episode than “the” final chapter in the original Star Wars series?!

I’m not going to drop any spoilers here, however, if J.J. Abrams ideas to appease those who didn’t like The Last Jedi was to make them feel lost three-minutes in and then turn the next two-thirds of the movie into National Treasure, I’m not sure he in went in the right direction.

Jumanji: The Next Level came out the weekend earlier to a $59 million start. While not the “big” number I think many poolers thought it would hit, this was above Jumanji: Welcome the the Jungle’s $36 million in 2017. That film went on to be the top “second banana” to The Last Jedi and reach $400 million. I don’t think that’s the “next level” Jumanji: The Next Level will be able to reach this time. After Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker released, it dropped 55% to a $26.5 million weekend and now sits at $102.3 million after ten days.

Cats got left at the pound with a $6.6 million hairball of a debut. Opening against Star Wars didn’t help a lick. The cat dish half-full says that Greatest Showman started with an $8.8 million start and ended up with $174 million. The cat dish half-empty says Hugh Jackman is a bigger star than anyone in Cats and kids aren’t going to be banging Spotify to listen to songs called The Rum Tum Tugger, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser, and I Can’t Peep. From Now On the studio’s not going to be able to Rewrite the Stars and turn this into A Million Dreams.

Big spectacles weren’t the only things bringing in diminished returns. Last year, Clint Eastwood turned The Mule into a hit. This year, despite the trailer’s promise, people still don’t know about Richard Jewell as they ignored his movie. A beyond weak $4.7 million start and the film now only has $9 million after two weekends.

Likewise, Bombshell just bombed with a barely $5 million debut. If blondes are out this year, tell Reese Witherspoon she better kill her Legally Blonde 3 movie while she can.

Also, Black Christmas showed for the ga-zillionth time that horror movies almost never, ever, work around the holiday season with a very coal-esque $4.2 million opening.

This Week: Spies in Disguise might actually hit a sweet spot if it can deliver the goods. Families who have already seen Star Wars and/or passed on Jumanji will be looking for some goofy animated fun without singing after the non-goofy/always singing Frozen II was on last month’s credit card bill. Could this be a sleeper film that cracks a Top Five season where movies almost seem to be going out of their way not to succeed?!

The Top Five If Today Was MLK Day:
#1. Frozen II - $387.2 million
#2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - $177.4 million
#3. Jumanji: The Next Level - $102.3 million
#4. Ford V. Ferrari - $102 million
#5. Knives Out - $89.6 million

by Matt Neuenburg on 12/23/2019

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Black Christmas, Bombshell, Cats, Ford v. Ferrari, Frozen II, Jumanji: The Next Level, Knives Out, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
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