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Theaters were feast or famine this pre-Christmas weekend. “Jumanji: The Next Level” lived up to its title with a domestic opening at $60 million — 66% better than the very successful 2017 reboot that went on to gross $400 million domestic and over $900 million worldwide.
That film, along with “Frozen II” and “Knives Out” will keep the weekend on par with last year with about $120 million total gross. But it could, and should, have been better: “Black Christmas” was a disappointment, while Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell” was a flop.
Jumanji - Level
“Jumanji: The Next Level”
The 2017 success of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” (like this sequel, it opened a week before a top “Star Wars” release) guaranteed another. Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and the rising Karen Gillan all returned, as did the creative team and the big budget.
Results - Returns - Week - Strength - Sequels
Results are even better than expected, particularly after initial foreign returns last week didn’t show as much strength. Few sequels or franchises see this sort of jump. “The Next Level” is a Christmas 2019 cornerstone, second only to “The Rise of Skywalker.” Combined, they suggest an uptick heading into the end of the year — but box office should still wrap around 5% under 2018.
'Richard Jewell' Star on Olivia Wilde Role: 'There Are Casualties in Storytelling Just Like in Real Life'
Saturday - % - Jump - Thursday - Sign
Saturday saw a 20% jump from the combined Thursday preview-Friday gross, a strong sign of good initial reaction along with family appeal. Sony has apparently instituted a no-Cinemascore-released-before-Monday policy, no matter the score; the previous delay for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” resulted in an A-. In any case, the film is set to stay strong, but it remains to be seen if it can equal its 2017 predecessor; it’s tough to replicate the same trajectory.
Warner - Bros
“Richard Jewell” had the worst...
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