Weekend Box Office (January 3 - 5, 2020)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND The new year kicked off with the same pair of action sequels ruling the box office after dominating the Christmas season.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was on top for a third weekend in a row with an estimated $33.7M falling 53%. That was in line with the 53% to 56% range of declines that recent Star Wars movies suffered on their first January weekend after the holidays ended. The cume for the finale of the saga is now $450.8M making it the third largest domestic blockbuster from 2019 behind Disney stablemates Avengers: Endgame and The Lion King. The road ahead should see Skywalker end up its North American run close to the $525M mark. With a little more stability, it may match up with the $532.2M of Rogue One but it will finish about 15% below the $620.2M of The Last Jedi.

International markets took in $50.5M this weekend to raise that cume to $468M. The worldwide take is now $918.8M with international accounting for 51% of that. A final global gross of $1.1 billion or a little more seems possible which would edge out the $1.05 billion of Rogue One. Five Star Wars movies in a four-year span, plus the popular new Mandalorian TV series, certainly is a lot for fans to consume.

Just like its predecessor, Jumanji: The Next Level is collecting cash in the shadow of Star Wars and making a mint worldwide in the process. For North America, the Sony smash dropped only 25% to an estimated $26.5M lifting the domestic cume to $236.2M making it number ten among 2019 films. A final of nearly $300M seems possible. Overseas markets are red hot with another $42.4M this weekend raising the offshore sum to $374M for a worldwide gross of $610M. Reaching $750M seems likely, and finishing near $800M is also a possibility. That would put the combined global gross for this recent pair of Jumanji films an at incredible $1.75 billion for a super-charged franchise.

Sony occupied the number three spot with another of its holiday season hits, Little Women, which slipped only 19% in its second full weekend to an estimated $13.6M. The acclaimed film has amassed $60M already and is well on its way into the $100M club. Reviews are fantastic, word-of-mouth is superb, and major Oscar nominations would then keep it going strong for weeks to come.

Earning a rare F grade from CinemaScore, the new horror remake The Grudge found itself opening in fourth place with an estimated $11.3M from 2,642 locations for a decent $4,277 average. Reviews were awful for the R-rated pic and word-of-mouth has been negative so the road ahead looks shaky. By comparison, the Sarah Michelle Gellar version of The Grudge back in 2004 grossed more on its opening day ($14.6M) than this new version will in its first seven days.

The toon titan Frozen II followed closely with an estimated $11.3M, off only 33%, boosting the domestic haul to a stellar $449.9M. The Anna-Elsa adventure also collected $42.4M from overseas raising the totals to $875.3M international and $1.325 billion worldwide making it the highest grossing animated film of all-time surpassing the first Frozen. Breaking $1.4 billion is guaranteed and the final will try to end up close to $1.5 billion.

Will Smith's holiday toon offering Spies in Disguise dropped 25% to an estimated $10.1M for $46.7M to date. The leggy whodunit Knives Out slipped a mere 9% to an estimated $9M giving Lionsgate a terrific $130.3M on its way past the $150M mark making it one of the top-grossing original films from 2019.

Adam Sandler's Uncut Gems grossed an estimated $7.8M, down 18%, for a total of $36.8M for A24. Lionsgate's Bombshell followed with an estimated $4.1M, off 15%, and $24.6M to date. Cats rounded out the top ten falling 46% to an estimated $2.6M for Universal and only $24.7M overall.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $130M which was up 9% from last year when Aquaman remained at number one with $31M; but down 10% from 2018 when Jumanji climbed into the top spot with $37.2M.

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Last Updated: January 5, 2020 at 2:35PM ET

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