Weekend Box Office (January 12 - 14, 2018)
THIS WEEKEND A trifecta of Oscar royalty hits theaters hoping for big business over the Martin Luther King holiday frame as Steven Spielberg's latest film The Post jumps from limited into full national play anchored by Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. Backed by great reviews and awards buzz, the PG-13 picture has an excellent pedigree and will attract a mature and upscale audience. However, it has missed out on some key opportunities like winning nothing at last Sunday's Golden Globes despite six nods so the heat could have been hotter going into the expansion.
Still, the starpower can't be denied for this Fox release and eventual Oscar nominations coming in less than two weeks will help keep it moving along into February. Numbers from limited play have been solid and people are liking the film so positive buzz should help spark business this weekend as the product becomes available everywhere. Moving into 2,800 sites, The Post might capture about $20M this weekend over the three-day Friday-to-Sunday span.
Families ready to move on to the next major kidpic will have the sequel Paddington 2 which Warner Bros. will handle the release on after the first was a Weinstein Co. title. The PG-rated comedy has the full backing of film critics which will help convince parents. Older children are enjoying Jumanji now, but the younger ones needing less ferocious hijinks will be the audience here. And with Monday being a school holiday, the MLK frame historically is good to kid movies. An aggressive roll-out into over 3,700 locations could lead to an opening weekend of roughly $17M across three days.
The hitwoman thriller Proud Mary is not looking for movie reviews, but instead hopes to sell itself on the starpower of Taraji P. Henson. Sony's R-rated pic will have a core audience of African American women show up, but has potential to play broader especially if buzz is good from those who see the first shows. Jumanji will provide some competition as it's playing to every demographic group right now. But Proud Mary does stand out as a unique option so with 2,200 theaters, it may gross about $14M over the Friday-to-Sunday period.
For nearly a decade now, Liam Neeson has made a new industry for himself playing the thinking man forced into being an action hero. The Commuter is his latest and it just may end up being seen by audiences as another helping of the same dish one too many times. Reviews are mixed for the PG-13 film and the target audience of mature adults will be busy with The Post plus other awards contenders right now. Lionsgate goes into 2,892 locations with The Commuter which might debut to around $9M over three days.
Despite all the new options, chart king Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will still be a major factor over MLK weekend and has every shot at holding onto the number one spot if audiences continue their excitement. The three-day span may see only a 20% drop thanks to the Monday holiday which would put Sony at around $30M for the session and a new cume of a stellar $285M.
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LAST YEAR Once again Hidden Figures led the box office grossing $20.9M to lead the MLK frame with La La Land taking second place with $14.5M. Fellow holdover Sing took third and was close behind with $14.2M. The horror title The Bye Bye Man debuted in fourth with $13.5M for STX on its way to $22.4M. An inch back in fifth was Rogue One collecting another $13.5M.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: January 11, 2018 at 3:55PM ET
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