The RedState Box Office Report

Some shaking up in theaters, from Weinstein’s teddy bear to Jungles and Jedis.

It’s been a rather hysterical week in the news, from Hawaiian false-alarms to Presidential opposition to fecal-infused nations. You wouldn’t be faulted for seeking shelter in theaters for a few hours to evade the madness.

As we carve into January and Hollywood focuses on their awards the studios also drop dysfunctional titles onto this part of the schedule. The thought is while everyone applauds greatness they can slide the poor quality stuff out, hoping you don’t judge them harshly as they pray to break even on the disasters.

It was a relatively healthy weekend all around despite cold weather possibly repelling ticket buyers in some areas of the country. Maybe avoiding the psychosis of the news, and internet, inspired enough people to seek solace in a dark room.

1.  JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE – $34.0Million
This Sony family action piece is showing remarkable legs. The mixture of action and laughs has struck an escapist chord with audiences. Coming in a week after a Star Wars release it has managed to carve out its own success and is doing so relatively quietly. Recall the press that “It” received for scorching theaters in September? “Jumanji” is approaching $300million here as well.

2. THE POST – $22.4m
Seems like it has been forever this Spielberg-directed quasi-factual drama about the release of the Pentagon Papers has been advertised. 21st Century Fox structured this for a serious awards season push, appearing in only a handful of theaters to qualify for nominations. It spread to a wide release this weekend by adding over 2,700 screens. While received with respect the title is doing well enough at the box office — so far. This figure comes in just above estimates. The expected ensuing Oscar nominations should help boost the long-term interest even more.

3. THE COMMUTER – $13.45m
Liam Neeson reaches back into his geriatric-action genre that has given him a career resurgence the past decade. This one has been lightly regarded and Lionsgate did not all out promoting this affair. In reality, the way these titles work they are a long play. It may just about break even in theaters, and then the home viewing and broadcast revenues will become pure profit down the road.

4. INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY – $12.4m
Universal’s discount division Blumhouse Productions has already delivered a profit. These are made cheaply and designed for a quick return on investment. As evidence, this title actually added 34 screens in week #2 but suffered a -60% drop. With $50million earned against a meager $10million budget, they are already in the gravy.

5. THE GREATEST SHOWMAN – $12m
The Hugh Jackman musical was bolstered by Golden Globes recognition (it won a trophy for Best Original Song) and even while dropping a few hundred screens only saw a drop of -14% in its fourth week. That is a sign of robust legs, and if it gets recognized with Oscar nominations it could be around for a while longer.

6. STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – $11.7m
What looks like a stark drop off is due to Disney pressure on exhibitors. The studio urged theaters to keep the film on screen for a full month, and this week saw that pledge expire. Theaters shed over 1,100 screens (down to roughly 3,000) this week and thus the drop in numbers. The title is nearing the $600 million total in North America and has already cleared over $1.25 million globally.

7. PADDINGTON 2 – $10.45m
There is all sorts of intrigue surrounding this sequel. 3 years ago the original was a middling success stateside but cleared nearly $200 million more overseas. Following the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal his studio was rocked to its foundation, and future prospects looked dim. The company, and its Dimension Films division, was banking on some titles in its pipeline to perform and keep the company afloat as it reorganized. This assured hit would be needed, however things turned far more desperate and by last November WC/Dimension needed quick cash to avoid bankruptcy, so it sold the rights to this film to Warner Brothers. The global numbers will the interest on this sequel.

8. PROUD MARY – $10.0m
A genre action piece with Taraji P. Henson starring as a hit woman, it has a slightly lower than expected weekend. Sony’s Screen Gems targeted the promotions and with a very modest budget under $15 million it still may not take too much for this to find a profitable success.

9. PITCH PERFECT 3 – $5.65m
One of the holiday holdovers, with a few other options to draw the female ticket buyers this lingering is a small surprise. Before next weekend this should cross the $100 million mark.

10. THE DARKEST HOUR – $4.5m
Bolstered by Gary Oldman being awarded the Best Actor at the Golden Globes the next is to nab the expected nomination for the Academy Awards. A Best Pic notice is also a possibility.