A softer weekend was a battle for the testosterone dollar
January is a month of polarity for studios. Their focus is on award shows and promoting their boutique films which received nominations, meanwhile new releases into theaters are generally low-grade or action-heavy titles which will never sniff a trophy. (Okay, maybe for stunt work at The Taurus Awards).
Male-centric new releases battled with holdovers with male leads for the male ticket buyers, hoping to lure them out before the NFL playoffs games. It made for some intrigue to see just where the bros would end up going. Let’s take a peek at where the male bonding took place.
1. JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE – $20.04Million
Dwayne The Rock Johnson continues to rampage through the theaters, taking a machete to screens for the third straight week at #1. This experienced a small dip in the overweek percentage (-19%) showing why this is a strong-legged performance from the holidays. This now becomes the most successful film for Sony pictures that does not have the word “Spider-Man” in the title.
2. 12 STRONG – $16.50m
A true-life military tale base on the book “Horse Soldiers”. Warner Brothers follows the trend of recent years in releasing military-themed titles in this early frame of the calendar. It has been a lucrative gambit, and we have seen Hollywood shift away from the anti-war polemics that were all the rage 10-15 years ago, which consistently lost money.
3. DEN OF THIEVES – $15.32m
This is the surprise of the weekend. Gerard Butler and Curtis 50 Cent Johnson star in this pulpy heist film that truly was positioned for the foreign box office and the aftermarket broadcast rights. It was projected to open below $10 million, and the lower theater count makes this the number one grossing film per screen. If there is any endurance in the coming weeks there could be profit to be had in theatrical, and all the rest will be gravy for the various studios behind the production.
4. THE POST – $12.15m
Although it is not lighting up the awards schedule (the film did not win at the Producers Guild ceremony last night) this is still directly in the crosshairs of the trophy schedule. It eased back a respectable -37%, which is good for a serious adult drama. Oscar nominations arriving this week should help its fortunes.
5. THE GREATEST SHOWMAN – $11.0m
Surprising many in the industry this musical from 21st Century Fox just continues to churn out audiences. It dropped a barely seen -12% after five weeks in release and has crossed the $100 million plateau. Certain to at least get some musical nods from the Academy this week, that will only extend the interest in the coming weeks.
6. PADDINGTON 2 – $8.24m
While maybe not burning down the box office this title has surprised with the critical acclaim. This week it was announced that it became the highest-reviewed film in Rotten Tomatoes history, garnering over 100 reviews that were all positive.
7. THE COMMUTER – $^.68M
Liam Neeson’s actioner took the expected second-week drop in the -50% range, which considering the competition was rather respectable.
8. STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – $6.56m
Still on nearly 2,500 screens means Disney is milking this for all it can. Globally they have banked a stunning $1.3 Billion on this title.
9. INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY – $5.94m
The discount horror offering is lingering, and collecting more profit. It has cleared over $120 million global on a coupon-cutting $10 million budget.
10. FOREVER MY GIRL – $4.7m
Roadside Attractions gives their romance version of a Blumhouse discount horror effort. Made for just $3.5 million and given a modest release, it was in the top-5 in screen average. This means they can squeeze out a decent profit in the end.