Outdoor adventures powering over ghosts on the inside
Hollywood is very keen when outside influences may affect theaters returns. Normally this is in the form of hindsight when a film under-performs; they like to point out other cultural events grabbed viewers, or bad weather kept people away from theaters. (Once a volcano in another continent was cited as a cause for soft ticket sales.)
In the case of Super Bowl weekend studios throw in the towel. They realize they are losing at least one entire day of the weekend to the most-watched television broadcast, so there is little motivation to offer up content as a sacrifice. This weekend will draw less than $100 million in total, and that is why we see there was only one new title arriving as the majors wisely decided to step back for a week. As older films are dropping theaters five of those titles up for Academy Awards added over 100 screens.
Let’s take a look into how badly the films had a stalled drive, and see if anyone fumbled in this new frame.
1. JUMANJI: RETURN TO THE JUNGLE – $11.1Million
As most of the field ebbed the reboot of this board game property rose to the top for the fourth time. It has moved up as the third highest Sony release ever, with over $350million domestic, and over another $500million in foreign sales. This week it will become the highest-grossing movie in Dwayne The Rock Johnson’s career. That’s significant, considering his appearances in the “Fast & Furious” money-printing titles. There will certainly be more of this franchise to arrive in the future.
2. MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE – $10.2m
Taking a heavy, but not unexpected, drop of -58% in week #2. This is purely being looked at by Fox as an international play. Roughly 80% of the box office is expected to come from the foreign markets, so the studio may actually manage to come out ahead by the end of the run.
3. WINCHESTER – $9.25m
The lone new release this week has CBS Films/Lionsgate testing out a haunted house tale starring Helen Mirren. It registered exactly where projected, with little chance at a true long-range run. The exit reviews were tepid – most scored it with a “B” score, which won’t lead to much word of mouth interest.
4. THE GREATEST SHOWMAN – $7.8m
Yet another week lodged in the top-5, this musical just has remarkable staying power. It eased back only -18%, and after seven weeks it still remains on over 2,500 screens. It has doubled its returns overseas and is over $270 million for Fox so far.
5. HOSTILES – $5.52m
The upstart distributor Entertainment Studios is working hard to get any interest for this Christian Bale western. They continue to add theaters, hoping to earn any interest in a field choked with other adult dramas jockeying for ticket sales. After seven weeks this has just crawled over the $20 million mark.
6. THE POST – $5.2m
It is cruising along on just enough good will, performing admirably enough while not exactly setting theaters on fire. Most surprising is that the film has some recognition in the awards cycle but is not getting true love from any voters. With a smattering of nominations (including a Best Picture Oscar) it has not won anything significant so far. It has been shut out of the Golden Globes, Producers and Actors guilds, and Spielberg was not even nominated for last night’s Directors Guild honors.
7. 12 STRONG – $4.71
Playing just about as well as expected the true-life war story would be one to suffer this weekend with the departure of older males choosing the football game. It will be an effort to see if this can make it to the $50 million plateau.
8. DEN OF THIEVES – $4.67m
This crime thriller has shadowed “12 Strong” from the opening. The returns have been nearly identical each week and currently the total earnings between the two are about one million.
9. THE SHAPE OF WATER – $4.3m
The good fortunes of this title continue to grow. Guillermo del Toro just won the Directors Guild honor. The film drew an additional 500 screens for the week, as it is shaping up to be the front-runner for Best Picture.
10. PADDINGTON 2 – $3.11m
At one time a property owned by The Weinstein Company the family adventure is about to cross over the $200 million mark internationally.