‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ tops ‘Frozen 2' as awards contenders roll out
Sony’s “Jumanji: The Next Level” unseated Disney’s “Frozen 2" from its three-week perch at the top of the box office, and exceeded expectations opening with $60.1 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.
The result marks an auspicious start for the movie, whose predecessor, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” opened with $36 million in 2017 on its way to $962 million in worldwide receipts. It also sets a new record for a December comedy opening weekend.
Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Nick Jonas reprise their roles as video game avatars in the titular game while Danny Glover, Danny DeVito and Awkwafina round out the cast.
The film is the third installment in the “Jumanji” franchise, which kicked off in 1995. It earned a 67% “fresh” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
In second place, “Frozen 2" added $19.2 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $366.5 million and a global gross of $1.03 billion, becoming Disney‘s sixth film to cross the milestone this year.
At No. 3, Lionsgate’s “Knives Out” added $9.3 million in its third weekend for a cumulative $78.9 million.
In fourth place, Warner Bros.’ “Richard Jewell” opened with $5 million, well below analyst projections of $10 million to $12 million.
Directed by Clint Eastwood, the drama stars Paul Walter Hauser as a security guard who is castigated by the media and the FBI as a suspect in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic bombing. Sam Rockwell, Jon Hamm and Olivia Wilde also star in the film, which recently came under fire for its depiction of real-life journalist Kathy Scruggs (Wilde), who is portrayed as trading sex for a scoop.
Despite the controversy, it was positively received with an A CinemaScore and a 75% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Rounding out the top five, Universal’s “Black Christmas” opened with $4.4 million, far short of analyst projections of $10 million to $12 million.
Directed by Sophia Takal from a script she co-wrote with April Wolfe, the film is a remake of the 1974 cult slasher with a timely feminist bent.
The thriller stars Imogen Poots as a sorority girl searching for answers after her fellow sorority sisters go missing. It was poorly received with a D+ CinemaScore and a 45% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In sixth place, Fox’s “Ford v Ferrari” added $4.1 million in its fifth weekend for a cumulative $96.2 million.
At No. 7, Universal’s “Queen & Slim” added $3.6 million in its third weekend for a cumulative $33.2 million.
In eighth place, Sony’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” added $3.4 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $49.3 million.
At No. 9, Focus Features’ “Dark Waters” added $2 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $8.9 million.
Rounding out the top 10, STX Entertainment’s “21 Bridges” added $1.2 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $26.4 million.
A slew of awards contenders hit theaters in limited release, starting with A24’s “Uncut Gems,” which opened in five locations to $525,498 for a per-screen average of $105,100, the second-best average of the year behind “Parasite,” which earned $125,421.
Directed by the Safdie brothers, the crime thriller stars Adam Sandler as a jeweler whose high-stakes bet could cost him everything. It was well-received, earning a 92% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes but was notably snubbed by both the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Golden Globes.
Lionsgate opened “Bombshell” in four locations to $312,000 for a per-screen average of $78,025, one of the best averages of the year.
The film, which chronicles the events that surrounded Fox News founder Roger Ailes’ fall from grace, earned a 60% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It stars Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie and scored all three SAG nominations with Theron and Robbie receiving Golden Globes nods for lead and supporting actress, respectively.
Fox Searchlight opened Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life” in five locations to $52,000 for a per-screen average of $10,400.
The film, about an Austrian farmer who faces the threat of execution after refusing to fight for the Nazis during World War II, was also snubbed by both the Golden Globes and SAG. It earned a 78% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Also in limited release, the free-speech documentary “No Safe Spaces,” featuring comedian Adam Carolla and radio talk-show host Dennis Prager, passed the $1-million mark in its eighth week of release.
This week, Disney reveals the saga-closing sci-fi epic “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and Universal opens the highly anticipated musical “Cats.”
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