January is usually a slow time at the movies and this year is no exception. Sony’s surprise smash ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ reigns at #1 for the third weekend in a row. Last January was buoyed by M. Night Shyamalan’s breakout ‘Split’, but there is really no crossover hit (other than ‘Jumanji’) this year. Instead, studios unleashed two niche movies, aimed at the older male audience, true life war story ’12 Strong’ and crime drama ‘Den of Thieves’, which landed at #2 and #3 respectively. ’12 Strong’s is performing along expectations, while ‘Den of Thieves’ is out-performing them. Overall, the weekend was down 6.6% from last year.
Having crossed the $300M mark, ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ now ranks as Sony’s fifth-highest-grossing film and it’s #1 non-‘Spider-Man’ release.
Like last week’s #3 movie, ‘The Commuter’ (which plunged to #7 this weekend), both ’12 Strong’ and ‘Den of Thieves’ were made with modest budgets, roughly $30M apiece, with the knowledge that the appeal in the U.S. was limited, but with an eye toward foreign markets, where action shoot-’em-ups are an easy sell. ’12 Strong’ earned a healthy “A” average CinemaScore. The film drew very few viewers under the age of 25, but those that did check it out loved it, giving it an “A+” score. ‘Den of Thieves’ earned an okay “B+” score.
‘The Post’ and ‘The Greatest Showman’ continue to draw the older crowd and hang strong at #4 and #5.
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Sony) – $20M
- 12 Strong (Warner Brothers/Alcon) $16.2M
- Den of Thieves (STX) – $15M
- The Post (Fox/Dreamworks) – $12.1M
- The Greatest Showman (20th Century Fox) – $10.9M
As you can see, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ has fallen out of the Top Five. (It’s #8 this week.) It had a healthy run, and just crossed the $600M point domestically, so nothing to be sad about.
Next week sees the release of ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’, the long-awaited final chapter of the YA trilogy. The film was delayed after star Dylan O’Brien was injured on set while performing a stunt. ‘Maze Runner’ is mainly aimed at young females and as you can see, there’s nothing else out right now targeting that demographic. In fact, there really isn’t anything for any young people, with the possible exception of ‘Jumanji’. That could help ‘Maze Runner’ to actually exceed predictions if it manages to draw teens, tweens and young adults of either gender. It opened in four foreign territories this weekend and easily outpaced the first two entries in the series.
Check back to see how it does in the U.S.!