The latest “Star Wars” movie once again led the box office, topping $100 million in revenues for the second weekend in a row. But five new releases over the Christmas holidays gave more-earthbound fans plenty of alternatives, including a remake of “Jumanji,” a Matt Damon fantasy-comedy, and a picture about circus showman P.T. Barnum. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Walt Disney Co.’s space adventure, tallied $100.7 million in North American ticket sales, according to estimates Monday from researcher ComScore Inc. After opening Wednesday, Sony Corp.’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” collected Friday-to-Monday revenue of $50.4 million, beating estimates. The weekends around Christmas are among the busiest for theaters. Exhibitors count on filling a lot of seats, even if a couple of the new movies were dubbed turkeys by critics. Revenues for “The Last Jedi” dropped 54 percent from the previous weekend, a typical decline for major blockbusters and a rebound from a larger decline through Sunday. Some of the earlier drop was due to Christmas Eve, a usually weak day, falling on a Sunday, said Gitesh Pandya of Box Office Guru. And a good part of the decline “is due to the fan base coming out upfront already,” to see the film in its first few days. “Jumanji” was one of the better-reviewed new movies in wide release. Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan, the film came in second over the weekend.
The movie is a remake of the 1995 Robin Williams fantasy with a twist. In the original, Williams’s character is freed from a board game where he’s been trapped for years. In this version, four teenagers discover an old video game and are pulled into its jungle setting. The new “Jumanji” got a 78 percent favorable rating at RottenTomatoes.com, which consolidates critics’ reviews. BoxOfficePro.com predicted sales of $39 million through Christmas Day. “Pitch Perfect 3,” a sequel from Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures starring Anna Kendrick, opened with long weekend sales of $25.6 million to place third, trailing estimates.
In the new movie, the singing Bellas reunite for a last competition. RottenTomatoes gave a low 27 percent rating to the film, which was expected to produce extended weekend sales of $34 million through Christmas Day. “The Greatest Showman,” from 21st Century Fox Inc., features Australian actor Hugh Jackman as circus ringmaster and businessman P.T. Barnum. The film, which opened Wednesday, generated sales of $14 million, matching BoxOfficePro’s four-day estimate. Critics were split, giving the picture a 51 percent favorable rating. “Ferninand,” Fox’s version of the story of the gentle bull, brought in $9.7 million over the four-day period after opening last week. The animated film features the voices of Kate McKinnon along with John Cena as the title character.
In its fifth weekend, Walt Disney Co.’s “Coco” totaled $7.4 million during the four-day period. The animated film from the studio’s Pixar unit centers on Mexico’s Day of the Dead. “Downsizing” opened with four-day weekend sales of $7.3 million for Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures. Damon stars as an occupational therapist who joins a community of people who have shrunk themselves to save the planet and make their buying power go further. The film, from the director of “The Descendants” and “Sideways,” garnered a 52 percent positive rating from critics. In its fifth weekend, Focus Features’s “Darkest Hour” starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, totaled $5.4 milion during the four-day period.
“Father Figures,” distributed by Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros., opened with four-day weekend sales of $4.9 million, compared with a forecast of up to $7.3 million. The film stars Owen Wilson and Ed Helms as fraternal twins on a road trip to find their real father. The movie garnered a low 24 percent positive rating at RottenTomatoes. “The Shape of Water,” a potential awards contender from director Guillermo del Toro, expanded to more theaters this weekend and posted sales of $4.3 million through Monday. The film has a 94 percent positive rating with critics.