Box Office Wrap Up: Jedi Lifts Box Office.
A wintery white Christmas weekend helped Last Jedi and others deliver a box office present.
The holiday weekend, despite being plagued by storms in the northeast, powered the 2017 box office into respectable territory after having suffered through a horrendous summer. In just two weeks, The Last Jedi has lifted Hollywood out of the swamp, aided by a long weekend and six new wide release films. If Jedi and Jumanji can maintain another strong holiday weekend for new years, this calendar year could wind up very merry indeed.
This Week in Box Office History.
The Christmas holiday weekend makes direct comparisons difficult. The last time Christmas day fell on a Monday was 2011. Both extended weekends saw the holiday add 60 million dollars to the total earnings. That’s nearly 1/3 of the total box office in just one day (and nearly 1/2 when it happened in 2011!) If you look at just the 3 day, ticket sales were down around 40% compared to last week and 20% compared to last year, but that difference evaporates when you add in Monday’s take.
With one week left in the year, 2017’s fate is still undecided. That being said, it certainly has improved as of late! We started December in 7th place for earnings in the last decade; we now sit at 5th place and have a very realistic chance of finishing up in the top 3. That’s nearly a billion dollar swing, helped in large part by The Last Jedi’s 400 million dollars in sales and a surprisingly strong debut from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
Top Three Films.
The Last Jedi continued to earn at a decent pace. Like the overall picture, Star Wars had a soft weekend but made back nearly all of the Christmas Eve famine by having a feast on Christmas Day. Monday ticket sales added nearly 40 million dollars to the film’s bottom line. A lack of new challengers this week should leave Episode VIII in a solid position to finish out the year in first place for a third weekend in a row. It’s now a foot race between Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars to determine which Disney film will be the highest grossing film of all 2017.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle had a very strong initial opening. Reviews have been mixed to negative, but Jumanji put on a late burst of speed to finish with 50 million dollars over the holiday. The film out-grossed the 1995 original by a 3-to-1 margin and put a big dent in its budget of 90 million dollars. Like many action films this year, it also had a strong foreign release of another 50 million dollars.
Third place went to the third Pitch Perfect movie. Pitch Perfect 3 came out singing to the tune of 25 million dollars. This is well above the first film’s 5 million dollar opening but well below the 70 million dollar opening of the last installment.
A few lumps of coal were handed out this weekend. The Greatest Showman finished in a very distant fourth place, taking in 14 million dollars against an 84 million dollar budget. I think I may have been a bit over-eager when I stated that musicals were making a come back at the box office!
The Matt Damon comedy about shrinking, Downsizing, wound up with a tiny amount of viewers. In 7th place, the film made only 7 million dollars against a 70 million dollar budget. The good news is that I hear if the studio executives who green-lit this film miniaturize themselves, that pitiful amount of revenue will go farther.
Another film on the naughty list was Father Figures, which premiered in 9th place. The Ed Helms/Owen Wilson comedy took in just shy of 5 million dollars against a 25 million dollar budget. That’s a bit of a reach for a comedy starring two actors that have struggled for a live-action comedy hit in a while. Someone should tell these guys that Netflix will write you a contract to make cheap comedies no matter how many stinkers you make!