Box Office Wrap Up: Jumanji Holds Off The Post.
Jumanji managed to retain the top spot for a second week, edging out The Post and its Oscar ambitions.
2018 put up another strong earnings total over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend with Jumanji continuing to show remarkable longevity in the face of three new wide releases and an aggressive national expansion from Oscar hopeful, The Post. Overall sales were strong across the board. Despite not capturing the top positions, each of the new films covered their bases while hold overs from 2017 continued to flourish.
This Week in Box Office History.
Box office earnings were up 6% over last year, which also saw the MLK holiday land in the second week of January. The Oscar nominations have still to be announced, so many of the films poised to make runs are still hanging around just outside the top ten list. This extra week without awards hype has allowed hold-over films such as Jumanji, The Greatest Showman, and Insidious: the Last Key to remain active on the list.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has continued to flourish as The Last Jedi has faded from the top spots. Last week’s strategy of judiciously expanding the theater count paid off again, as an additional 50 screens helped to keep Jumanji’s earnings relatively flat. For a second week the film has managed to lose less than 30% of its ticket totals in the face of stiff competition.
Second place went to The Post, which has ramped up the pressure in advance of the proper Oscars season. Adding nearly 3000 theaters has brought the film up to wide release status and the Tom Hanks/Meryl Streep drama was rewarded with 23 million dollars in sales, good enough to overcome the three new wide release films of the week.
The third spot went to the latest Liam Neeson action thriller, The Commuter. While it didn’t match the opening numbers of his Taken films or The Grey, 16 million dollars is a solid debut for the genre. The studios seems to have the formula down to a science, bringing the film to market for a modest 30 million dollars. With that figure, The Commuter is sure to be at least a modest success.
The Greatest Showman managed to hold on to the fourth spot and bring its cumulative domestic earnings to just below 100 million dollars. The musical loosely based on P.T. Barnum at first looked to be struggling to make back its budget, but has gone on to have long legs since its December debut.
The other wide release films, Paddington 2 and Proud Mary wound up towards the bottom half of the list, in 6th and 8th place respectively. That may seem like bad news, but both films have different measures of success. Paddington is beloved around the world and has already made 125 million dollars globally, and Proud Mary had a very modest 14 million dollar budget to recover. As Nate’s review pointed out, perhaps they should have spent a little more money on action sequences.