Updated with Disney figures: Early morning estimates show Disney’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker crossing the $400 million mark stateside with $407.6M after a New Year’s Day of $17M. That take bests the January 1 cash of The Last Jedi ($14.2M) and Rogue One ($16.75M). Skywalker ranks fourth among the highest-grossing New Years Days behind The Force Awakens ($34.3M, 2016), Avatar ($25.2M, 2010), and Meet the Fockers ($18.2M, 2005).
In regards to its running cume, Skywalker went from being 2% behind Last Jedi on Sunday to being 8% behind in its first 13 days through Wednesday. Part of that stems from big box office days like Christmas and New Year’s falling later in Last Jedi‘s run. By its 16th day of release, on December 30, Last Jedi flew past the half-billion mark at the domestic box office. With Skywalker coming off a bigger Christmas than Last Jedi — $32.1M to $27.4M — box office sources aggressively projected last weekend that the ninth-quel would overtake the eighth-quel in its running total. That didn’t happen. Last Jedi finaled its U.S./Canada run at $620.1M.
As far as weekend 2 goes for Skywalker, the expectation is that it will ease around 40% for a 3-day in the low $40Ms. Weekend 3 of Last Jedi pulled in $52.5M, however that was for the period of Jan. 29-31. The fourth weekend of Jedi, which was the first weekend of the year, pulled in $23.7M, ranking 3rd and ceding No. 1 to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle in weekend 3 ($37.2M) and No. 2 to Universal/Blumhouse’s Insidious: The Last Key (which opened to $29.6M).
In spots 2 and 3 Wednesday, Sony’s Jumani: The Next Level and Little Women made $10.9M and $5.25M, respectively. Next Level plants itself at $203M in its 20th day of release, which is 18% behind Welcome to the Jungle at the same point in 2017, that movie finaling at $404.5M. Through eight days, Little Women stands at $42.8M.
The Culver City lot looks to expand its counter-programming footprint this weekend with Screen Gems’ second reboot of Japanese horror franchise The Grudge from Sundance wunderkind Nicholas Pesce, director of The Eyes of My Mother and Piercing. Sam Raimi produces. The studio is spotting a $9M start for Grudge, which one report says cost $10M before P&A. Other tracking reports, however, see the movie potentially doing between $11M-$15M at 2,642 locations. Andrea Riseborough and Demian Bichir star.
In recent days, Grudge made gains among younger females, followed by younger males — though keep in mind the R rating here might keep some of them away. Previews start tonight at 7 PM at 2,393 theaters. No RT score yet on The Grudge as press screenings are today.
Horror has been very successful at playing to New Year’s audiences, and last year Sony found a cash cow in the PG-13 Escape Room, which opened to $18.2M stateside off a $9M production cost, finaling at $57M domestic, $155.7M global. Escape Room 2 opens on August 14. The first two U.S.-made Grudge films combined to gross close to $258M WW for Sony.
The Safdie Brothers’ Uncut Gems is the gift that keeps on giving to A24, with the pic making $3.1M in its ninth day of wide release, placing seventh, for a running total of $27.3M. By today, Uncut Gems will pass Midsommar ($27.4M) as A24’s fourth-highest-grossing pic stateside after Lady Bird ($48.9M), Hereditary ($44M) and Moonlight ($27.9M). That’s the fifth day of the Adam Sandler’ pic’s nine wide days that has grossed over $3M in a single day, Christmas being its highest with $5.9M.
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