UPDATE DEC 26 AM writethru following Christmas Night post: As expected Disney/Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker posted the second-best Christmas Day ever at the domestic B.O. with $32M, behind 2015’s holiday record, Force Awakens, which made $49.3M. Industry estimates last night thought it could go as high as $35M, however, Disney has been reporting their actual daily figures for Skywalker at $1M-$3M below what rivals has been estimating. Skywalker also beats the Christmas Day grosses of Last Jedi ($27.4M) and Rogue One ($25.8M) which have the third and fourth best daily totals for the holiday. Skywalker‘s 6-day stands at $258.8M, which is -7% behind Last Jedi over the same period of time. That pic finaled with $620.1M domestic.
All pics according to Comscore grossed $80M yesterday, +2% from last year, but off 23% from 2015’s Christmas Day record when Force Awakens lead all movies to $103.3M.
Just like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was the favored second choice against Last Jedi over Christmas 2017, so is Jumanji: The Next Level the next-best choice at the multiplex versus Skywalker. The Sony sequel is estimated at $12.55M yesterday for a running total of $128.9M in second place.
Sony also has bragging rights for 3rd place today with Greta Gerwig’s Little Women and reported $6.4M for the pic’s Christmas Day opening (vs. industry estimate of $7M for the day sans any Christmas Eve previews). The pic’s 3-day off today is projected at $12.5M with a 5-day of $24M. Little Women‘s Christmas Day opening feasibly conquers the Christmas opening day of the 1994 Winona Ryder-Susan Sarandon-Kirsten Dunst-Claire Danes version which posted $2.2M. Among Christmas Day opening box office comparisons, Little Women beats the $6.3M of Fox’s 2012 Parental Guidance and it’s just under the $7.8M made by 2003’s Cheaper by the Dozen. Regency co-financed Little Women.
Filing third for the day is A24’s Uncut Gems with $5.9M (that includes the $1.15M from Christmas Eve shows), which is the most ever made for the Gotham-based indie distributor in a single day. Running total for the Safdie Brothers’ movie stands at $7M.
4th place is owned by Fox/Blue Sky/Disney’s animated feature Spies in Disguise with $4.8M. Projected out the Will Smith-Tom Holland voiced movie is looking at $12M over 3-days and $21M over 5. Last time Blue Sky played the holiday season was 2017 with Ferdinand, however, they opened on Dec. 15 and in the first 5 days made $16.4M.
Universal/DreamWorks’ WWI Sam Mendes feature 1917 grossed $251K at 11 theaters in LA, NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, DC and Toronto for $22,8K per theater. Studio sees a 3-day of $600K and 5-day of $975K.
Warner Bros.’s social justice drama Just Mercy starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson opened to $81K at four NY and LA sites scoring A+ CinemaScores among all major demos including females (63%) and males (37%), and 25+ (89%) and under 25 (11%).
Below is how the long weekend is shaping up. Note estimates can fluctuate…
1.) Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker (Dis) 4,406 theaters Wed $32M (+60%)/3-day: $86.6M (-51%)/5-day: $150M/Cume: $376.8M/Wk 2
2.) Jumanji: Next Level (Sony) 4,227 theaters Wed $12.55M (+84%)/3-day $38.6M (+46%)/5-day $65.5M/Cume: $182M/Wk 3
3.) Frozen 2 (Dis) 3665 theaters (-413), Wed $4.1M (+21%)/3 day: $19M (+47%)/5-day: $29.6M/Cume: $424.6M/Wk 6
4.) Little Women (Sony) 3,308 theaters Wed. $6.4M/3-day $11.4M/5-day $21.7M/Wk 1
5.) Spies in Disguise (Fox/Dis) 3,502 theaters Wed. $4.8M/3-day $12.2M/5-day 20.9M/Wk 1
6.) Uncut Gems (A24) 2,341 theaters (+2336) Wed $5.9M /3-day $10.6M (+4287%)/5-day $19.9M/Cume $21M/Wk 3
7.) Knives Out (LG/MRC) 2535 theaters (-878), Wed $3.7M (+102%)/3-day $11.6M (+78%)/5-day $18.7M/Cume: $112.3M/Wk 5 [Pic will cross $100M today or tomorrow]
8.) Cats (Uni) 3,380 theaters/Wed $2.1M (+97%)/3-day $5.1M (-22%)/5-day $9.1M/Cume $18.1M/Wk 2
9.) Bombshell (LG) 1480 theaters (+1476), Wed. $2M (+133%)/3-day $5.1M (0%)/5-day $8.9M/Cume $16.1M/Wk 3
10.) Richard Jewell (WB) 2502 theaters, Wed $1.4M (+157%)/3-day $3.6M (+39%)/5-day $6.3M/Cume $16.9M/Wk 3
UPDATED, CHRISTMAS DAY AM: For what is expected to be one of the slowest days of the year at the box office (we’re talking Christmas Eve), Disney’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker had a fantastic day grossing $20M, which makes it the second best Christmas Eve for a Star Wars pic behind Force Awakens ($27.4M), and ahead of Last Jedi ($17.6M) and Rogue One ($15.3M). Skywalker even had a fantastic hold when compared to its previous holiday released chapters, -32% yesterday from Monday, which is a better hold than Last Jedi‘s Christmas Eve (-40%), Rogue One (-33%) and just behind Force Awakens’ hold between Dec. 23 and 24 (-28%).
Overall, all movies dipped -19% in ticket sales on Christmas Eve from Dec. 23, which is a better hold than what the top 10 last year posted over those two days, -32%. Business will surge today and remain that way through the holidays. Every day will be a Friday. Previous Christmas Day grosses for Star Wars pics include Force Awakens ($49.3M — a record for the holiday), Last Jedi ($27.4M) and Rogue One ($25.8M). That’s also the top 3 pics at the Christmas B.O. Last year Aquaman, 2018’s big holiday pic, made $21.98M.
Sony’s Little Women and Fox/Blue Sky/Disney’s Spies in Disguise didn’t hold previews last night, but A24’s Adam Sandler crime thriller Uncut Gems busted wide from 5 locations to 1,628 screens earning $1.15M in previews. The movie currently counts a running total near $1.5M. There were sellouts across the country I’m informed. The Benny and Josh Safdie directed movie goes wide today at 2,341.
Below is a look at the top 10 pics:
1.) Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker (Dis) 4,406 theaters Tues $20M (-32%)/Cume: $226.8M/Wk 1
2.) Jumanji: Next Level (Sony) 4,227 theaters Tues $6.78M (-7%)/Cume: $116.4M/Wk 2
3.) Frozen 2 (Dis) 3665 theaters (-413), Tues $3.4M (-23%)/Cume: $395.1M/Wk 5
4.) Knives Out (LG/MRC) 2535 theaters (-878), Tues $1.67M (-8%)/Cume: $93.4M [The Rian Johnson directed whodunit is expected to feasibly hit $100M this weekend if not before end of 2019]
5.) Uncut Gems (A24) 1,628 theaters (+1623) Tues $1.15M (+1302%)/Cume $1.456M/Wk 2 — in previews
6.) Cats (Uni) 3,380 theaters/Tues $1.08M (-21%)/Cume $9M/Wk 1
7.) Bombshell (LG) 1480 theaters (+1476), Tues $878K (-5%)/Cume $7.3M/Wk 2
8.) Richard Jewell (WB) 2502 theaters, Tues $545K (-1%)/Cume $10.6M/Wk 2
9.) Ford v Ferrari (20th/Dis) 1433 (-1462), Tues $500K (+26%)/Cume $103M/Wk 6
10.) Beautiful Day in Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar) 1524 theaters (-1331) Tues $425K (-4%), Cume: $53.3M/Wk 5
11.) Dabangg 3 (Yash Raj) 294 theaters, Tues $333K (+65%)/Cume $1.7M/Wk 1
UPDATED, CHRISTMAS EVE: Disney’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker took in $29.3 million on Monday, down 27% from Sunday, for a four-day total (including previews) of $206.7M. The film will remain undefeated with a second weekend in the $70M-$80M range, and the wide entries opening on Christmas Day won’t siphon off any grosses. Those pics include Sony/Regency’s Little Women ($18M-$22M five-day), Fox/Disney/Blue Sky’s Spies in Disguise ($19M-$23M) and the expansion of A24’s crime thriller Uncut Gems ($11M-$15M).
While exhibition stocks like AMC and Cinemark dipped 3% and 2%, respectively, versus Skywalker‘s Friday opening day, the pic continues to reel in a great degree of business, and rivals remain confident the J.J. Abrams-directed feature will continue to do so from tomorrow onward. Skywalker‘s Monday was the sixth best gross on that day of all time behind last year’s Black Panther ($40.15M), Force Awakens’ first Monday (December 21, 2015: $40.1M), this year’s Avengers: Endgame ($36.8M), 2016’s Rogue One ($32M) and Force Awakens‘ second Monday (December 28, $31.3M). It is also the fourth best for December, beating Last Jedi‘s first Monday ($21.6M) in 2017 and Christmas Monday ($27.4M).
All this cash despite the B+ CinemaScore, the lowest of any Star Wars live-action film, plus that divided critics Rotten Tomatoes rating of 55%.
Business for all films will be down today since it’s Christmas Eve. Last year the top 10 pics on Christmas Eve saw a 32% drop in their daily grosses compared with the previous day. None of the wide entries will have any previews tonight.
Greta Gerwig’s PG-rated revisionist tale Little Women won’t be a threat to Skywalker, nor will Universal/Amblin/Working Title’s Cats, which saw a $1.36M Monday, -28%, for a four-day total of $7.98M in fourth place. Lionsgate/Bron’s Bombshell, last weekend’s wide break, took in $920K yesterday in fifth, -38%, for a $6.4M running total. Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level ranked second with $7.3M on Monday, -22% from Sunday, and a $109.6M running cume. Disney’s Frozen 2 made $4.5M in third, -5%, and a total of $391.7M, while Lionsgate/MRC’s Knives Out made $1.8M in fourth place, off 19% for a $91.8M total.
Little Women is boosted by a 95% certified fresh RT score. The follow-up feature directed by two-time Lady Bird Oscar nominee Gerwig, Little Women to date counts two Golden Globe noms (Best Actress – Drama for Saoirse Ronan, Best Original Score for Alexandre Desplat), a Supporting Actress nom for Laura Dern from the New York Film Critics Circle (also in response to Netflix’s Marriage Story), and nine Critics’ Choice noms including Best Picture. All of that despite the fact the film was snubbed by the SAG Awards, and Gerwig was overlooked by the Globes for Best Director. The pic, booked at 3,100-plus locations, cost $40M before P&A net. The pic stars social media maestra Emma Watson, Ronan, Dern, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet, Bob Odenkirk and Tracy Letts
Fox/Chernin Entertainment’s animation feature Spies in Disguise will hopefully scoop up those little boys who may already be tired of Star Wars, or saw the ninth-quel twice. The movie from directors Nick Bruno and Troy Quane follows a spy (Will Smith) who is turned into a pigeon and he’s forced to rely on his nerdy tech officer (Tom Holland). Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Reba McEntire, Rachel Brosnahan, Karen Gillan, DJ Khaled and Masi Oka are also part of the voice-over cast. Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Michael J. Travers produced, with Chris Wedge and Kori Adelson serving as EPs. Of Spies’ 3,502 location count, 1,500 will offer 3D. Overseas the movie opens day and date in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and Mexico as well as Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine, Croatia, Czech Rep, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Middle East, Slovakia, Slovenia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia and Trinidad.
Uncut Gems over the past 11 days has been playing in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles, where it has racked up $1.08M. The film, which stars Adam Sandler as a 47th Street NYC jeweler who lives on the edge as he comes into possession of some rare African stones, has four Critics’ Choice noms including Best Picture and Best Actor, five Spirit Awards noms including Best Feature, and wins from the National Board of Review for Best Actor and original screenplay (from the Safdie Brothers and Ronald Bronstein). The NY Film Critics lauded the Safdies as best director.
Going limited is Universal/DreamWorks’ World War I action movie 1917, from Sam Mendes, on Christmas Day in 11 theaters. The film tells the story of two young British soldiers at the height of the war — Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) — as they are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers—Blake’s own brother among them. The movie busts wide on January 10 and is already tracking toward a $20M+ opening at that time. Critics love the movie at 91% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.