Universal/DreamWorks’ “1917” is getting a big box office boost from its victory at the Golden Globes, beating tracker expectations with its currently estimated $36.5 million wide opening this weekend from 3,434 screens and ending the reign of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” at the top of the charts.
Combined with a limited release run of $2.7 million over two weeks, “1917” is on pace to finish the weekend with $39.2 million. The World War I film has a reported budget of $90 million, but unlike the similarly budgeted “Cats,” Universal should have a hit on its hands, as this film will play well worldwide through the month as a serious Oscar contender. It is expected to perform strongly in the U.K., where director Sam Mendes and the film’s cast is from.
While the Golden Globes result surprised many viewers who hadn’t seen “1917” yet, audience reception for the film has been very strong with an A- on CinemaScore and a 93% verified Rotten Tomatoes audience score.
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is second with $15.3 million in its fourth weekend, which would bring its total to $478 million. Sony’s “Jumanji: The Next Level” is in third with approximately $13 million in its fifth weekend, pushing it past the $250 million domestic mark to $256 million.
New releases complete the Top 5, starting with the Paramount comedy “Like a Boss,” which is meeting tracker expectations with an $11 million opening from 3,078 screens. Critics panned the film with a 22% Rotten Tomatoes score, while audiences were somewhat more positive with a B on CinemaScore.
Just behind is Warner Bros.’ “Just Mercy” with an estimated $10.8 million from 2,375 screens. WB put the criminal justice drama out in a New York/Los Angeles platform release on Christmas Day and, since then, audience reception has been overwhelmingly positive. Wide release CinemaScore polls have yielded an A+ from all demographics, while Rotten Tomatoes scores have stood at 82% for critics and 99% for audiences.
The film is in a strong position to leg out through January, especially on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, when films like “Hidden Figures” and “Selma” that have tackled racial injustice have historically performed well at the box office.
Opening outside the Top 5 is Fox’s “Underwater” starring Kristen Stewart that is expected to join “Charlie’s Angels” as another box office flop for the “Twilight” star. It is headed for a $6.7 million opening from 2,791 screens against a $50 million budget. The a suspense thriller has a C on CinemaScore and 53% Rotten Tomatoes score. The film sits No. 7 behind the third weekend of Sony’s “Little Women,” which is projected to add $7.3 million for a total of $73 million.