Can Chris Hemsworth’s ’12 Strong’ Keep ‘Jumanji’ From Box Office Three-peat?

STX also sends Gerard Butler’s “Den of Thieves” into theaters this weekend

With Martin Luther King weekend in the rear view mirror, the box office calendar is expected to enter a slower period for the next three weeks before “Fifty Shades Freed” and “Black Panther” rev things up in February.

“Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” is expected to stay No. 1 for a third straight weekend as its long-burning streak of success continues, while Warner Bros./Alcon’s “12 Strong” will challenge Fox’s “The Post” for the No. 2 spot.

“12 Strong,” which is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer with Alcon and Black Label Media, will roll out to 3,002 locations and is expected to have an opening in the mid-teens. Warner Bros.’ is handling distribution through its deal with Alcon.

Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon star in a fact-based military tale about a CIA paramilitary operative and U.S. Special Forces who team up with the Afghani Northern Alliance in the first battles of the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban in the weeks following the 9/11 attacks.

Early reviews have given the film a 59 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes

Expected to finish on the lower end of the top five this weekend is STX’s Gerard Butler thriller “Den of Thieves,” which follows the interwoven lives of an elite team in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and a team of thieves planning a dramatic heist on L.A.’s Federal Reserve Bank.

The film is expected to make around $9 million from 2,300 locations, which should put it against the second weekend runs of “Paddington 2” and “The Commuter.”

“Jumanji,” meanwhile, is expected to stay just above “12 Strong” with a fifth weekend total of $18-20 million.

That will be enough to push the film past “Thor: Ragnarok” to become the seventh-highest domestic grossing release of 2017 and put it in position to pass “It” for the No. 6 spot sometime next week.

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