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‘Jumanji’ Poised to Repeat as Box Office Champ

“The Post” is performing well nationwide, while “Paddington 2” and “Proud Mary” are falling behind

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” continues to be a hot ticket on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, stampeding towards the $300 million domestic milestone with an estimated $30 million return from the four-day weekend. It seems that Sony’s action comedy will be the movie of choice for many families this weekend, as several new releases are performing below tracker projections.

The only relative newcomer that is coming close to “Jumanji” is Fox’s “The Post,” which expanded to 2,819 theaters nationwide after three weekends in limited release. The film has built strong word of mouth thanks to its potent mix of critical acclaim, A-list pedigree and timely message of adversarial journalism.

Armed with an 88 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and an A from CinemaScore polls, “The Post” is looking at a $21.5 four-day total after making $5.9 million on Friday. That should bring its running total to $25 million against a $50 million budget. With “The Post” expected to be a major Oscar contender and one that will bring in audiences in blue states that see the film as a tweak against President Trump, it should get plenty of box office play through the next several weeks.

Beneath “The Post” are a cluster of films that are estimated to make $13-14 million this weekend and, for some of those films, that’s not good news. It’s just fine for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which will overtake “Beauty and the Beast” this weekend to become the highest grossing worldwide release of 2017 and only the sixth film to gross over $600 million domestic in a few days. It’s also fine for “The Greatest Showman,” which will cross the $100 million mark this coming week, and “Insidious: The Last Key,” which will have an estimated cume of $46 million against a cheap budget of $10 million.

But for Warner Bros.’ “Paddington 2,” a $13 million start isn’t what the studio hoped for when it purchased the family sequel from the flailing Weinstein Company. Despite a whopping 100 percent from Rotten Tomatoes, the latest adventures of Britain’s favorite bear are currently estimated to make little more than half of the $25 million four-day start the first “Paddington” made two years ago. But there’s still a way out for the film, as word of mouth could boost the film’s attendance at matinee screenings as the weekend progresses.

Then there’s Lionsgate’s “The Commuter,” for which a $14 million opening is about what was expected. The third action collaboration between Liam Neeson and director Jaume Collet-Serra is projecting to make just a little more than the $11 million start made by their last film, “Run All Night.” The film has a B on CinemaScore and a 55 percent RT score.

Finally, there’s Screen Gems’ Taraji P. Henson-led action film “Proud Mary,” which is underperforming with a projected four-day start of just $10-11 million, falling short of independent trackers’ projection of $18-20 million. While critics have enjoyed other recent female action films like “Atomic Blonde,” this one was given a 25 percent RT score. Audiences who did see the film enjoyed it a bit more with a B+ on CinemaScore.