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‘Jumanji’ Takes First Box Office Weekend of 2018 With $36 Million

“Star Wars” falls to third, as “Insidious: The Last Key” opens to $29 million

Sony Pictures’ “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is the gift that keeps on giving for movie theaters, as it steamrolls towards the $250 million domestic mark with a third weekend total of $36 million from 3,801 screens.

The action-comedy sequel to Robin Williams’ 1995 film was solid through the holiday season, making $36 million in its first weekend as part of a $71 million launch from its Wednesday release through Christmas Day. It then added another $66 million during the four-day New Year’s weekend before matching its first weekend total here, bringing its running domestic cume to $244 million.

A sharp drop off might be in the cards in the coming weeks as the kids who drove much of the film’s traffic will start heading back to school, but a $300 million domestic finish is still a reasonable goal for this film. After this weekend, “Jumanji” cracked the top 10 domestic list for 2017, passing the $227 million made by “Justice League” to take the No. 9 spot.

In second is the sole new wide release of the weekend, Universal/Blumhouse’s “Insidious: The Last Key,” which opened to an estimated $29.2 million from 3,116 screens against a budget of $10 million. Earlier this week, independent trackers projected an opening in the low 20s, but the fourth installment of the “Insidious” series has posted the third highest horror opening in January, behind the $40 million made last year by Blumhouse’s “Split” and the $33.7 million made by “The Devil Inside.”

Universal continues to treat Blumhouse’s low-budget titles as four-quadrant films, and the strategy is paying off as younger audiences are showing up to see them even on weekends that other studios rarely touch. This came in spite of weak reception, as the film earned a 25 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and a B- on CinemaScore. However, it remains to be seen whether “Insidious’ will be able to have legs through the rest of January, as multiplexes will get more crowded next weekend for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” slides to third this weekend with $23.6 million, bringing its domestic total to $572.5 million and worldwide total to $1.2 billion. This week, it will pass “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Fate of the Furious” to become the highest grossing 2017 release, though it has underperformed in China with an opening weekend in the Middle Kingdom of just $28.7 million. By comparison, “The Force Awakens” opened to $52.3 million in China in 2016, while “Rogue One” opened to $30 million.

Fox/Chernin’s “The Greatest Showman” takes fourth this weekend with $13.8 million in its third weekend, as strong word of mouth has sustained it despite its weak opening with just an 11 percent drop from its $15 million 3-day total last weekend. The film now has a running domestic total of $76.7 million. Universal’s “Pitch Perfect 3” completes the top five with $10.2 million, bringing its total to just under $86 million.

Finally, there’s STX’s “Molly’s Game,” which expanded to 1,608 screens this weekend and came in seventh with $7 million, bringing its total to $14.2 million. This is about the same total made by Aaron Sorkin’s last film, “Steve Jobs,” but that film expanded to nearly 2,500 screens, giving “Molly’s Game” a much higher per screen average. STX will be hoping for sustained traffic over the course of the awards season, as the film is contending for awards for its lead star, Jessica Chastain, and for Sorkin’s screenplay.