“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” as expected, is continuing its domination of the holiday box office, making $24.6 million on its second Friday with estimates pointing to a four-day Christmas weekend total of $102 million from 4,232 screens.
If Saturday’s totals can push that number up by $4 million, the “Star Wars” sequel will have reached $400 million domestic by the end of Christmas Day. As it stands, the film has an eight-day cume of $321.2 million.
But while “Star Wars” won’t be giving up the No. 1 spot anytime soon, a couple of new releases have solid starts. In second place this weekend is Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” which was released on Wednesday and is looking at a six-day start of $60 million with $43 million made over the four-day weekend. Released on 3,765 screens with $12.4 million made on Friday, the sequel to the Robin Williams adventure film has been well-received by critics and audiences alike as good family counter-programming to “Star Wars.” It has received a 77 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and an A- on CinemaScore.
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Also performing well is Universal’s “Pitch Perfect 3,” the final installment in the Anna Kendrick-led comedy-musical trilogy. Released on 3,447 screens with a $10.6 million opening day total, the film is looking at a four-day opening of $35 million against a reported $45 million budget. The film was panned by critics with a 29 percent RT score, compared to 80 percent for the first “Pitch Perfect” and 65 percent for the 2015 sequel. But critics were of no concern to this threequel, which already had a built-in female fanbase that was very pleased with the film, giving it an A- on CinemaScore.
In an underperforming fourth place is Fox/Chernin Entertainment’s “The Greatest Showman,” which was released on 3,006 screens on Wednesday and was projected for a six-day total of $25 million against an $84 million budget, with Fox hoping for an opening in the low 20s. Instead, the musical is currently estimated to make $15-17 million. Audiences who did see the film embraced it, giving it an A on CinemaScore. But critics were much more mixed, giving it a 50 percent RT score.
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Meanwhile, two other wide releases are falling outside the top five, which is being rounded out by Fox/Blue Sky’s “Ferdinand” with $10 million. In sixth this weekend is Paramount’s “Downsizing,” which was given festival circuit promotion in the hopes of building an awards campaign, but has been met with lukewarm reception as audiences gave it a C on CinemaScore and critics gave it 52 percent on the Tomatometer. Pre-weekend projections had the film making an opening in the low teens, but instead it’s looking at an opening of $7 million from 2,668 screens after making $2.6 million on Friday.
Warner Bros./Alcon Entertainment’s “Father Figures” fared even worse with a projected opening of just $5 million after making $1.3 million from 2,902 screens. Audiences were kinder to the raunchy comedy than they were to “Downsizing” with a B- on CinemaScore, but critics panned it with a 22 percent RT rating. “Father Figures”‘ poor performance ends what has been a tough year for comedies, with Universal’s “Girls Trip” being the only film to buck the downward trend with $139 million grossed against a $19 million budget. But for Warner Bros., which has grossed over $2 billion domestically and $5 billion worldwide this year, the poor performance of this film is little cause for concern.