Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is completing the extended Christmas box office period with an estimated 5-day total of $135 million, bringing its 10-day domestic total to $361.8 million.
After the Skywalker Saga finale earned $32 million on Christmas Day, some industry estimates were projecting that J.J. Abrams’ film could pull ahead of the domestic pace of its predecessor, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” despite having a significantly lower opening weekend. But as the weekend progressed, those estimates were quickly dialed down. “Last Jedi” had a 10-day total of $368 million, and that was before a Christmas Day surge that saw the film’s domestic total rise to $464 million after a full two weeks in theaters.
Still, “Rise of Skywalker” took in $72 million for its Friday-to-Sunday second weekend, a 59% drop from its $177 million opening that is consistent with other blockbusters that have opened at that level. Globally, the film now has a total of $725 million with domestic market share still nearly even with an overseas total of $363 million.
Taking second is Sony’s “Jumanji: The Next Level,” which is proving to be a strong alternative to “Star Wars” as its distributor had hoped. With a $35.3 million 3-day/$59 million 5-day weekend, the “Jumanji” sequel now has a domestic total of $175 million.
Adding to Sony’s big Christmas is the success of Columbia/Regency’s “Little Women,” which opened on Christmas Day on 3,308 screens and took the No. 4 spot on the charts with a $29 million 5-day opening. That beats industry projections for an opening in the low $20 million range and puts Greta Gerwig’s likely Best Picture Oscar contender in strong position to leg out to a domestic total of over $100 million. Word of mouth has been incredibly strong with an A- on CinemaScore and critics and audiences scores on Rotten Tomatoes of over 90%.
Also opening this weekend and taking the No. 5 spot is Disney/Fox’s “Spies in Disguise,” which came in slightly below industry projections with a $22 million 5-day opening from 3,502 screens and a $38 million global opening. Reception has been strong for the Blue Sky/Chernin-produced animated film with an A- on CinemaScore and 72% Rotten Tomatoes critics score.
However, “Spies” is facing competition for families from “Jumanji” and the still surging “Frozen II,” which took in $26 million over the 5-day period to take third on the box office charts. “Frozen II” has now passed the domestic run of the original “Frozen” with $421 million and is $57 million away from passing the global total with $1.21 billion grossed after six weekends.
The final big Christmas release of the weekend was “Uncut Gems,” which is setting new records for distributor A24. After providing their studio with a record $105,000 per screen average in its limited opening, the Safdie Brothers crime thriller has earned an $18.8 million 5-day wide opening from 2,348 screens. The film has a total of $20 million and is now expected to become A24’s highest ever domestic grosser, passing the $48.9 million earned by “Lady Bird” in 2017.
Among holdovers, Lionsgate had some mixed results with their two current releases, “Knives Out” and “Bombshell.” “Knives Out” is showing strong legs in its fifth weekend, earning $16.6 million over the extended weekend to bring its total to $110 million. “Knives Out” now joins “John Wick: Chapter 3” as Lionsgate’s second $100 million-plus release in 2019 after not having any for the entirety of 2018. The Rian Johnson mystery has also crossed $200 million worldwide thanks to strong performance in China ($27.9 million) and the U.K. ($13.7 million).
“Bombshell,” meanwhile, is having a rougher time this weekend thanks mainly to stronger than expected competition from “Little Women” for female moviegoers. The film took in $8.4 million over the 5-day weekend, giving the $32 million production a domestic total of $15.6 million after two weekends. The film still has a chance to leg out in January, especially if stars Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie earn victories at the Golden Globes and help fuel interest.
But that’s nothing compared to the struggles facing Universal’s “Cats,” which was removed from the studio’s FYC page earlier this weekend and is set to bomb with $17.8 million domestic and $38.2 million worldwide after two weekends against a $95 million budget before marketing costs.