Jumanji: The Next Level melts Frozen 2 box office lead, takes top spot with $60.1 million
After three weeks at the top of the box office, Disney’s Frozen 2 ($19.2 million) has been relinquished to second place by Jumanji: The Next Level ($60.1 million) this weekend. But don’t feel bad for Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel), whose animated film has made approximately $367 million in its 24 days of domestic release.
In Sony’s followup to the 2017 action-adventure film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, audiences see the return of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan for more wacky adventures in the overall fourth installment of the film franchise. The Jake Kasdan-directed title also sees the addition of a variety of new characters played by Danny DeVito, Awkwafina, and Danny Glover.
Knives Out takes the third spot with an estimated $9.3 million, followed by Richard Jewell with an underwhelming $5 million. The number five slot was taken by Black Christmas, which also underperformed during its opening weekend making a dismal $4.4 million.
Jumanji: The Next Level opens a year after the events of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, after the crew: Spencer (Alex Wolff), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Martha (Morgan Turner), and Bethany (Madison Iseman) split up and went their separate ways. They reunite to rescue one of their own, but the game has changed. The stakes are higher and the players will face unknown terrain in this dangerous game where only the smartest and strongest survive.
With so many reboots failing to bring moviegoers to theaters in droves, Jumanji proves there’s still an audience for fresh follow-ups with a unique twist to the plot. The Next Level has outperformed its predecessor Welcome to the Jungle by quite a large amount, the 2017 film earned $36 million during its opening weekend (not adjusting for inflation).
The original Jumanji, starring the legendary Robin Williams, premiered in 1995 earning $11.1 million during its opening weekend in December.
EW gave The Next Level a B, saying it “packs more humor than its predecessor, but Welcome to the Jungle had the benefit of introducing its quartet of real-world heroes, all of whom had easily recognizable teenage fears and prejudices for which a bit of high-risk teamwork — in a landscape as physically perilous as high school is emotionally so — turned out to be the perfect cure.”
Clint Eastwood’s true-story drama Richard Jewell tells the story of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing during the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta. Based on the Vanity Fair article “American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell” by Marie Brenner and the Kent Alexander and Kevin Salwen book “The Suspect,” Richard Jewell highlights real-life security guard Jewell (played by Paul Walter Hauser) who found a bomb and after reporting it, became a suspect himself.
The film co-stars Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, and Ian Gomez. Wilde brought to life Atlanta-Journal Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs, a role that was heavily criticized by the current editor of the publication claiming the depiction of the late Scruggs was “entirely false and malicious.” The reporter is shown exchanging sex with an FBI agent in exchange for information in the drama.
Wilde explained via social media, “The perspective of the fictional dramatization of the story, as I understood it, was that Kathy, and the FBI agent who leaked false information to her, were in a pre-existing romantic relationship, not a transactional exchange of sex for information.”
Notwithstanding, Richard Jewell received mostly favorable reviews from critics. EW gave the film a B+, saying, “delivers Jewell’s story with almost no unnecessary flourishes; a taut, streamlined drama leavened by crucial doses of empathy.”
Moviegoers gave it an A via CinemaScore and it earned a 73% fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes.
Blumhouse Productions was not able to keep audiences in love with horror films this far after Halloween. Their PG-13 rated Black Christmas underperformed at the box office, which is another big loss for distributor Universal.
The film, a remake of the 1974 film of the same name, tells the story of a group of Hawthorne College sorority sisters who are being killed off one by one over the quiet holiday break on campus. But the scared students won’t sit back and wait for their turn to be slashed, they fight back and end up going even deeper into the mystery of who is behind these bloody murders.
Cast includes Imogen Poots, Brittany O’Grady, Cary Elwes, Aleyse Shannon, and Lily Donoghue.
Both critics and moviegoers agree, Black Christmas is one film you shouldn’t be afraid to skip. It has a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and Cinemascore grades it a D+.
Overall, box office is down -5.4% percent year-to-date, according to Comscore. Check out the Dec. 13-15 numbers below:
Jumanji: The Next Level— $60.1 million
Frozen 2— $19.2 million
Knives Out—$9.3 million
Richard Jewell—$5 million
Black Christmas—$4.4 million
Ford v Ferrari—$4.1 million
Queen & Slim—$3.6 million
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood—$3.4 million
Dark Waters— $2 million
21 Bridges— $1.2 million