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Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle continued to dominate the box office on Christmas Day, while a newcomer to the crowded holiday feast of movies was director Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World.
All the Money in the World debuted to an OK $2.6 million from 2,068 theaters. Scott’s and Sony’s TriStar decided to launch the film Dec. 25 to provide some breathing room from the flood of movies opening over Christmas weekend, and are counting on attracting adults throughout the week.
In a Herculean effort, Scott raced to finish his movie in time for its year-end release after replacing disgraced actor Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer, a pricey decision requiring reshoots and a new marketing campaign. All the Money in the World, also starring Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams, recounts the story of the kidnapping of J. Paul Getty’s grandson. The movie received a B CinemaScore.
Also debuting Monday, albeit in far fewer theaters, was Aaron Sorkin’s feature directorial debut, Molly’s Game, starring Jessica Chastain. From STXfilms, Molly’s Game, earning an A- CinemaScore, opened to an estimated $1 million from 271 theaters.
After a lull Christmas Eve, moviegoing picked up in earnest Christmas Day as films saw huge day-over-day gains. The corridor between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day is the most lucrative stretch of the year. This year is especially important if the revenue gap at the domestic box office is to come in only 1 or 2 percent behind 2016’s record $11.4 billion. Hollywood certainly isn’t pleased that revenue for three-day weekend was down 6 percent from that of last year.
Disney’s and Lucasfilm’s The Last Jedi remained by far the biggest player, grossing $27.5 million Monday from 4,232 theaters for a four-day holiday haul of $99 million, pushing its domestic total to $395.6 million. Globally, it stands at $791.6 million.
Domestically, The Last Jedi is trailing Star Wars: The Force Awakens by nearly $175 million, but the true barometer will be where Last Jedi‘s gross stands at the end of New Year’s weekend.
The Last Jedi faced competition from Sony’s breakout hit, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The reboot of the dormant property grossed another $19 million from 3,765 theaters Monday for a six-day debut of $72 million, including a four-day weekend tally of $55.4 million. Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas and Bobby Cannavale star in the film, about a group of kids who are transported into the Jumanji video game, where they become avatars.
After The Last Jedi and Jumanji, the results were mixed for other films.
Universal’s Pitch Perfect 3, placing No. 3 for the long holiday weekend, came in behind expectations with a four-day debut of $25.6 million after launching Friday in 3,447 theaters. The film succeeded in luring younger females; 69 percent of ticket buyers were female, while 57 were under the age of 25.
Overseas, Pitch Perfect 3 debuted to $9.8 million from its first markets for a global bow of $36.8 million through Monday. Regular franchise stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Chrissie Fit, Kelley Jakle, Shelley Regner, Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins all return.
Placing No. 4 was Fox’s and Chernin’s The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman as circus impresario P.T. Barnum. The music-infused biographical drama likewise came in behind projections with a six-day debut of $19 million from 3,006 locations, and, like All the Money in the World, is hoping to win over older females now that Christmas is out of the way.
The holiday season’s two duds are Alexander Payne’s most ambitious film to date, Downsizing, and Alcon/Warner Bros.’ male-skewing comedy Father Figures (both are rated R).
Downsizing, costing just under $70 million to make, posted a four-day debut of roughly $7.7 million from 2,558 theaters. The previous regime at Paramount made the satire, starring Matt Damon as an ordinary Midwestern man who decides to be shrunk to five inches tall in order to live like a king.
Hong Chau — who has earned a Golden Globe nom for her performance — and Kristen Wiig co-star in the film, which was slapped with a problematic C CinemaScore. The movie skewed notably older, with 60 percent of ticket buyers over the age of 30, and is coming in as a rare box-office miss for Payne. It is also the latest miss for Damon, following the George Clooney-directed Suburbicon, which earned a dismal $5.8 million earlier in the fall, and The Great Wall.
Father Figures fared even worse with a four-day debut of $5.5 million from 2,902 theaters. The film, following two brothers who set out to find their biological father, stars Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, J.K. Simmons, Katt Williams, Terry Bradshaw and Ving Rhames. It earned a B- CinemaScore.
Father Figures all but tied with Focus Features’ The Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldham as Winston Churchill. The movie commanded an impressive $5.5 million for the four-day weekend after expanding into a total of 700 theaters Friday for a domestic total of $8.3 million.
Fox Searchlight’s and Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, which has scored seven top Golden Globe noms, the most of any film, also expanded nicely, earning $4.4 million from 762 cinemas for a domestic total of $9 million.
A bright spot for Fox is Steven Spielberg’s The Post, which launched Friday in nine theaters. The awards hopeful posted a hefty theater average of $84,673 in its four-day opening. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks star in the Pentagon Papers drama.
Also at the specialty box office, Focus launched Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread in four theaters Monday. Starring Daniel Day Lewis, the movie posted an opening-day average of roughly $31,350.