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Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle stayed ahead of P.T. Barnum biopic The Greatest Showman at the Thursday box office, grossing $7.6 million for a two-day total of $16.6 million and projected six-day debut of $50 million or more.
The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman, took in $2.2 million on its second day for a two-day cume of $4.6 million. The 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment film is anticipating a six-day Christmas debut (Wednesday-Monday) of roughly $20 million.
And on Thursday night, Universal’s Pitch Perfect 3 entered the crowded holiday fray, singing its way to $2.1 million.
As expected, staying atop the chart overall is Disney and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which earned $17.8 million on Thursday for a seven-day domestic total of $296.7 million. Overseas, it earned another $18.9 million for a foreign tally of $314 million and $610.5 million worldwide.
Sony is being judicious in predicting a six-day debut of $45 million for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Directed by Jake Kasdan, the reboot stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas and Bobby Cannavale. The story follows a group of teens who are transported into the video game world of Jumanji, becoming characters of the game. Welcome to the Jungle , earning an A- CinemaScore, launches more than 20 years after the original Jumanji (1995), which starred Robin Williams, played in theaters.
The Greatest Showman co-stars Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya and was directed by Michael Gracey. Like Last Jedi, it was bestowed with an A CinemaScore.
The Christmas corridor is one of the most lucrative moviegoing stretches of the year, particularly between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. On Thursday, 39 percent of kids were out of school, followed by 61 percent today, according to comScore.
Targeting younger females, Pitch Perfect 3 is tracking to post a four-day debut of $28 million-$32 million.
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 in Pitch Perfect 3, which was directed by Trish Sie. Newcomers include John Lithgow and Ruby Rose. Gold Circle Entertainment once again partnered with Universal on the film, which takes up after the Bellas have graduated from college.
The holiday season’s R-rated comedy offering is Father Figures, from Alcon Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros. 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. Lawrence Sher directed.
Father Figures is tracking for a four-day bow of $7 million to $14 million.
A more serious-minded offering among the titles opening Friday is filmmaker Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, starring Matt Damon, Hong Chau and Kristen Wiig. Tracking shows the movie, which earned $425,000 in Thursday previews, debuting to $10 million to $12 million. From a script by Payne and Jim Taylor, the story stars Damon as a Midwestern man who decides to be shrunk to five inches tall in order to live like a king.
Also Friday, Fox opens awards hopeful The Post in nine theaters in select markets. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the Pentagon Papers drama stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.
Scott Cooper’s Hostiles, starring Christian Bale, likewise debuts in select markets. Entertainment Studios is handling the gritty Western.
Dec. 22, 7:45 a.m. Updated with Thursday grosses.
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