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Sony’s horror pic The Grudge — the first new nationwide release of 2020 — opened to a so-so $11.3 million at the domestic box office after getting flunked by audiences with a rare F CinemaScore.
The R-rated reboot was no match for a strong team of holiday holdovers enjoying the last weekend before kids return to school after the long Christmas break.
Disney’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stayed atop the chart in its third weekend with $33.7 million for a domestic total of $450.8 million to date. The tentpole also held at No. 1 with another $50.5 million for a foreign tally of $468 million and $918.8 million worldwide. The movie continues to trail the previous installment, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in North America after almost catching up at one point.
While The Grudge didn’t break any January records, Sony still enjoyed a stellar weekend overall. Jumanji: The Next Level wasn’t too far behind Rise of Skywalker with $26.5 million in its fourth weekend for a domestic cume of $236.2 million — almost on par with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle at the same point in its run — while Little Women moved up to No. 3 with $13.6 million after declining just 19 percent in its second weekend.
Directed by Greta Gerwig, Little Women finished Sunday with a domestic total of $60 million. The news is also bright overseas, where the film grossed $9.6 million from six markets for an early offshore total of $20.4 million and $80.4 million globally.
Little Women was among the films enjoying a boost timed to Sunday’s Golden Globes ceremony. While the female-fueled pic was shut out of the Globes best picture and directing categories, star Saoirse Ronan is up for best actress in a drama.
Walt Disney Animation’s Frozen 2, which grossed another $11.3 million domestically and $42.4 million overseas, celebrated a major milestone over the weekend as it became the top-grossing animated film of all time with $1.325 billion globally after surpassing Pixar/Disney’s The Incredibles 2 ($1.243 billion) and the first Frozen ($1.281 billion), not adjusted for inflation.
Disney doesn’t consider Jon Favreau’s 2019 remake of The Lion King ($1.65 billion) to be animated, even though that pic is up for a Golden Globe for best animated feature.
The Grudge tied with Frozen 2 for No. 4 on the weekend’s domestic chart (the final order will be decided Monday morning). From the studio’s Screen Gems division, the R-rated pic is a reboot of the 2004 English-language film. Andrea Riseborough, Demian Bichir, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, Lin Shaye and Jacki Weaver star, while Nicolas Pesce directed.
Only 20 or so movies have ever received an F CinemaScore; the last was Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! in 2017. Heading into the weekend, most analysts though The Grudge could hit the mid-teen millions, although Sony was more conservative in suggesting $9 million.
Internationally, The Grudge started off with $5.8 million from 29 markets for a global bow of $17.1 million.
Disney and Fox’s animated Christmas offering Spies in Disguise came in No. 6 with $10.1 million for a global cume of $88.8 million.
The runaway hit Knives Out, which is up for several top Globes, including best picture for a comedy or musical, followed at No. 7 domestically.
Directed by Rian Johnson, Lionsgate and MRC’s Knives Out fell a scant 9 percent — the best hold of any title in the top 10 — in its sixth weekend to $9 million for a grand domestic tally of $130.3 million and $247.5 million worldwide, including $28.1 million in China. The whodunnit is expected to climb to at least $150 million domestically, a huge number for an original offering. (MRC shares a parent company, Valence Media, with The Hollywood Reporter.)
While shut out of the Globes race, A24’s Uncut Gems continued to laugh hard after coming in No. 8 with $7.8 million for a domestic total of $36.8 million. The dramedy, starring Adam Sandler, is on its way to becoming the top-grossing title in the indie studio’s history.
Lionsgate and Bron’s Bombshell placed No. 9 with $4.1 million for a domestic total of $24.6 million. The film was down a slim 15 percent as star Charlize Theron competes for a Globe for best actress in a drama. Bombshell hopes to gain momentum as awards season unfolds (both Bombshell and Knives Out added theaters on the eve of the Globes).
Universal and Working Title’s Cats fell to No. 10 in its third weekend as it prepares to slink out of theaters (it shed 478 North American locations over the frame). The troubled musical tumbled 46 percent to $2.6 million for a domestic total of $24.7 million and just $57.1 million worldwide.
At the specialty box office, Sam Mendes’ World War I epic 1917 posted the best location average of the weekend ($53,636) for Universal and Amblin. The film, playing in four theaters since Christmas Day, will expand nationwide next week.
1917 is up for best picture in the drama category at Sunday’s Globes ceremony. Fellow specialty titles Parasite (Neon) and Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight) also boast top nominations and likewise saw a boost in ticket sales over the weekend.
In its 13th weekend, Parasite — adding 52 locations for a total theater count of 222 — was up 50 percent, earning $888,000 for a domestic total of $23.9 million. Bong Joon Ho is up for a Globe for best director, while the genre-bending thriller is also vying for best foreign-language film.
Taika Waititi’s irreverent Hitler comedy Jojo Rabbit, which is competing for a best picture for a comedy or musical Globe, was also up (40 percent) upon grossing $358,000 from 209 locations for a domestic tally of $21.6 million.
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