Box-Office Preview: '12 Strong' to Challenge 'Jumanji's' Reign
'Den of Thieves' and 'Forever My Girl' are also set to open wide.
As the family-friendly fantasy film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle attempts to hang on to the top spot at the domestic box office for the third weekend in a row, it is set to face a challenge from 12 Strong, which follows a Special Forces team into battle in Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11. Both films could take in about $15 million or more before the dust settles.
So far, Sony's Jumanji has proven to be unexpectedly resilient. In both its third and fourth weekends, it fell by just 25 percent during each frame. The falloff is expected to be somewhat steeper this weekend, but the film, which has already collected more than $678 million worldwide, will be crossing $300 million domestically, becoming only one of eight 2017 releases to hit that mark.
As it enters its fifth weekend, Jumanji won't be competing head-to-head for the same audience as the R-rated Warner Bros. release 12 Strong, a flag-waving, true-life war movie, written by Ted Tally and Peter Craig from Doug Stanton's nonfiction book, Horse Soldiers, about the early days in the campaign against the Taliban. Chris Hemsworth heads the manly cast that also includes Michael Shannon, Michael Pena, William Fichtner and Trevante Rhodes. Danish filmmaker Nicolai Fuglsig directed the $35-million Alcon Entertainment, Black Label Media and Jerry Bruckheimer Films production, which was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill and Trent Luckinbill. 12 Strong is heading in 3,002 theaters.
Meanwhile, Fox's release of The Post — which expanded into wide release last weekend, taking in a solid $23 million over the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend — should check in just behind the two weekend leaders, attracting around $13 million to the Amblin Partners/Participant Media production starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.
In addition to 12 Strong, two new wide releases will hit the multiplex, but neither is expected to top the $10 million mark.
STXfilms is opening the R-rated heist thriller Den of Thieves in about 2,300 theaters, where it could pull in $7 million-$8 million. Gerard Butler heads the cast as a cop who's pitted against a crew looking to rob the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Los Angeles. Also starring are Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Pablo Schreiber and O'Shea Jackson Jr. The film marks the directorial debut of screenwriter and producer Christian Gudegast (London Has Fallen), who directed from his original screenplay, based on a story by Gudegast and Paul Scheuring. Mark Canton, Tucker Tooley, Butler and Alan Siegel produced the feature, which was fully financed by Diamond Films, with STX servicing its domestic release and also handling the film internationally.
Rounding out the new openers is the PG-rated romantic drama Forever My Girl, which is bowing in 1,110 theaters with modest expectations. Written and directed by Bethany Ashton Wolf and based upon the novel by Heidi McLaughlin, the film stars British actor Alex Roe as a country music star who returns to his hometown, where he once left his bride, played by Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day), at the altar. The film was produced by Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon and Jennifer Monroe and features original country music written by Brett Boyett.
Focus Features also plans to expand Paul Thomas Anderson's awards hopeful Phantom Thread into 500 theaters this weekend in anticipation of the Academy Award nominations, which are set to be announced Tuesday.