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Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level is pacing for a domestic debut of at least $40 million over the Dec. 13-15 weekend, according to early tracking.
More bullish box office analysts who have access to prerelease tracking believe it could approach $50 million. Tracking services are being more cautious, considering that a number of sequels have floundered in recent weeks. Sony is being even more conservative in suggesting $35 million.
Sony’s sequel opens one week before Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters and, like all movies opening in the latter half of December, is counting on an especially strong multiple that is unique to the year-end holidays. (The week before Christmas Day and New Year’s Day is the biggest moviegoing stretch of the calendar.)
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, launching on the Wednesday before Christmas Day in 2017, posted a five-day debut of $52 million, including $36 million for the weekend, on its way to grossing a huge $405 million domestically. And last year, Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse started off with $35.4 million over the Dec. 14-16 weekend before topping out at $190 million in North America. Warner Bros.’ Aquaman also thrived last year.
The Next Level reunites director Jake Kasdan with his Welcome to the Jungle stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Nick Jonas. Newcomers include Awkwafina, Danny Glover and Danny DeVito.
Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell likewise opens on Dec. 13. Early tracking shows the adult-skewing drama tracking for a debut between $8 million and $12 million for Warner Bros.
Eastwood’s latest outing tells the story of the real-life security guard who was initially celebrated as a hero for saving lives in the bombing of the 1996 Summer Olympics, then vilified when the press reported he was a suspect. Paul Walter Hauser stars alongside Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm and Olivia Wilde.
Richard Jewell premiered at AFI Fest last night.
The third new nationwide offering of the Dec. 13-15 weekend is Blumhouse and Universal’s slasher pic Black Christmas, directed by Sophia Takal and starring Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Lily Donoghue, Brittany O’Grady, Caleb Eberhardt, Simon Mead and Cary Elwes.
It’s tracking to open between $10 million and $12 million.
A remake of the 1974 Canadian film of the same name, Black Christmas follows a group of sorority sisters stuck at college for the holidays who are stalked by a serial killer. (Its release is timed to Friday the 13th.)
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