Weekend Box Office: 'Jumanji' Tipped to Defeat '12 Strong,' 'Den of Thieves'

12 Strong Still 3 - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

'Forever My Girl' also debuts nationwide this weekend opposite 'Den of Thieves' and '12 Strong.'

Alcon Entertainment and Jerry Bruckheimer's 12 Strong is set to beat fellow new offerings Den of Thieves and Forever My Girl at the North American box office, but will likely have a hard time unseating holdover Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, according to early Friday returns.

The R-rated drama, earning $900,000 in Thursday previews, follows a Special Forces team into battle in Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11. Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena and Trevante Rhodes lead the ensemble cast of the film, directed by Nicolai Fuglsig.

12 Strong is on course to gross $6 million on Friday from 3,002 theaters for a projected $15 million weekend.

Conversely, Sony's Jumanji is poised to take in $18 million for the frame, marking the third consecutive weekend it has won. Directed by Jake Kasdan, the reboot stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan as the adult avatars of the magical game, based on Chris Van Allsburg's 1981 children's book and first played onscreen in the 1995 movie.

STXfilms' R-rated heist movie Den of Thieves, which nabbed $950,000 in Thursday previews, is expected to open in the $10 million-$11 million range. Playing in 2,432 locations, the film stars Gerard Butler as a cop who is pitted against a crew looking to rob the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Los Angeles. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Pablo Schreiber and O'Shea Jackson Jr. are also among the cast of the thriller, which marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Christian Gudegast.

Roadside Attractions' Forever My Girl also debuts nationwide this weekend, albeit in far fewer theaters. The PG-rated romantic drama, directed by Bethany Ashton Wolf, stars British actor Alex Roe as a country music star who returns to his hometown, where he once left his bride (Jessica Rothe) at the altar. Forever My Girl looks to open in the $4 million-$5 million range from 1,115 locations.

Additionally, 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 earn around $13 million. The Steven Spielberg-directed drama recounts how Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) and editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) joined forces to defy the government and publish the Pentagon Papers.

Focus Features also expands Paul Thomas Anderson's awards hopeful Phantom Thread into 500 theaters this weekend. The drama stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a fashion designer who caters to members of high society and the royal family in 1950s London. He meets a young, strong-willed woman (Vicky Krieps), who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse, but he soon finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love.

Jan. 19, 1:45 p.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.