Despite distractions like freezing weather on the East Coast, the College Football Playoff, and the temptation of a Black Mirror binge, the box office managed a solid showing over the New Year weekend.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi continued its dominance for a third straight weekend, hitting some milestones along the way. The latest Star Wars installment pulled in $68.3 million to bring its domestic total to $533 million, passing Beauty and the Beast to become the highest-grossing domestic release of 2017 and cracking the $1 billion mark worldwide. The four-day total beat Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’s $65.5 million performance to close out 2016, and Jedi has already passed Rogue One’s final domestic gross of $532 million through just 18 days.
Meanwhile, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle continues to surprise at the box office, claiming second place over the four-day weekend with a $66.5 million haul. Though Sony projected the film to make only $45 million over its first six days, the reboot has raked in $185.75M through 13 days. The movie has just about nothing to do with the Robin Williams original, but apparently all you have to do these days is throw the Rock and a bunch of explosions in your movie and you’re set to make bank. (Heads-up: Rampage, also starring the Rock, hits theaters in April.) Jumanji will look to pass the $200 million mark this week, which would double the domestic total of the 1995 original.
The third- and fourth-best films at the box office sang their ways to upward of $20 million apiece. Pitch Perfect 3 hasn’t struck the same chord with the critics or at the box office as did its two predecessors, but the film earned $22.7 million to pull toward a $70M domestic total and $100 million worldwide. The Greatest Showman made a big comeback this weekend, as it saw a 77 percent increase and added $20.75 million. A wider release and positive word of mouth (the film has an A on CinemaScore) are likely to thank for the major improvement on its disappointing $8.8 million opening — or maybe people are just hoping to get a glimpse of Zac Efron’s scary six-pack.
With the Golden Globes approaching on Sunday, some of its front-runners also gained steam over the past weekend. A24’s Lady Bird has now earned close to $32 million and Focus Features’ Darkest Hour has cleared the $20 million mark, as both films boasted 40 percent increases at the box office. Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri also saw a nearly 30 percent increase as it passed $24 million.
As for a historical comparison, the first day of the new year was a slight 6 percent decrease from 2017’s opening day, with an estimated $60 million earned across all titles. Still, it was a largely successful holiday season. From Jedi’s December 15 release to December 31, the box office is estimated to have grossed more than $1.07 billion, a 6 percent increase from the previous year. The movie business will continue to stay strong as long as Star Wars films keep coming out. And by the looks of it, that’s going to be a long, long time.