“Jumanji” Sequel Levels Up at the Box Office


December 13-15, 2019

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Jumanji: The Next Level  $60.1 million
Frozen II $19.1 million
Knives Out $9.2 million
Richard Jewell  $5 million
Black Christmas $4.4 million

The post-Thanksgiving rush kicked off with a massive debut for Jumanji: The Next Level. The sequel to the 2017 spin-off debuted nearly double what Welcome to the Jungle premiered with. That film started off modestly successful, but eventually grossed more than $400 million domestically and nearly $1 billion worldwide. It's one of the only examples of a word-of-mouth blockbuster I can think of. When it came out, a lot of people seemed to say, "No thanks," but it kept sticking around as more and more people saw it and said it was a lot of fun. The sequel looks to be more of the same, but I don't know if it will be able to get as high as $400 million this go-round. Then again, it also debuted near a Star Wars movie and did just fine.

Frozen II dropped to second place, and it's already made a whopping $366 million to date. That's just here in North America. Internationally, it's made an ominous $666 million, putting it over the $1 billion mark in just a month. Between this and The Last Jedi, Disney is going to have seven of the top 10 movies of 2019. Yay?

Knives Out continued its strong run. It's now just shy of $80 million, easily the biggest movie Rian Johnson has ever done that wasn't a Star Wars movie. Johnson has taken some recent criticism for The Last Jedi in stride, and has laughed all the way to the bank, with this latest success. But what's not a success? Richard Jewell and Black Christmas. The latest Clint Eastwood real-life drama bombed (pun somewhat intended) and probably killed any of its Oscar chances. And the latest remake of the Canadian horror classic didn't do so hot either, though it only cost $5 million.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Uncut Gems, the latest heart attack-inducing crime drama from the Safdie Brothers. The Adam Sandler-starring flick averaged a winning $105,099 on its five screens. The film goes wide on Christmas Day.
  • Bombshell also had a major opening average. Playing on just four screens, the Fox News exposé delivered $78,025 on each one. The film goes wide next Friday.
  • Playmobil: The Movie has already entered into the Flop Hall of Fame. The animated film based on the LEGO competitors tried discounted tickets and opening in a dead slot and it still got killed. In two weekends of wide release, it hasn't even made $1 million.

Next week:

The Skywalker saga "ends" with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but just how big an opening will it have? After the endless, annoying backlash (and backlash to the backlash) about The Last Jedi, will there be any effect on this film? I doubt it. I'm predicting an opening around $230 million. Cats is the other big opening and, uh, I have no idea how to accurately predict what it might do. Could it be like The Greatest Showman and have a small opening but become a phenomenon? Could it be like Les Misérables and become a big hit right away? There's no telling, so I'm going to predict somewhere around $12 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.