“1917” Wins Box Office Battle


January 10-12, 2020

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


1917 $36.5 million
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker  $15 million
Jumanji: The Next Level  $14 million
Like a Boss $10 million
Just Mercy  $10 million

After two strong weeks in limited release, and a Best Picture win at the Golden Globes, 1917 dominated the box office this weekend. Adding more than 3,400 screens, the World War I epic took the top spot with an estimated $36.5 million. The film is sure to pick up a slew of Oscar nominations this week and should have an excellent run over the next month, thanks to especially weak competition.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker finally fell to second place after only three weeks on top. It's nearing half a billion dollars domestically, and it may surpass Rogue One. But it will still be the weakest film in this trilogy critically and commercially. Jumanji: The Next Level is also performing below its predecessor. $300 million seems out of reach.

Like a Boss was one of two true new releases, and it managed a meager $10 million. That's way off from previous highlights for Tiffany Haddish (like Girls Trip) and Rose Byrne (like Neighbors). It practically tied with the expansion of Just Mercy. That $10 million opening is actually the best Warner Bros. has done for any movie that didn't involve clowns. Their 2019 really was that dismal.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Korean action flick Ashfall, about a group of people trapped near the Chinese-North Korean border when a volcano erupts. The film averaged $8,658 on its pair of screens.
  • Underwater was sunk almost immediately. The Kristen Stewart-led creature feature earned just $7 million on an $80 million budget.
  • It wasn't a high bar to clear, but Terrence Malick's A Hidden Life has outgrossed his two previous features (both of which featured major movie stars) combined, clearing $1.5 million.

Next week:

Cats was only a month ago, but we're already getting another world-class disaster featuring talking animals. The oft-delayed Dolittle, featuring Robert Downey, Jr. sporting a terrible Welsh accent, finally opens. Anything more than $10 million would be absolutely shocking. And there's no telling how Bad Boys for Life will perform. Its predecessor opened nearly 17 years ago and was a big commercial hit despite getting absolutely savage reviews (which in my opinion were absolutely deserved). At this point, does anyone care? Will Smith hasn't had a major hit as the true lead of a film since Men in Black 3. I'll split the difference and guess $20 million worth of tickets from the morbidly curious.


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.