“Maze Runner” Takes Control of Box Office


January 26-28, 2018

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Maze Runner: The Death Cure  $23.5 million
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle  $16.4 million
Hostiles $10.2 million
The Greatest Showman $9.5 million
The Post $8.5 million

After more than a month of domination by Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, there's finally a new box office champion. The final entry in the Maze Runner series – which had been delayed by on-set injuries – took the top spot with an estimated $23.5 million. The Death Cure debuted with far less than its predecessors opened with in 2014 and 2015, but it was enough to claim No. 1 status. Given the decline in the series, it's likely this one tops out at around $60 million.

Jumanji fell to No. 2 for the first time since the weekend of December 29-31, 2017. It's now at No. 5 for the year with around $338 million. Given how strongly it's held, I honestly don't think it's impossible for it to sniff the $389.8 million Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 made. Of course, it will have to make up that gap before February 16, when Black Panther opens.

Hostiles opened in third place after five weeks in limited release. The super-grim Western starring Christian Bale debuted much stronger than some other Oscar hopefuls did in their first weeks of wide release. Though of course timing plays a factor, it's interesting that a lack of Oscar nominations didn't hurt the film at all. The Greatest Showman fell a mere 10 percent. It should be the seventh-biggest musical ever by next week, and has an outside chance at topping La La Land's $151.1 million. The Post also held fairly well. It's already topped 2015's Best Picture winner Spotlight, and should pass All the President's Men in the next two weeks to become the biggest newspaper drama ever.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Padmaavat, an epic Indian period romance. The film opened at No. 10, averaging an impressive $13,188 at each of its 324 locations.
  • Of all the Best Picture nominees this year, only the three frontrunners saw a sizable bump. The Shape of Water (13 total nominations) moved back into the top 10, jumping up 160 percent. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (7 nominations) saw an increase of more than 87 percent, while Lady Bird (5 nominations) got a 61 percent boost.
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi is officially out of the top 10 for the first time. It's likely to finish north of $625 million, firmly between 2015's Jurassic World and 2012's The Avengers.

Next week:

The only new release is the haunted house flick Winchester. While it's got a much better crop of actors than your typical horror movie (Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke), that's not going to matter to audiences. They're ready to be scared again. I think it will be No. 1 with around $18 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.

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