“Rise of Skywalker” Rings in the New Year


January 3-5, 2020

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker  $33.7 million
Jumanji: The Next Level $26.5 million
Little Women $13.5 million
The Grudge $11.3 million
Frozen II $11.2 million

With the start of a new decade, audiences still opted for the old ways. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker fell 53 percent, but that was still more than enough to remain No. 1 for a third weekend. The oft-discussed trilogy closer has now earned $450 million domestically, putting it at No. 3 among 2019 releases, behind Avengers: Endgame and The Lion King. And yes, that now gives Disney all of the top six and seven of the top 10 movies for the year. A monopoly we'll hopefully not see again for a while.

Jumanji: The Next Level is still dragging behind its predecessor. It's certainly a big hit, but any hopes of passing $400 million are long gone. Little Women has proven to be the big prestige hit of the holiday season. Greta Gerwig's version of the Louisa May Alcott novel has passed $60 million and could get a boost next week depending on how many Oscar nominations it picks up.

The Grudge remake/reboot/sequel was the lone new film opening this weekend. The film got trashed by critics and audiences alike (picking up a rare F CinemaScore), but has already surpassed its budget. It was a win-win for Sony, even if they were hoping for an opening closer to the $40 million the first American remake opened with back in 2004. It barely beat the seventh weekend for Frozen II, which is now the highest-grossing animated film of all time in North America.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: 1917, which managed an astonishing $53,636 on 11 screens in its second weekend of limited release. This film goes wide on Friday.
  • Knives Out continues to win over audiences. The film has passed $130 million, making it one of only three films in the top 20 not based on pre-existing material. (The others are Us and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.)
  • Cats continues to use up all its nine lives. It's already dropped to 10th place and hasn't even crossed $25 million.

Next week:

1917 and Just Mercy expand after successful limited runs, taking on Like a Boss and Underwater. Nothing will be able to stop Star Wars for a fourth week at the top, but look for 1917 to make a run for it with $22 million. All the rest will make less than $10 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.