Jumanji: The Next Level enters the game in first!
Teens (along with a couple of old dudes) jumped into adult bodies for more excitement this weekend and gave JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL a #1 opening at the box office with an estimated $60.1 million!
The PG-13 sequel, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan returning as the embodiments of human game players, was a huge leap over the $36.1 million first weekend of JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (it generated $52 million from its Wednesday-Sunday opening in December 2017). That surprise hit spinoff/sequel to the 1995 Robin Williams JUMANJI ended with $404 million domestic and $964 million worldwide on a $90 million budget.
Sony’s adventure follow-up was also one of the biggest openings for Dwayne Johnson, inching past the $60 million launch of this summer’s FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW (his appearances in the main FAST & FURIOUS franchise remain his best domestic starters).
Again directed (and co-written) by Jake Kasdan, the new fantasy has earned an additional $62.4 million from international audiences for a worldwide total of $122.5 million.
Critics weren’t quite as thrilled to revisit the land of Jumanji, giving the sequel a 66% average on Rotten Tomatoes (compared to the first movie’s 76% average) and a Metacritic score of 58. Smolder on over to the JoBlo review HERE.
Although it got nudged out of first place after two weekends, FROZEN II remains a winter monster with $19.1 million over its fourth weekend in theaters.
Disney’s PG-rated fairy tale sequel has a domestic total of $366.5 million (passing the $355.5 million of live-action remake of ALADDIN) and has topped $1 billion worldwide.
Writer-director Rian Johnson‘s PG-13 murder mystery KNIVES OUT was in third place with $9.2 million, bringing the A-list crime-comedy to $78.9 million domestic and $142.4 million worldwide on a reported $40 million cost.
In fourth place was the new fact-based drama RICHARD JEWELL with an opening weekend of $5 million.
For director Clint Eastwood, the story of the titular security guard and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing was one of his lowest wide openings behind the camera (for comparison, his true terrorism thriller THE 15:17 TO PARIS started with $12.5 million in 2015, despite a lack of known actors).
There wasn’t any holiday cheer for the new horror movie BLACK CHRISTMAS, which opened in fifth place with $4.4 million.
The loose remake of the 1974 slasher movie BLACK CHRISTMAS fared worse than the 2006 remake of the same name, which started with $6.2 million from its first three days (it opened Christmas Day on a Monday).
Starring Imogen Poots (GREEN ROOM) leading a group of students stalked by a killer during Christmas break, the PG-13 thriller cost a reported $5 million.
In sixth place was the PG-13 Christian Bale/Matt Damon drama FORD V FERRARI with $4.1 million. On its fifth weekend, director James Mangold‘s $98 million depiction of the 1966 Le Mans race has a domestic total of $98.2 million and $175.5 million worldwide.
The R-rated romance QUEEN & SLIM was in seventh place with $3.6 million, bringing the $17 million drama to a domestic total of $33.1 million after three weekends.
The PG-rated Tom Hanks-as-Fred Rogers drama A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD was in eighth place with $3.3 million on its fourth weekend. The look at the beloved children’s show host has a domestic total of $49.3 million on a reported cost of $25 million.
Outside the chart, the John Cena firefighter comedy PLAYING WITH FIRE was snuffed and director Roland Emmerich‘s WWII movie MIDWAY flew out of sight, while DC Comics villain JOKER finally danced out of the Top 10 with all his cash.
The R-rated glimpse at the New York underbelly from brothers Josh and Benny Safdie (GOOD TIME) has also been receiving critical raves with a 92% average on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 89 on Metacritic (the JoBlo review is HERE).
Also making an impression in limited release was the Fox News controversy BOMBSHELL with a strong per-screen average of $78k before it expands wide next weekend.
Next weekend brings George Lucas‘s galactic saga to a close with STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, or you can check out singing human/feline hybrids in the big-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical CATS.
What is your favorite Christmas horror movie? VOTE HERE!