Let me start with a confession: I just didn’t see the juggernaut that is the new Jumanji coming.
Oh, sure. I knew the pedigree. The original Jumanji starred Robin Williams and made a healthy run at the box office way back in 1995, collecting $100.4 million in North America (a lot of money back then). And sure, the 2017 spinoff, Welcome to the Jungle, boasted plenty of bankable actors, from Dwayne Johnson to Kevin Hart to … does Jack Black qualify as bankable? Not sure.
Well, if he wasn’t before, he certainly is now. Despite a trio of cinematic newcomers jumping into the box-office fray, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle won its second straight box-office championship in a no-doubter, collecting an estimated $28.1 million over the traditional three-day weekend. Add in the receipts from Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Jumanji’s four-day tally climbs to $35.4 million. Keep in mind, Jumanji was blocked from the box office’s top spot during its first two weeks by a little movie called Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Had it not been for Rey, Finn and Kylo, Jumanji might well be celebrating a four-peat.
But you won’t hear anyone at Sony complaining too much. Most of them are too busy throwing cash in the air as if they were in an old Looney Tune: Jumanji has earned $291.6 million domestically thus far, pushing it to eighth on 2017’s biggest-box-office-hits list. And it has No. 7 Thor: Ragnarok ($313.1 million) in its sights.
Steven Spielberg’s Oscar hopeful The Post expanded to more than 2,800 theaters this week and claimed the second spot with $19.3 million. That spoiled the debut of The Commuter, Liam Neeson’s latest flick about a really angry man stopping really bad people from doing really terrible things. But even though Neeson typically owns the month of January with his actioners—several of his biggest successes have been released during the month—this time his very particular set of skills failed him. He must feel as though his rightful January throne at the top of the box office was … taken?
Hugh Jackman’s musical The Greatest Showman tapped its way to No. 4 and $12.5 million. It’s knocking on the $100 million mark for its run thus far, banking $95.3 million overall.
Insidious: The Last Key earned just a hair less than Showman—$12,450,000, according to early estimates—to close out the weekend’s top five. That means that a couple of newcomers were shut out, including the delightful Paddington 2, which finished seventh. What? An incredibly family-friendly film with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes could only muster $10.9 million? What are moviegoers thinking?
Proud Mary, the weekend’s other newbie, rolled to eighth place and $9.9 million. Yeah, at this rate, Proud Mary’s big wheel won’t be turnin’ for long.