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We are now three weeks into the release of J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, and that equates to three weeks at the top of the box office. The film has not yet crossed the $1 billion mark globally, but it is on its way, and the ticket sales from this past weekend are a help in pushing it closer to that particular goal line. It certainly helps that the only real competition it had these past three days was Nicolas Pesce's The Grudge, which didn't turn out to be much competition at all.
Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!
|1.||Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker||$33,739,000||Total: $450,796,441||
|2.||Jumanji: The Next Level||$26,500,000||Total: $236,206,405||
|3.||Little Women||$13,575,000||Total: $60,023,332||
|4.||The Grudge*||$11,300,000||Total: $11,300,000||
|5.||Frozen II||$11,291,000||Total: $449,876,364||
|6.||Spies In Disguise||$10,084,000||Total: $46,729,961||
|7.||Knives Out||$9,025,000||Total: $130,256,694||
|8.||Uncut Gems||$7,826,928||Total: $36,813,107||
As you can see in the table above, the $33.7 million pulled in by Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker this weekend was enough to push the total domestic numbers up to $450 million – which is actually enough to now make it 2019's third highest grossing film in North America. In the past week the movie has surged past Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's Captain Marvel ($426.8 million) and Pixar's Toy Story 4 ($434 million), and you'll actually notice in the chart that the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga has also squeaked past Walt Disney Animation's Frozen II (which now holds the record as the highest grossing animated feature of all time).
These figures trail just a hair behind those that the blockbuster is putting up in foreign markets, where Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker has made a total of $468 million – bringing its international total up to $918.8 million. This means that it is extremely likely that you'll be seeing headlines within the next week announcing that the J.J. Abrams movie has become the ninth film to join the billion dollar club, which was most recently joined by Frozen II. It will be Disney's seventh member in the class of 2019.
Where things currently stand, the week-to-week graph line for Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is still hanging out below what Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi back in 2017, though it should be noted that the latter film was released one week earlier in December than the former. The good news for the blockbuster is that it probably won't have too much trouble repeating at number one next weekend given the new releases that are coming out (more on that below), but a demotion to second place may be coming soon thanks to the scheduled January 17th release of Joe Carnahan's Bad Boys For Life.
Most of the focus of this article so far has been about 2019, so let's move into the year 2020, shall we? This past Friday saw The Grudge hit theaters as the first wide release of the new year... and there's little chance that the folks over at Screen Gems are too happy with the results. It's true that the film will ultimately make a profit, as it has a reported budget of just $10 million, and it's already made an extra $5.8 million in foreign territories, but if the studio was hoping that this release was going to reinvigorate the franchise, they must certainly be super disappointed with the response.
Not only does the opening of 2020's The Grudge look dismal compared to the numbers put up by the first American film from the franchise (which made $39.1 million in its first three days and went on to made $187.3 million worldwide back in 2004), but the reaction from both critics and the audience has been pretty horrific. The new release is rocking a teeth-sucking 17% on Rotten Tomatoes, and adding serious insult to injury is the fact that it's earned a rare "F" grade from CinemaScore. In an age when the relationship between critics and audiences can be extremely testy, there is clear agreement here.
One can imagine that the folks at Sony (Screen Gems' parent company) were hoping that The Grudge would be able to mirror the business that Adam Robitel's Escape Room was able to do in the first weekend of 2019 – making $18.2 million in its first three days, and ultimately making $155.7 worldwide – but that's just not going to happen this time around. While there was at least some interest in the release for its opening weekend (likely just because of the brand), there is very little chance that this one will hang around in the Top 10 for very long.
The positive spin on that touch of bad news is that while it's a bummer to see a wide release perform so dismally, there are a couple of fantastic smaller films that are doing a great job holding their ground in the Top 10. For starters, Greta Gerwig's Little Women actually moved up a spot on the chart this week, surpassing the numbers put up by both The Grudge and Frozen II for a third place finish. The movie is doing incredibly well, and to date has made $80 million globally.
Meanwhile, the Safdie brothers' Uncut Gems might not be hanging out in the Top 5, but it is hanging around and selling a lot of tickets. As things now stand, it's currently the third most successful film that A24 has released, its current numbers behind only Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird ($49 million) and Ari Aster's Hereditary ($44.1 million). The movie is now technically in its fourth week of release because it had a slow roll-out that started exclusively in Los Angeles and New York, but it's performing well in wide release, and could wind up being the distributor's top grosser by the time it's done playing on the big screen.
As alluded to above, coming up we have what looks like another soft weekend, with the biggest new features being Miguel Arteta's Tiffany Haddish/Rose Byrne/Salma Hayek comedy Like A Boss; William Eubank's Kristen Stewart-led thriller Underwater; and Andrea Di Stefano's crime drama The Informer starring Joel Kinnaman. We'll be back next Sunday to analyze how it all shakes out, so be sure to come back then!