Disney and Lucasfilm’s The Last Jedi is crossing the $1 billion mark at the global box office as Hollywood bids adieu to 2017.Overall, it’s looking like a strong New Year’s weekend in terms of moviegoing. That’s good news for the film business, which is hoping to close a year-over-year gap as much as possible. If early estimates are correct, revenue in North America will clock in at $11.12 billion, down 2.5 percent from last year’s record $11.4 billion but on par with 2015. It’s only the third time that domestic revenue has crossed $11 billion.
The Last Jedi has stayed atop the box-office chart throughout the year-end holidays, grossing another $19.1 million from 4,232 theaters on Friday for a domestic total of $483.8 million and global total hovering around $974 million.
The tentpole is poised to gross $72 million for the four-day holiday weekend in North America, pushing its domestic cume to roughly $537 million through Monday, more than 25 percent behind the $742 million earned by Star Wars: The Force Awakens two years ago over the holidays. At the the same time, The Last Jedi is already passing the worldwide lifetime gross of standalone film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($1.06 billion) and will soon eclipse fellow Disney title Beauty and the Beast ($1.26 billion) to rank as the top-grossing release of 2017 globally.
Sony’s holiday hit Jumangji: Welcome to the Jungle is trailing The Last Jedi on Friday, grossing $17.8 million on Friday from 3,765 locations for a projected four-day gross of $66 million-plus. The reboot should finish the weekend with a domestic tally of $187 million or more, and roughly $350 million globally.
Universal’s Pitch Perfect 3 continues to hold at No. 3. The threequel, fueled by younger females, earned $6.7 million from 3,468 locations on Friday for an estimated $23.5 million weekend, putting its domestic total at $70 million through Monday.
Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman as circus impresario P.T. Barnum, is retaining its position at No. 4. The movie earned $5.4 million on Friday from 3,316 theaters for a projected $20.4 million four-day weekend. Targeting older adults, The Greatest Showman should finish the frame with a domestic cume of $54 million.
Focus Features’ specialty title Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, continues to dazzle, grossing $1.74 million on Friday, as it expanded into 942 locations for a projected four-day weekend of $7 million-plus and estimated domestic total of $20 million through Monday.
It’s possible Darkest Hour could even beat Ridley Scott and Sony/TriStar’s All the Money in the World, despite playing in far fewer theaters.
Among other specialty players, Fox Searchlight’s and Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is another stand out. The movie is pacing to come in at No. 10 over New Year’s weekend with $5 million from 756 theaters for a domestic total of $17 million.
And a bright spot for Fox is Steven Spielberg’s The Post, which is tipped to post a stellar location average of $86,111 in its second weekend. Playing in nine theaters, the Pentagon Papers drama stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.
Paul Thomas Anderson and Focus Features’ Phantom Thread, debuting on Christmas Day and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, should post a hefty location average of $72,000 from four theaters.
Launching in four theaters this weekend is Sony Pictures Classics’ Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool, starring Annette Bening. Facing plenty of competition, the film’s location average for the weekend should be about $12,000.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: Walt Disney/LucasFilms
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