'Jumanji: The Next Level' levels up with US$60mil debut

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  • Monday, 16 Dec 2019

Scottish actress Karen Gillan arriving for the World Premiere of "Jumanji: The Next Level" at the TCL Chinese theatre in Hollywood. "Jumanji: The Next Level" iced out "Frozen II" at the North American box office this weekend, raking in an estimated US$60.mil in its debut. - AFP

LOS ANGELES: It's shaping up to be a merry holiday season for "Jumanji: The Next Level." Sony's adventure sequel debuted in first place to US$60.1mil, dethroning "Frozen" after three consecutive weeks as box office champ.

Those ticket sales, at the higher end of industry projections, represent a healthy jump on its predecessor, 2017's "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" (US$36mil). It also marks the highest debut for a December comedy, as well as the best start for live-action movie for stars Kevin Hart and Jack Black.

Internationally, "The Next Level" got its overseas start last weekend and this weekend added 34 new markets for a total of 52, from which it brought in an estimated US$85.7 million, pushing its international total to US$152.5mil for a US$212.6 million global cume.

The Dwayne Johnson-starrer was No. 1 in 44 overseas markets this frame and is tracking 33% over the first "Jumamji" movie.

It has been a big hit so far in China and South-East Asian countries.

It's a decidedly less jovial time for fellow new movies, Warner Bros. "Richard Jewell" and Universal's "Black Christmas."

Heading into the weekend, both films were expected to earn at least US$10mil. Instead, the pair combined barely hit that number. On the plus side, December releases don't typically have huge openings ("Star Wars" movies aside) but can have long legs in theatres throughout the holiday season.

"Richard Jewell," the latest offering from director Clint Eastwood, tumbled out of the gate in fourth place US$5mil from 2,502 theaters. Those uninspired box office receipts rank among the worst in recent history for Eastwood.

Starring Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm and Olivia Wilde, the biographical drama is based on the security guard falsely accused by the media for playing a part in the 1996 Olympics bombing. "Richard Jewell" has been making headlines of its own after it found itself in the centre of controversy over its portrayal of a female journalist trading sex for scoops.

"Black Christmas," a slasher film that opened on Friday the 13th, debuted at No. 5 and collected $4.4 million from 2,625 screens.

Disney's "Frozen 2" slid to second place, generating a solid US$19.2mil in its fourth weekend of release. The animated sequel crossed the US$1bil mark globally, the sixth Disney movie to do so this year. In North America, "Frozen 2" has made US$366mil and stands as the 11th-biggest animated film ever.

In third place, Lionsgate's murder mystery "Knives Out" brought in another US$9.25mil for a domestic tally of US$78.9mil.

Among speciality releases, the Safdie brothers' "Uncut Gems" set a new record for A24, earning US$525,498 from five theatres. That averages out to US$105,100 per location, making it the biggest opening ever for the studio. The high-intensity thriller has earned critical acclaim, especially for Adam Sandler's performance as a New York jeweller dealing with repercussions from a high-stakes bet.

Another awards hopeful, Lionsgate's "Bombshell," kicked off in limited release. The drama, based on female Fox News anchors who went public with sexual harassment allegations against Roger Ailes, ignited with US$312,000 from four screens, translating to US$78,000 from each venue. Women represented nearly 60% of ticket buyers, while 86% of audiences were over the age of 25. - Variety/ANN
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Jumanji , Frozen , US , Box-Office , US$60mil


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