As noted yesterday, Steven Spielberg’s The Post will find out on Tuesday whether it’s the first Spielberg drama not to get a Best Picture nomination since Amistad, but in the meantime, it’s already becoming a solid commercial win. The Meryl Streep/Tom Hanks Pentagon Paper/Washington Post drama earned around $12.15 million (-37%) in its second weekend of wide release for a $45.191m domestic and $9.9m overseas total. It’s not holding up as well as (for example) Bridge of Spies, Hidden Figures or The Revenant, but it should (at worst) end up in Spielberg’s $70-$80m comfort zone (Bridge of Spies, The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse, The Terminal). It’s still a solid win for 20th Century Fox and could well play onward and upward over the award season.
Fox’s The Greatest Showman just continues to chug along. The Hugh Jackman musical earned $11 million (-12%) in its fifth weekend and new $113.48m domestic and $231m worldwide total. That will make it the second-leggiest movie ever to open on more than 1,800 screens, behind only Titanic (for those asking, Scream opened on 1,413 screens in December of 1996). The $84m Fox release has already topped $200m worldwide and the soundtrack is selling like hotcakes, so this one may also still be in the top five by the time Black Panther does its thing next month. This is a remarkable story and a defining example of the leggy power of December family-targeted releases. Oh, and it’s now among the top-ten biggest grossing live-action musicals in North America.
If it hits $136 million domestic, it will best Beverly Hills Cop to be the second-leggiest movie to open on at least 1,500 screens aside from Titanic. If it hits $140m, it’ll be the leggiest remotely wide opener since Titanic. That list I made of the all-time leggiest movies from the top 200 biggest debuts from each month keeps getting smaller and smaller every single day. We’re playing in Titanic/Scream/My Big Fat Greek Wedding (which opened in 108 theaters in 2002) territory here. I like the film and can totally understand why it’s leggy, but this is a little insane. It’s a huge win for 20th Century Fox whether the movie makes a huge profit in theatrical or not. This one is going to live forever in post-theatrical.
Paddington 2 set a record yesterday, becoming the best-reviewed movie in Rotten Tomatoes history, with 169 positive reviews out of 169 total reviews, besting Toy Story 2. But reviews can only do so much, and the modern classic is hoping for kid-powered (and parent-powered) legs after a soft debut. The Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc. release earned $8.24 million (-22%) in its second weekend for a $25m ten-day total. That’s a fine hold, even if the film took ten days to do what the first Paddington did in four days back in January of 2015. C’mon Paddington 2, don’t give up!
Liam Neeson’s The Commuter made $6.6 million (-51%) in its second weekend for a solid $25.7m ten-day cume. That’s already above Run All Night and A Walk Among the Tombstones, so it should close out with around $40m domestic. That’s good enough or Lionsgate and friends, and I can only hope that Neeson and Jaume Collet-Serra play in this Hitchcockian sandbox once Collett-Serra finishes Walt Disney’s The Jungle Cruise.
Blumhouse’s Insidious: The Last Key earned $5.9 million (-52%) over the weekend for a $58.7m and $126m worldwide cume. That’s A) bigger than Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 3 and B) the biggest domestic and worldwide total ever for a “first weekend of January” horror movie. Sony is handling overseas while Universal/Comcast Corp. distributes domestically.
Sony and Screen Gems’ Proud Mary earned just $3.4 million (-66%) in its second weekend. That gives the disappointing Taraji P. Henson action drama for a $16.7m ten-day total. Even for a $14m, R-rated action movie, this isn’t a good figure (it’s not exhibiting John Wick-ish legs). The drop is indicative of disinterest and/or dissatisfied fans. Henson should be a star, but this is clearly a case where a bad movie got burned and rejected. The good news is that Screen Gems has made too much money from black-led movies for them to panic over one misfire. Oh, and Pitch Perfect 3 will cross $100m domestic and $175m worldwide today on a $45m budget. So kudos to Universal and Gold Circle.
Next weekend sees but a single new wide release, namely 20th Century Fox’s Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Oh, and Christian Bale’s acclaimed western Hostiles expands into 3,000 theaters on Friday courtesy of Entertainment Studios. It’ll be a quiet two weeks, with Maze Runner, Hostiles and Helen Mirren’s Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built (Feb. 2) being the only wide newbies until Presidents Day weekend kicks off with Fifty Shade Freed, Peter Rabbit, The 15:17 to Paris and Pantelion’s La Boda de Valentina.
Talk about a death-defying stunt.
“The Greatest Showman,” a musical about the circus impresario P.T. Barnum, was dismissed by many critics when it arrived in theaters just before Christmas. Uncool. Old-fashioned. Mawkish. And when initial ticket sales were poor, most box office analysts decided “The Greatest Showman” was a prime example of Hollywood being unable to pry people away from their Netflix accounts. Better stick to the superheroes and sequels.