Sony’s sturdy “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is heading for a third straight weekend victory at the North American box office over new entries “12 Strong” and “Den of Thieves,” early estimates showed Friday.
“Jumanji” was heading toward $18 million at 3,704 locations, while the Afghan war drama “12 Strong” looked likely to finish with about $15 million to $16 million at 3,002 venues. STXfilms’ heist thriller “Den of Thieves” was showing more traction than recent forecasts indicated with about $14 million at 2,432 sites.
Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” looked likely to finish fourth for Fox with about $12 million at 2,851 sites, followed by Fox’s fifth weekend of “The Greatest Showman” at about $9 million.
“Jumanji” should wind up with about $315 million domestically in its first 31 days by end of the weekend, leaving as the 62nd-highest domestic grosser of all time. The Dwayne Johnson-Kevin Hart action-comedy has shown solid traction outside the United States with $385 million from international markets.
“12 Strong,” produced by Alcon Entertainment, Black Label Media, and Jerry Bruckheimer, has been tracking for an opening in the $14 million to $17 million range. Warner Bros. is handling distribution through its output deal with Alcon.
Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon star in “12 Strong” in a story based on Doug Stanton’s 2009 bestselling book “Horse Soldiers,” centered on CIA paramilitary operations officers and U.S. Special Forces sent to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks. Nicolai Fuglsig directed from a script by Ted Tally and Peter Craig.
Producers of “12 Strong” are Bruckheimer, Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill, and Trent Luckinbill. Michael Peña, Navid Negahban, Trevante Rhodes, Geoff Stults, Thad Luckinbill, William Fichtner, and Rob Riggle also star in the movie.
The R-rated “Den of Thieves,” starring Gerard Butler, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, follows the intersecting lives of an elite unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and a successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Los Angeles. Christian Gudegast is directing from his original screenplay, based on a story by Gudegast and Paul Scheuring.
“The Post,” starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, centers on the 1971 legal battle by the Washington Post and New York Times over the publication of the Pentagon Papers. It should wind up the weekend with more than $45 million domestically.
Overall moviegoing has edged down 0.1% through Jan. 17 to $584.1 million in North America, according to comScore. The domestic box office declined 2.3% last year to $11.12 billion, but Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore, said the market remains healthy.
“With much being made of down-trending movie theater attendance in an era of ever-increasing small screen entertainment options, moviegoing is (despite the naysayers) still holding its own with a ‘Jumanji’-powered early year box office marketplace benefiting from a red-hot awards season and a laundry list of required viewing films playing in theaters as the Oscar nominations approach and numerous blockbusters on the horizon await their turn to debut at the multiplex,” he said.