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Box Office: ‘Jumanji’ Poised for Three-Peat, Despite Challenge From ‘12 Strong’

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is poised for a three-peat at the North American box office this weekend, but will face challenges from Afghanistan war drama “12 Strong” and heist thriller “Den of Thieves.”

“Jumanji” is likely to take in between $15 million to $20 million in its fifth frame, which will lift its total domestic take to around $320 million — making the action-comedy one of the top 60 domestic performers of all time, with plenty of drawing power in the weeks to come. International performance for the Dwayne Johnson-Kevin Hart vehicle has been impressive with $385 million so far.

12 Strong,” produced by Alcon Entertainment, Black Label Media, and Jerry Bruckheimer, will pose the greater threat, with tracking showing an opening in the $14 million to $17 million range at 3,002 locations — including Imax, premium large format, and Dolby Cinema. 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 Afghan War was also the subject of 2013’s “Lone Survivor,” which starred Mark Wahlberg and generated a solid $125 million in the U.S. for Universal.

STXfilms will open the R-rated “Den of Thieves,” starring Gerard Butler, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, in 2,300-plus locations across North America, with a projected opening in the $9 million range. That’s similar to the launch of Open Road’s crime drama “Sleepless,” which opened on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend with $9.8 million in its first four days.

“Den of Thieves,” which was fully financed by Diamond Film, follows the intersecting and often personally-connected 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.

Producers are Mark Canton, Tucker Tooley, Butler, and Alan Siegel. The first trailer for “Den of Thieves” debuted in October and the marketing campaign included live sports and gaming platforms. The campaign ramped up for sporting events, including NFL playoffs, NBA, WWE, and UFC.

Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” could battle “12 Strong” for the second slot with a projection in the $14 million range for its second weekend in wide release, following a $23.1 million MLK weekend for Fox. The battle for fourth place will include “Den of Thieves,” the second weekends of Lionsgate’s Liam Neeson thriller “The Commuter,” Warner’s family comedy “Paddington 2,” Fox’s fifth frame of “The Greatest Showman,” and Disney-Lucasfilm’s sixth weekend of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

“The Greatest Showman” has shown impressive staying power since its Dec. 20 launch and should top the $100 million mark in domestic grosses by Wednesday.

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