Sam Mendes’ “1917” triumphed at the global box office, generating a solid $56.42 million over the weekend.
The war drama ignited to $21.17 million overseas, where Universal and Amblin Entertainment are splitting distribution. In the U.S., “1917” claimed victory with $36.5 million, enough to dethrone the reigning champ, Disney’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
“1917” is set during the height of the First World War and unfolds in real time as two young British soldiers (portrayed by George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) are tasked with the seemingly impossible mission of delivering a message that will save the lives of 1,600 men. The film took home two Golden Globes Sunday, one for best picture — drama and another for Mendes’ direction. That publicity, combined with its Oscar prospects, are no doubt giving “1917” a box office boost. The film cost $90 million and has pocketed $60 million so far.
Another awards favorite, Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women,” hit an important milestone on the eve of Academy Awards nominations. Sony’s acclaimed adaptation crossed the coveted $100 million mark worldwide with ticket sales currently sitting at $107 million. The movie added another $8.1 million at the international box office, boosting its foreign tally to $33.2 million. “Little Women” continues to over-perform in the United Kingdom, where it has earned $17.2 million.
Sony’s “Jumanji: The Next Level” also reached a big benchmark, surpassing $400 million abroad after collecting $22.6 million this weekend. The action sequel, starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, has made $671 million globally.
Meanwhile, “Rise of Skywalker” is gearing up to become the latest billion-dollar club member since box office receipts reached $990 million this weekend. Directed by J.J. Abrams, the ninth and final chapter in the Skywalker saga has brought in $511.4 million overseas. The tentpole has seen the strongest returns in the U.K. ($71.4 million), Germany ($61.3 million) and Japan ($54.3 million). “Rise of Skywalker” is expected to blow past $1 billion worldwide next week.
Among new releases, Universal’s family friendly film “Dolittle” picked up $8.1 million when it kicked off in four international markets. The film opened in Korea with $6.8 million, Ukraine with $1.1 million and South Africa with $200,000. It launches in the U.S. and most major foreign territories next weekend. Robert Downey Jr. stars as the veterinarian who regularly converses with animals in “Dolittle.” It’ll need to become a huge commercial hit to justify its expensive $175 million price tag.
Rounding out the weekend is “Underwater,” a sci-fi thriller starring Kristen Stewart. The movie picked up $7.1 million from 22 international territories, along with $7 million in the States. That’s a dismal showing for a movie that cost $50 million. Disney is distributing the movie — produced by Chernin Entertainment and financed by TSG — after acquiring it from Fox.