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Box Office: ‘The Grudge’ Heads for $11 Million Debut as ‘Rise of Skywalker’ Reigns

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” will continue its reign at the box office with an estimated $37 million, while the weekend’s solitary new release, “The Grudge,” could generate a better-than-expected start with about $11 million.

The Grudge,” a reboot of the 2004 horror film of the same title, took in $5.35 million from 2,642 theaters on Friday. That robust haul upped the horror pic’s forecast for the weekend to $11 million, though some estimate it could go as high as $13 million. Sony, who’s distributing the film via its Screen Gems banner, hopes that the upcoming MLK holiday weekend, combined with a lack of other horror titles in theaters for the next three weeks and college students on vacation, will help “The Grudge” pick up traction.

A point against it, however, is its woeful critical reviews, which have led to a 19% Rotten Tomatoes score. Audiences haven’t been much kinder; the film was saddled with a cringe-worthy F CinemaScore, a dubious badge bestowed on only around 20 other films, including Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” Nicolas Pesce, who also directed the film, wrote the script from a story he originated with Jeff Buhler, based on Takashi Shimizu’s “Ju-On: The Grudge.” Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, Lin Shaye and Jacki Weaver star.

Meanwhile, Disney and Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” has totaled $428 million domestically, adding about $11 million on Friday after three weeks of release. The conclusion to the Skywalker saga is nearing $1 billion worldwide, earning at a slower pace than the saga’s two previous installments.

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Sony will rule the box office this weekend outside of “Rise of Skywalker”: Its “Jumanji: The Next Level” should land in the second place spot with about $25 million to $28 million. Should it land on the higher side of that range, it’ll have totaled $238.5 million Stateside.

Little Women,” also from Sony, could compete with “The Grudge” for the third place spot if the latter movie comes in on the higher end of forecasts, with an esimated $13 million for Greta Gerwig’s Louisa May Alcott adaptation. The period drama has drummed up $46 million since its Christmas debut.

Disney’s “Frozen 2” is still in the mix with about $12 million projected for the weekend. As one of the 2019’s top-grossing films, the sequel to “Frozen” has conjured up $1.2 billion worldwide.

Rian Johnson’s whodunit “Knives Out,” which recently passed $200 million worldwide and marked a win for original content, boasted the strongest hold of the top 10 films with just a 2% decline into its fifth weekend in theaters, with about $9.7 million estimated for the weekend.

The awards season box office is in full effect as well, with A24’s “Uncut Gems” leading the pack behind “Little Women” with about $8.1 million. Adam Sandler and the Safdie brothers’ crime thriller has generated $31 million since its debut.

Lionsgate’s “Bombshell” is heading for about $4.3 million in its third weekend in wide release, with its Friday total of $1.34 million marking just a 17% decline over the previous Friday. “Bombshell” had its platform launch Dec. 13, and this weekend, added 1,721 North American locations. The latest haul will bring the Roger Ailes drama to just under $24.8 million.

Sam Mendes’ critically acclaimed “1917,” in theaters at just 11 locations, should bring in about $550,000 for Universal in its second weekend of limited release. The single-shot World War I drama goes wide Jan. 10.

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