The RedState Box Office Report - Some Good Results and Some Little Returns

screencap from the trailer by Sony Pictures; promotional image of ‘Dolittle’ courtesy Universal Pictures

January releases will always prove to be a mixed bag of surprises and disappointments.

This is a month of discrepancies for Hollywood. Quality dramatic efforts abound with awards season in full swing and contrasting garbage is also released into the mix. But on occasion some surprises strike as well. Sony managed to find success with a 25-year-old franchise generating a huge weekend, while Universal is left licking its paw. Here are the figures.

1.  Bad Boys For Life – $59.175 Million
It was 1995 when the original was released, and it has been 17 years since the sequel, but there was heavy interest in seeing Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reteaming on the streets of Miami. There were questions if this could work, as it was long in production due to scheduling, Michael Bay departing the franchise, and numerous schedule changes. But prospects had been strong coming into the weekend and projections were raised, and it still beat those new numbers. Now it is on track to be the highest-grossing title in the series. Sony saw those projections and already announced on Thursday it was making the fourth film in the franchise.

2.  DOLITTLE – $22.53m
On the other end of the new release spectrum was this retelling of the classic tale, with Robert Downey Jr. in a heavily CGI-reliant family romp. Critics scorched this, as it sits with a lowly 17% on Rotten Tomatoes. This number is made worse by it debuting 4,100 screens, compared to the 3,700 screen release of ‘’Bad Boys’’. The issue is that this sports a massive budget of $175 million, which means this tepid response here will require a massive response from overseas markets in order for the studio to have any hope of breaking even.

3.  1917 – $22.14m
Universal can take a little comfort that their war epic is driving serious business. This second week in wide release sees only a -40% drop, and it should maintain a steady flow of business for the next month, based on all of the awards it is a focus of winning.

4.  JUMANJI-THE NEXT LEVEL – $9.56m
While it is lagging behind the original by this same point make no mistake that this is still a very strong return, and still going strong. It has drawn $275 domestically and $700 million globally, and after 6 weeks it still is playing on over 3,300 screens.

5.  STAR WARS EPISODE IX – THE RISE OF SKYWALKER – $8.374m
That this is underperforming in the Star Wars universe is now blatant. The title is well behind the prior title, the much-derided ‘’The Last Jedi’’, and now it is even dropping behind the pace of ‘’Rogue One’’, a title outside the standard storyline. Three years ago that film was released on the same date, and crossed the $500 million mark on Martin Luther King Day, as Skywalker is still millions away from that plateau.

6.  JUST MERCY – $6.01m
While gaining critical respect there were awards hoped for on this title, but so far only Jaime Foxx has managed to get a nomination at the SAG Awards. No Oscar recognition arrived, so Warners will be relying on decent word of mouth, but likely this will become crowded out as other films rise in recognition.

7.  LITTLE WOMEN – $5.91m
Being helped along with a number of Oscar nominations for the cast, and Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the screenplay, but there was some outrage she did not get a nomination as director. There is every reason to expect this is going to cross the $100 mark soon enough.

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8.  KNIVES OUT – $4.3m
It has been a remarkable run for the adult whodunnit. 8 weeks and still in the top-10 as it is nearing an unexpected $150 million total.

9.  LIKE A BOSS – $3.84m
Struggling to get noticed in a crowded field, it does not look promising. This is a heavy -61% drop for its second week.

10.  FROZEN 2 – $3.71m
A bit of a surprise when it did not receive an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Film. Disney can take comfort in the movie now having earned $1.4 Billion worldwide.

Brad Slager
Covering politics, as well as the business side of Show Business. Expert in fine bourbons, good cigars, competent hockey teams, and horrible movies.

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