Weekend Box Office: ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ Conquers Over New Releases Again

     January 21, 2018

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Despite a moderate amount of competition from 12 Strong and Den of Thieves, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will once again land at the top of the box office this weekend according to numerous estimates. Jake Kasdan‘s adventure-comedy has now not only been at number one for three frames – four, if you count the four-day total for New Year’s Day – it’s also overtaken Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League, and Despicable Me 3 to become the seventh highest-grossing movie of 2017.

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Image via Warner Bros.

To be completely honest, Jumanji is also the best movie in terms of substance and entertainment value currently in the top five. It’s certainly an upgrade from the simplistic, action-based turns of 12 Strong, which will come in second by the end of Sunday with an estimated $16.5 million, and Den of Thieves, which will come in third with $15.3 million. Where neither of these new releases can be bothered to offer a laugh or break out of the plot-driven tedium of their scripts, Jumanji at least has a few big guffaws and some inventive set-pieces to boast over the grim style and familiar sentimentality of its competition.

I’d even argue that Jumanji is a better movie than The Post, which will come in at fourth with $12.1 million. The Post has a few things going for it – a handful of evocative shots, a great cast, etc. – but it’s also easily Steven Spielberg‘s laziest and most condescendingly obvious movie in two decades. There are innumerable scenes in the movie where a line is delivered by an actor as if underlined to remind you that they’re making a point, opting for bloated didacticism over curiosity or insight.

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Image via Sony Pictures

The Post shares this trait with The Greatest Showman, which landed in fifth again with $11 million to add to the musical $100-million-plus domestic gross. Like The Post, The Greatest Showman lacks context, a sense that for all the heroic sheen given to these characters, the truth is that both the Washington Post and P.T. Barnum have bought into inexcusable and morally reprehensible acts, whether it be in rampant exploitation or supporting the Iraq war. It’s what makes all their arguably well-meaning lessons feel empty at best and venomously cynical at worst. Jumanji has the grace enough to not have any illusions about its social or political worth, and that’s part of its current triumphant streak at the box office.

Here’s your top five for the weekend:

Title Weekend Domestic BO Total Domestic BO
1. ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ $20,040,000 $316,985,148
2. ’12 Strong’ $16,500,000 $16,500,000
3. ‘Den of Thieves’ $15,320,000 $15,320,000
4. ‘The Post’ $12,150,000 $45,191,402
5. ‘The Greatest Showman’ $11,000,000 $113,480,607

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