This image released by Disney/Lucasfilm shows Daisy Ridley as Rey in a scene from “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” (Disney/Lucasfilm Ltd.)

2020 box office starts off with ‘Star Wars’ still on top

Holiday holdovers stayed strong, led by a pair of Sony Pictures releases

The box office in 2020 started off where last year left off: with “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker” still on top.

After a historic year, the Walt Disney Co. opened the new year approaching one milestone and surpassing another. With $33.7 million over its third weekend in U.S. and Canada theatres according to studio estimates Sunday, “Rise of Skywalker” ($918.8 million) is closing in on $1 billion worldwide. While it appears unlikely to match the hauls of the trilogy’s previous entries, “Rise of Skywalker” will mark a record seventh $1 billion 2019 release for Disney.

One of those other six blockbusters, “Frozen 2,” on Sunday reached $1.33 billion, making it the highest grossing film ever directed by a woman in worldwide ticket sales. Jennifer Lee, who co-directed both “Frozen” films with Chris Buck and who now runs Disney Animation, surpasses her own record from the first “Frozen” ($1.28 billion). “Frozen 2” also charts as the highest grossing animated film, so long as you don’t count last year’s “Lion King” ($1.66 billion). Disney considers that remake live-action even though it was largely computer generated.

Holiday holdovers stayed strong, led by a pair of Sony Pictures releases.

“Jumanji: The Next Level” added $26.5 million in its fourth week, bringing its domestic total to $236 million and its global gross past $600 million.

Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women,” meanwhile, is becoming an outright hit. The Louisa May Alcott adaptation has been the top adult-oriented choice through the busy holiday season. With $13.6 million in its second weekend and strong business overseas, “Little Women” has grossed $80 million worldwide in two weeks. It was made for a modest $40 million.

The week’s only new release also came from Sony. “The Grudge,” a horror reboot of the 2004 remake produced by Sam Raimi, opened with $11.3 million. That was a fair total for a movie that cost $10 million to make and received some withering reaction from critics and audiences. “The Grudge” scored just 18% on Rotten Tomatoes and engendered a rarely seen F CinemaScore from moviegoers.

VIDEO: ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ cast hits the blue carpet at world premiere

Ahead of Sunday evening’s Golden Globes, a handful of contenders added momentum.

Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out” held better than any other film in the top 10, dropping just 9% and grossing $9 million in its sixth weekend. Its global tally stands at $247.5 million.

Sam Mendes’ war film “1917” is poised for its national expansion next week after a second weekend of packed theatres in limited release. It took in $590,000 at 11 theatres, good for an impressive per-theatre average of $53,100.

And though it was overlooked by the Globes, the Safdie brothers’ “Uncut Gems,” starring Adam Sandler, is becoming one of A24’s biggest box-office successes. It grossed $7.8 million in its fourth and widest weekend of release, bringing its domestic overall total to $36.8 million.

After a box office year that was down 4% from 2018, Hollywood began 2020 on the upswing. Ticket sales were up 7.2% from the same weekend last year, according to data firm Comscore.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included.

1. “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker,” $33.7 million ($50.5 million international).

2. “Jumanji: The Next Level,” $26.5 million ($42.4 million international).

3. “Little Women,” $13.6 million ($9.5 million international).

4. “The Grudge,” $11.3 million ($5.8 million international).

5. “Frozen 2,” $11.3 million ($42.4 million international).

6. “Spies in Disguise,” $10.1 million ($15.8 million international).

7. “Knives Out,” $9 million ($8.8 million international).

8. “Uncut Gems,” $7.8 million.

9. “Bombshell,” $4.1 million.

10. “Cats,” $2.6 million ($4.3 million international).

___

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake and Eckville slowly climbing out of the deep freeze

The Weather Network says warmer, more moderate temperatures are on the way

Mystery thrillers were Sylvan Lake’s popular reads in 2019

Half of the top 10 borrowed titles from Sylvan Lake’s library in 2019 were mystery crime thrillers

School busses once again running in Sylvan Lake

School busses did not run for three days this week due to the extreme cold temperatures

Sylvan Lake RCMP seek assistance in locating missing male

Mark Crier, 17, was last seen in Sylvan Lake on Jan. 13

Advance care planning helps you document your healthcare wishes

It’s important that your loved ones and your healthcare team understand your wishes for healthcare

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Rebels fight back from 3-1 Raider lead to win 4-3 in shootout

Two goals by Zak Smith key to Rebels comeback

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Most Read