Super Bowl weekend is typically a slow one at the box office, and this weekend was no exception, although it is up over last year’s worst Super Bowl weekend in 19 years. The three films at the top of the box office have occupied those same three slots for the last three weeks, with Bad Boys For Life comfortably on top for the third weekend in a row. It earned $17.7 million to bring its total to a healthy $148 million, surpassing the $138 million grossed by Bad Boys II.
Best Picture nominee 1917 takes the number two spot for the second weekend in a row, earning $9.6 million to bring its total to $119 million. Robert Downey Jr.’s Dolittle, which flip-flopped with 1917 and into the three spot two weeks ago maintains that same position, earning $7.7 million to bring its total to $55 million. That’s still a dismal number for Universal, but maybe slightly better than how it looked after the film’s debut. Also, at least it’s doing better than Cats.
There were two new entries into the weekend’s top ten, beginning with the atmospheric horror film Gretel & Hansel which earned $6.05 million, which isn’t boffo but it is a low-budget horror film. Critics (56 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) ended up liking this one better than audiences, which gave it a dismal C- on Cinemascore, but Cinemascore audiences often do not like horror films of the more artsy variety.
The next four entries were all holdovers, beginning with Jumanji: Next Level, which earned $6 million to bring its domestic take to $291 million. It’s been out for 8 weeks, the longest running movie in the top ten now, but let’s pour one out for Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, which finally fell out of the top ten for the first time since Thanksgiving weekend in 2019! Matthew McConaughey’s The Gentlemen, which got off to an OK start last weekend nevertheless had a very good hold, falling only 44 percent in its second weekend and earning $6 million to bring its total to $20, surpassing the budget for the film (STX films also only paid $7 million for the rights to the film).
After seven weeks, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker is still hanging around, pulling another $3.4 million worth of change out of the couch cushions to bring its domestic tally to $507 million. Little Women added $3.1 million to bring its total to $98 million. It’s poised to cross $100 million by next Sunday’s Oscar ceremony.
The other new entry this weekend was Blake Lively’s Rhythm Section, which completely struck out, earning only $2.8 million on a reported $50 million budget. The movie found no favor with critics (26 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) or audiences, earning a C+ on Cinemascore. Paramount will have to scramble and try to make back some of its losses overseas. There have been a lot of January stinkers, but Rhythm Section has the honor of being the worst debut among wide releases during the month. At least, it didn’t finish last in the top ten. That honor falls to The Turning, which had a 58 percent drop from its already slow first weekend, earning $2.9 million to bring its total to $11.5 million.
Oscar weekend next week will see only one new wide release, but it’s a big one that should get the box office moving again. Margot Robbie will open Birds of Prey, and we’ll see if DC can continue its hot streak in 2020.