‘Welcome to the Jungle’ just made more history.
For a very brief moment, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle seemed to be beaten at the box office. Last week, Maze Runner: The Death Cure managed to become the first film to overtake the surprise blockbuster after the latter spent three straight weeks on top. But that was just a minor bump in Jumanji‘s reign. Over the weekend, the movie made a comeback and once again found itself in the #1 spot.
Jumanji has shown amazing perseverance at the box office since its release in December and has now added an estimated $10.9M (estimated) for an even more enormous domestic total of $352.6M. Despite not really being a sequel, or technically part of a well-established franchise — we can’t credit the 1995 movie or the book the two are based on as big contributors to its success — the film has pulled huge numbers worldwide and is hardly slowing down seven weeks in.
Welcome to the Jungle has now spent four weekends at the top of the domestic box office, a feat typically reserved for big-name franchises such as Star Wars (The Force Awakens was the last movie to achieve this distinction) and The Hunger Games (specifically the first movie and Mockingjay – Part 2). Not even being released just one week after the epitome of a major franchise sequel, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, was enough to keep it down for long.
The rare feat has also presented itself in non-franchise movies with considerable hype. The Martian managed to take first place at the box office for four weekends in 2015 — also not consecutively, it was beaten by Goosebumps in its third week. Welcome to the Jungle also shares the four-week achievement with the legendary Avatar, another non-sequel non-franchise release, which managed to hold its number-one spot for eight whole weeks.
However, those movies, unlike Welcome to the Jungle, both debuted at #1. The last time a movie sat on the throne for four weekends without topping the box office in its first wide weekend was Aladdin in January 1993 (the Disney animated feature opened in limited release then came in at #2 for its first 1,000-plus weekend before finally reaching #1 in its 8th, 10th, 11th, and 12th weeks). Before that, Ghost managed four non-consecutive number ones in the summer of 1990 after opening wide in second place.
Prior to The Force Awakens, the last movie to have four #1 weekends was Furious 7, which like Welcome to the Jungle stars Dwayne Johnson. Interestingly enough, while today that’s still the actor’s highest-grossing movie domestically, at $353M, the Jumanji reboot is going to pass it tomorrow (without adjusting for inflation, that is; otherwise it’ll still pass it within the next two weeks). And despite all this Sony still has yet to officially announce a follow-up, though there has been hint of plans to drop a sequel in December 2019, opposite Star Wars Episode IX.
Welcome to the Jungle didn’t see much competition over the weekend, it’s true. Maze Runner: The Death Cure, which defeated the movie during its own debut, predictably fell to the second-place spot. Its estimated $10.2M gross is an unfortunate 58% drop from its first weekend. Meanwhile, the only new wide release, Winchester, was hoping to find its footing amongst other financially successful horror films as of late, but it just opened to a modest $9.3M — far below original long-range forecasting but on the higher end of more recent tracking.
The gothic horror film starring Helen Mirren was not screened for critics — a bad sign generally — and has since received very negative reviews and a so-so CinemaScore grade (‘B+’). As counter-programming for the Super Bowl, the weekend of which is typically a down one at the box office, it’s on par with most new releases for the time, but horror tends to be more successful. Last year, for instance, the forgettable Rings had a $13M bow.
That being said, seeing as CBS Films bought the rights to the film for a meager $3.5M (compared to Rings‘ $25M budget), Winchester is already, in some regards, a success.
In a week, though, it will be forgotten, and Welcome to the Jungle will once again be knocked from the #1 slot, whether it’s by the family film Peter Rabbit, the adult-targeting sequel Fifty Shades Freed, or Clint Eastwood’s latest, The 15:17 to Paris. Or all of the above.
Here is the estimated top 10 for the weekend, with new releases in bold (and domestic totals in parentheses):
1. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – $10.9M ($352.6M)
2. Maze Runner: The Death Cure – $10.5M ($40M)
3. Winchester – $9.3M ($9.3M)
4. The Greatest Showman – $7.7M ($137.4M)
5. The Post – $5.2M ($67.2M)
6. Hostiles – $5.1M ($20.1M)
7. 12 Strong – $4.7M ($37.3M)
8. Den of Thieves – $4.6M ($36.2M)
9. The Shape of Water – $4.4M ($44.7M)
10. Paddington 2 – $3.3M ($36.5M)
All box office figures via Box Office Mojo.