There was a new box office champion this week as Hollywood's young-adult phase whimpered to a close.
Debuting in the top spot is The Maze Runner: The Death Cure (read our review), which earned $23.5 million in its first three days. That is by far the lowest opening for the franchise, as the original movie grossed $32.5 million and The Scorch Trials made $30.3 million in the same time frame. It was more than just the mixed critical reaction that did this one in. The Death Cure was delayed by a year after star Dylan O'Brien was injured on-set, and in that time, demand for another apocalyptic young-adult adaptation considerably decreased. Between the Scorch Trials premiere and now, the Hunger Games series fizzled out and Divergent was relegated to a possible TV movie. Simply put, this fad is over.
This isn't to say The Death Cure won't be successful on its own merits, however. Budgeted at a moderate $62 million, the film has earned $105.5 million worldwide, inching closer to its break even point. There also isn't much competition for its target demographic opening in the next few weeks, meaning it could have decent legs if everything breaks right. Though with interest this low at the outset, odds are it won't be able to turn things around in a notable way.
Falling to second is Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with $16.4 million. The adventure film is now up to $338 million domestically, making it understandable why Sony is actively interested in developing a sequel.
Expanding nationwide to 2,816 theaters after playing in limited release for the better part of a month, Hostiles came in third with $10 million. Starring Christian Bale, the Western has earned mostly positive reviews for its performances and bleak tale, making it a strong counter-programming option for adult moviegoers looking for a break from the traditional January doldrums. It is now up to $12 million in the U.S.
Coming in fourth is The Greatest Showman. The musical continues to hang around, making $9.5 million in its sixth weekend. It raised its domestic total to $126.4 million.
Rounding out the top five is The Post. Steven Spielberg's Oscar-nominated drama picked up two nods from the Academy last week (Best Picture and Best Actress) en route to $8.8 million over the weekend. The period piece is now up to $58.5 million Stateside.
The #6 movie is 12 Strong with $8.6 million. The war drama increased its domestic haul to $29.7 million.
In seventh is the crime thriller Den of Thieves. The film brought in $8.3 million in its second weekend to increase its U.S. total to $28.5 million.
After scoring an Oscar-leading 13 nominations, Guillermo del Toro's fantasy love story The Shape of Water came in eighth with $5.7 million. Due to the awards buzz, the film was added to 1,001 more theaters and it reaped the benefits. This weekend's gross is 160.7 percent higher than last week's, illustrating the bump Academy favorites can get once the nominations are announced. Since The Shape of Water is a frontrunner for some major categories, it should have nice legs between now and the ceremony.
Family film Paddington 2 comes in ninth with $5.5 million. It is now up to $32 million.
Capping off the top 10 is Padmaavat, which made $4.2 million in just 324 theaters.
[NOTE: These are only weekend box office estimates -- based on Friday and Saturday ticket sales coupled with adjusted expectations for Sunday. Official weekend box office results will be released on Monday, January 29 -- at which time we'll update this post with any changes.]
Source: Box Office Mojo
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