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Jumanji remains on top in US as Spielberg's The Post makes headlines


Story by Jack Foley

JUMANJI: Welcome to the Jungle has remained on top of the US box office for a second weekend in a row as the Martin Luther King holiday weekend unfolded.

The comedy-adventure, directed by Jake Kasdan and starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, took in an estimated $27.03 million for the three days and is currently projected to hit $33.4 million for the four-day holiday, which would bring its US total to an impressive $289.5 million.

The figures make for impressive reading for Jumanji, which opened in cinemas before Christmas and had to exist for a large part of its early run in the shadow of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

And although Star Wars has started to wind down, the Rian Johnson directed film still took $11.3 million for the weekend to bring its cumulative world-wide total to $1.264 billion. It has now surpassed both Disney’s own Beauty & The Beast ($1.263.5 billion) and Universal’s The Fate of the Furious ($1.236 billion) to become the top global release of 2017 and the tenth top global release of all time.

Of the weekend’s new releases and expanders, the news was mixed. On the positive side, Steven Spielberg’s journalist drama The Post attracted solid numbers as it expanded nationwide, grossed an estimated $18.6 million for the three days as it looks to a four-day gross of $22.2 million.

The film, which is expected to be a big Oscars player, recounts how Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) and editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) joined forces to defy the government and publish the Pentagon Papers.

Of the weekend’s three new wide releases, Liam Neeson’s latest action-thriller The Commuter fared the best, taking $13.5 million for the three-days and looking on course for a four-day total of $16 million.

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows), the thriller sees Neeson playing a down-on-his-luck businessman who gets caught up in a frenzied criminal conspiracy when he meets a stranger (Vera Farmiga) on a train.

Faring less well was British box office hit Paddington 2, which got off to a disappointing IUS start, attracting just $10.6 million for the three days.

It could yet climb a bit to $14.5 million for the four days given that it has enjoyed positive reviews from both critics and audiences. The family film once again focuses on the plucky Peruvian bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) as he and the Brown family team to unmask a thief (played by Hugh Grant). The film has been a massive success in the UK.

Finally, Sony’s Proud Mary, starring Taraji P. Henson as an assassin whose life is altered when she becomes involved with a young boy, took in $10 million for the three days and could see a four-day take of $12 million.