By Dave McNary
LOS ANGELES, (Variety.com)
Fox’s “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” has ended the three-week reign of Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome the “Jungle” with a respectable $23.5 million at 3,787 North American locations for the weekend
“The Death Cure,” starring Dylan O’Brien in the finale of the dystopian trilogy, performed at the top end of forecasts with the best performances in the west and south central regions. The opening had been delayed for a year following injuries O’Brien suffered on the set.
The original “Maze Runner” launched with $32.5 million in 2014 and “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” launched with $30.6 million in 2015. “The Death Cure” generated a B+ Cinemascore and drew a 51 percent female audience; 57 percent of the total audience was under 25.
“Jumanji” finished with $16.4 million at 3,553 sites in its sixth weekend, declining only 16 percent and giving it $338 million domestically since Dec. 20 – $3 million behind “Zootopia” for the 46th spot on the all-time list.
That’s far above anyone’s original forecast and makes it the third-highest performer for Sony of all time
The action comedy, starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, also grossed $17.7 million internationally this weekend for an overseas total of $484 million and a worldwide box office of $821.7 million.
Overall domestic business was solid rather than spectacular with $139 million, down 2.5 percent from the same weekend last year, according to comScore. Thanks largely to “Jumanji,” year-to-date business as of Sunday is up 1.7 percent to $918.9 million.
Christian Bale‘s “Hostiles” led the rest of the pack with $10.2 million at 2,815 venues as Entertainment Studios expanded the historical drama from 119 locations. Fox’s sixth weekend of “The Greatest Showman” came in fourth with $8.9 million at 2,663 screens, declining only 11 percent in a remarkable show of staying power.
The Hugh Jackman musical has taken in $126.5, which has proven a solid draw for Fox and should finish the weekend with roughly $126 million.
Steven Spielberg‘s “The Post” followed in fifth with $8.9 million at 2,640 locations in the wake of Oscar nominations for best picture and Meryl Streep as best actress.
The Fox release declined only 24 percent and has topped $58 million so far
Warner’s second weekend of “12 Strong” finished sixth with $8.6 million at 3,018 sites, edging STXfilms’ second frame of “Den of Thieves” with $8.4 million at 2,432 venues.
Fox Searchlight’s “The Shape of Water,” which led the Oscar nominations with 13, came in eighth with $5.7 million at 1,840 sites as the studio added 1,001 new locations. The fantasy drama has grossed $37.7 million in nine weeks.
Warner Bros.’ third weekend of “Paddington 2” took ninth with $5.6 million at 2,792 screens. Disney-Lucasfilm’s seventh weekend of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” followed in 10th place with $4.2 million at 1,745 venues for a 45-day total of $610.7 million.
Fox Searchlight’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” finished 11th with $3.6 million at 1,457 sites in the wake of receiving seven Oscar nominations, lifting its three-month total to $37 million.
Focus Features’ “Darkest Hour,” which scored six Oscar nominations, pulled in $2.9 million at 1,322 locations, lifting the Winston Churchill war drama past $45 million. Focus’ “Phantom Thread,” which also received six Oscar nods, took in $2.9 million at 1,021 sites to push domestic gross to $10.6 million for the Daniel Day-Lewis fashion drama.