Disney's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker predictably ruled the US box office for a second weekend adding an estimated $72 million to its haul. The Saga closer has been greeted with a mixed response from fans and critics, but that's not going to prevent it from being a massive blockbuster.
The J.J Abrams helmed sequel has generated more than $700 million worldwide and is on course to hit the $1 billion mark over the next week or so. After duking it out with The Last Jedi two years ago, Jumanji The Next Level is proving to have the same staying power at the box office. Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karren Gillan and Jack Black are back for more Jumanji based shenanigans. Holding onto second place, The Next Level took an estimated $35 million for its second weekend for a running domestic total of $175 million. Meanwhile, the international box office is just as prosperous with almost $300 million generated thus far.
Greta Gerwig's Little Women adaptation overperformed with an estimated $29 million for the five-day weekend. Already a critics favourite, Little Women is a strong contender for a plethora of Academy Awards. Gerwig's debut as a director, Lady Bird, picked up five nominations back in 2018 but sadly walked away empty-handed on the night. At the time of writing, Frozen 2 is barely $50 million away from surpassing the final worldwide total of the first film.
If we accept as a certainty that Rise of Skywalker will cross $1 billion worldwide, then 2019 holds the record for most movies to reach this milestone with nine films achieving this feat. Now, of those nine, seven of them are Disney with Endgame, Captain Marvel, Aladdin, The Lion King, Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, and inevitably Rise of Skywalker. Spider-Man: Far From Home might be Sony, but Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige was involved, so that leaves Joker as the only other non-Disney $1 billion release for 2019.
Fox's animated Spies in Disguise fell somewhat flat with a five-day opening of $23 million despite featuring the voices of Will Smith and Tom Holland. Rian Johnson's sinfully enjoyable Knives Out has crossed the magic $100 million in the US, Daniel Craig leads a knock-out cast in one of the finest films of the year. Craig has never been better, and there is already talk of a sequel that will have his Benoit Blanc solve a new crime. Internationally, Knives Out has grossed a highly respectful $95 million and counting for a global tally of more than $200 million.Finally, after reviews that can only be described as utterly terrible, Cats has used up all of its nine lives with just over $17 million taken since its release on December 20th. The international box office paints an even bleaker picture with just over $20 million for a worldwide total of less than $40 million. Costing an estimated $100 million to make (before marketing) Cats is set to wind up an expensive flop with loses estimated to be as much as $70 million.