AceShowbiz - "1917" has emerged as a new champion on the North American box office. The World War I drama from director Sam Mendes has successfully defeated reigning champion "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" with an estimated $36.5 on its first weekend of wide release, jumping 16 positions from its place last week.
The movie was playing in just 11 screens in its first two weeks before expanding to more than 3,400 over the last weekend. The film's wide release couldn't be more perfectly timed as it recently won Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Director at the Golden Globe Awards.
Mendes himself was hopeful that the kudos would boost the movie's commercial performance as he said at the Globes ceremony last week, "I hope this means that people will turn up and see this on the big screen, the way it was intended."
"1917" just won Best Director for Mendes at the Sunday, January 12 Critics' Choice Awards as well as Best Cinematography and Best Editing prizes. It has additionally received nine nominations at the upcoming BAFTA Awards, and is expected to gain recognition at the Academy Awards.
"Awards season buzz and box-office success often run on parallel tracks and in the case of '1917', Universal's perfectly executed platform release strategy is paying box office dividends and post-Globes, pre-Oscar awards season momentum," says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. He adds of how this kind of film could've been easily ignored by moviegoers, "It's the not like the kids were clamoring for a World War I trench drama. A film like this could have easily slipped off the radar."
"1917" has now collected a total of $39.2 million domestically and $21.1 million internationally for a current global total of $60.4 million. The movie needs to maintain its strong performance in the coming weeks to return its reported $90 million budget and gain profit for the studio.
Meanwhile, "The Rise of Skywalker" is pushed to the second place after three-week winning streak. The movie added an estimated $15 million for a current domestic gross of $478.2 million. It gets closer to crossing the $1 billion mark, having reached $989.6 million globally.
Another holdover, "Jumanji: The Next Level" also drops one place to No. 3 with approximately $14 million. "Like a Boss" starring Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne debuts at No. 4 with approximately $10 million, a tie with "Just Mercy" which rises from No. 29 last week.
Outside the top five, 20th Century Fox's thriller "Underwater" starring Kristen Stewart disappointed with only $7 million on its first weekend, placing below "Little Women (2019)" at No. 7. Dergarabedian explains the lack of enthusiasm for the new release, "For newcomers, this is usually not a bountiful time for the box office. It's usually about the holdovers and awards season contenders."
Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for January 10-12: