‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Earns 2nd Best Christmas Eve For ‘Star Wars’ Pic With $20M; ‘Uncut Gems’ Digs Up $1.2M First Wide Day


Christmas Eve Update: Disney’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker took in $29.3M on Monday, -27% from Sunday for a 4-day + previews total of $206.7M. The film will remain undefeated with a second weekend in the $70M-$80M range, and the wide entries opening on Christmas Day won’t siphon off any grosses including Sony/Regency’s Little Women ($18M-$22M 5-day), Fox/Disney/Blue Sky’s Spies in Disguise ($19M-$23M) and the expansion of A24’s crime thriller Uncut Gems ($11M-$15M).

While exhibition stocks like AMC and Cinemark dipped respectively -3% and -2% versus Skywalker‘s Friday opening day, the pic continues to reel in a great degree of business and rivals remain confident the J.J. Abrams-directed feature will continue to do so from tomorrow onward. Skywalker‘s Monday was the 6th best of all-time behind Black Panther ($40.15M), Force Awakens’ first Monday (Dec. 21, $40.1M), Avengers: Endgame ($36.8M), Rogue One ($32M) and Force Awakens‘ second Monday (Dec. 28, $31.3M) and the fourth best for December, beating Last Jedi‘s first Monday ($21.6M) and Christmas Monday ($27.4M). All this cash despite the B+ CinemaScore, the lowest of any Star Wars live-action film, plus that divided critics Rotten Tomatoes rating of 55%.

Business for all films will be down today since it’s Christmas Eve. Last year the top 10 pics on Christmas Eve saw a 32% drop in their daily grosses versus the previous day. None of the wide entries will have any previews tonight.

Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet in 'Little Women'

Greta Gerwig’s PG-rated revisionist Little Women won’t be a threat to Skywalker, rather Universal/Amblin/Working Title’s Cats which saw a $1.36M Monday, -28% for a 4-day of $7.98M in 4th place. Lionsgate/Bron’s Bombshell, last weekend’s wide break, took in $920K yesterday in 5th, -38% for a $6.4M running total. Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level ranked 2nd with $7.3M on Monday, -22% from Sunday, and a $109.6M running cume. Disney’s Frozen 2 made $4.5M in 3rd (-5%), and a total of $391.7M, while Lionsgate/MRC’s Knives Out made $1.8M in 4th place (-19%) for a $91.8M total.

Little Women is boosted by a 95% certified fresh RT score. The follow-up feature directed by two-time Lady Bird Oscar nominee Gerwig, Little Women to date counts two Golden Globe noms (Actress Drama for Saoirse Ronan, Best Original s score Alexandre Desplat), a best supporting actress for Laura Dern from the NY Critics Circle (which is also in response to Netflix’s Marriage Story), and 9 Critics’ Choice award noms including Best Picture. All of that despite the fact that the film was snubbed by the SAG Awards, as well as Gerwig being overlooked by the Globes as best director. The pic, booked at 3,100-plus locations, cost before P&A $40M net. The pic stars social media maestra Emma Watson, Ronan, Dern, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothee Chalamet, Bob Odenkirk, and Tracy Letts

Fox/Chernin Entertainment’s animation feature Spies in Disguise will hopefully scoop up those little boys who may already be tired of Star Wars, or saw the ninth-quel twice. The movie from directors Nick Bruno and Troy Quane follows a spy who is turned into a pigeon (Will Smith) as he’s forced to rely on his nerdy tech officer (Tom Holland). Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Reba McEntire, Rachel Brosnahan, Karen Gillan, DJ Khaled and Masi Oka are also part of the voiceover cast. Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Michael J. Travers produced with Chris Wedge and Kori Adelson serving as EPs. Of Spies’ 3,502 location count, 1,500 will offer 3D. Overseas the movie opens day and date in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and Mexico as well as Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine, Croatia, Czech Rep, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Middle east, Slovakia, Slovenia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia and Trinidad.

Uncut Gems over the last 11 days has been playing in five theaters in NY and LA where it has racked up $1.08M. The film which stars Adam Sandler as a 47th Street NYC jeweler who lives on the edge as he comes into possession of some rare African stones, has four Critics Choice noms including Best Picture and Actor Adam Sandler, five Independent Spirit noms including Best Feature, and wins from the National Board of Review for Best Actor Sandler, and original screenplay from the Safdie Brothers and Ronald Bronstein. The NY Film Critics lauded the Safdies as best director.

1917 George MacKay water scene. (Credit: Andrea Foster/NBCUniversal)

Going limited is Universal/DreamWork’s WWI action movie 1917 from Sam Mendes on Christmas Day in 11 theaters. 1917 tells the story of two young British soldiers at the height of WWI, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) as they are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers—Blake’s own brother among them. The movie busts wide on Jan. 10 is already tracking toward a $20M+ opening at that time. Critics love the movie at 91% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

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