'Little Women,' 'Uncut Gems' get a good start as 'Rise of Skywalker' remains victorious

Reuters Los Angeles Dec 30, 2019, 10.07 AM(IST)

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker Photograph:( Twitter )

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Disney and Lucasfilm`s 'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker' led the bounty, crossing $361 million in North America after this weekend`s $72 million haul.

 The holiday box office proved fruitful for a wide variety of movies as overall ticket sales reached $200 million over the weekend -- a 6.3% boost from last year.

Disney and Lucasfilm`s 'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker' led the bounty, crossing $361 million in North America after this weekend`s $72 million haul. JJ Abrams` third and final chapter in the sequel trilogy collected $136 million over the five-day Christmas stretch. After less than two weeks in theaters, 'Rise of Skywalker' has generated $725 million globally, distinguishing itself as the 10th-highest grossing movie of the year worldwide and seventh-biggest in the US.

Greta Gerwig`s 'Little Women' is also bringing holiday cheer, generating $16.5 million during the weekend and $29 million since Wednesday to land at No. 3. That`s a solid result for Sony and New Regency, which shelled out $40 million to produce the film.

Gerwig, who wrote and directed 'Little Women,' proved that seventh times` a charm for Louisa May Alcott`s literary classic. The movie -- starring Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Timothee Chalamet, Emma Watson and Laura Dern -- has received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike.

Slightly lower on box office charts, A24`s suspense thriller 'Uncut Gems' debuted at No. 7, collecting $9.5 million over the traditional weekend and $18.8 million since opening on Wednesday. That marks the indie distributor`s biggest five-day launch to date despite the film`s C+ CinemaScore from audiences. U.S. ticket sales currently sit at $20 million, already making it one of the speciality studio`s highest-grossing films. Directed by brothers Josh and Benny Safdie, 'Uncut Gems' has found itself in the awards conversation for Adam Sandler`s dramatic turn as a jewellery maven and gambling addict.

After 'Rise of Skywalker,' Sony`s 'Jumanji: The Next Level' and Disney`s 'Frozen 2' eclipsed newcomers on box office charts. Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart`s action sequel has pocketed a huge $59 million since Wednesday, propelling its domestic tally to $175.45 million.

Meanwhile, the animated follow-up to 2013`s 'Frozen' generated $16.5 million over the weekend and $26 million during the five-day holiday frame. Those dazzling ticket sales push 'Frozen 2' to $421 million in North America and $1.21 billion worldwide, passing 2015`s 'Minions' ($1.15 billion) to become the third-highest grossing animated movie in history.

In fifth place, Disney-Fox`s 'Spies in Disguise' launched to $13 million over the three-day weekend and $22 million since Christmas Day. The animation adventure, voiced by Will Smith and Tom Holland, also amassed $16 million overseas for a global tally of $38 million.

Elsewhere, Tom Hooper`s 'Cats' dropped to No. 9 on box office charts after collecting a disappointing $8.7 million over the extended holiday weekend. Universal`s musical adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber`s stage show has earned $17 million to date. The universally skewered movie is likewise stumbling at the international box office, where it ignited with a dismal $13.6 million from 38 markets. The $100 million movie has made just $38 million globally so far.

Sam Mendes` '1917' ignited the specialty box office, scored $1 million from 11 theaters over the five-day frame, above Universal and DreamWorks` expectations. The WWI epic follows two young British soldiers (George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) tasked with the dangerous mission of delivering a message that could save hundreds of lives. '1917' debuts nationwide on Jan 10.

In New York and Los Angeles, Warner Bros.` 'Just Mercy' pulled in $228,000 from four theaters. Jamie Foxx, Michael B Jordan and Brie Larson star in the legal drama about a black man wrongly accused of murder. The film earned a rare A+ CinemaScore from moviegoers, as well as a 98% from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, which could bode well as it expands nationwide in the coming weeks.

Neon`s 'Clemency,' an acclaimed drama with Alfre Woodard, bowed with $37,000 from two venues, averaging $18,539 from each location.

In notable box office milestones, Rian Johnson`s murder mystery 'Knives Out' surpassed the $200 million globally after crossing $100 million in domestic ticket sales this weekend.