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Whisper Numbers: New players target Jumanji

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend delivers four new entrants to the box office sweepstakes. However, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle [JUMNJ] is still holding strong and looks to stay in first place with about $29 million over the 4-day weekend.

Warner Bros. rescued Paddington 2 [PADT2] from The Weinstein Co., which opened the first Paddington to $25.5 million over MLK weekend two years ago. Ben Whishaw [BWHIS] returns to voice the CG-animated bear, while Hugh Grant [HGRAN] joins the cast as the villain. The PG-rated sequel has already opened successfully in the U.K. and has a perfect 100 score on RottenTomatoes. Even with a compressed marketing window, Paddington 2 should bring out fans of the original. Opening in a record 3702 theaters for MLK weekend, Paddington 2 may stuff $26 million over 4 days.

Fox expands The Post [TPOST] wide after grossing $4 million in 3 weeks of limited release. Tom Hanks [THANK], Meryl Streep [MSTRE] and director Steve Speilberg [SSPIE] team up for the first time to tell the real-life story behind the publication of the Pentagon papers. Despite touted as an awards contender, the PG-13 rated film has been mostly shut of the major awards. The timely subject matter should appeal to discerning adults. The Post could gather $20 million from 2819 theaters.

Taraji P. Henson [TPHEN] stars as an assassin in the R-rated Proud Mary [PMARY]. Films targeted at African-Americans have usually done well during the MLK holiday weekend. Lining up 2125 theaters, Proud Mary could hit $17 million.

The Commuter [COMUT] is the latest Liam Neeson [LNEES] action vehicle, and the fourth directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Their last collaboration, the R-rated Run All Night opened March 2015 at $11 million. The PG-13 rated The Commuter has a more intriguing premise for Lionsgate to hook in moviegoers. Arriving in 2892 theaters, The Commuter may bring home $15 million.

Despite debuting above expectations, Insidious: The Last Key [NSID4] was rated poorly by its audience. Like most horror sequels, Insidious: The Last Key will tumble more than 50% in its second weekend to about $14 million over the 4-day weekend.

That’s the whisper on the virtual trading floor.


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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, January 11, 2018 @ 03:44 PM 1003 views

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