The Grudge’s $11m opening over-shadowed by truly scary Cinemascore

The 1st weekend of 2020 failed to spring many major surprises, as ‘The Grudge’ rang in the new year with $11m. It was good news for Disney and ‘Star Wars’, as ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ closes in on $1bn, while ‘Little Women’ continues to impress, and ‘Frozen 2’ made animated history.

How did the new releases get on?

The new decade and year got off to a solid, if not unspectacular start, as Sony’s latest horror ‘The Grudge’ opened to $11.4m between Friday and Sunday. It marks a significant drop from January 2019’s ‘Escape Room’, another Sony horror that grossed an impressive $18.2m in its 1st 3 days, on its way to earning $57m stateside.

Of course, ‘Escape Room’ had a number of factors working in its favour that ‘The Grudge’ didn’t, namely its B Cinemascore rating – a vast improvement compared to ‘The Grudge’s F. Only 19 other films have the honour of receiving the lowest score possible, the last being Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Mother!’ from 2017.

The Grudge’s task also wasn’t made easier by being the 4th instalment of a horror franchise with diminishing critical value (none of the films have yet bested the 2004 original on the Tomatometer), being a reboot produced just 15 years on from the U.S. original, and being a reboot of a remake that’s still popular today.

Instead of a fresh take heightened by its bankable stars, critics described the film as formulaic and boring, compounding ‘The Grudge’s misery with an abhorrent 16% on Rotten Tomatoes. Expect no legs on this one, as it’ll struggle to push past the $25m mark domestically, although with a $10m budget, it may not need much more.

How did the others do?

It wasn’t the $40m+ weekend we expected for ‘The Rise of Skywalker’, but the film still managed its 3rd consecutive #1. Its $34.5m gross marks a 52% drop from last week for a $450mrunning total domestically, now $67m behind ‘The Last Jedi’ at the same point in their respective runs. With the likelihood of ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ reaching the $600m mark fading by the day, it’s to be a bittersweet end of the road for the current ‘Star Wars’ iteration.

It was a better story internationally however, earning $50.5m overseas to bring the movie’s global gross to $920m. It’s expected that the $1bn mark will be reached by Friday, the 7th Disney film of 2019 to reach the figure, and the 5th of the new generation of ‘Star Wars’ films to gross it.

Now for the truly impressive: ‘Little Women’ dropped by just 19% this weekend to earn an astonishing $13.6m. It’s domestic total now stands at $60m, with $100m a real possibility over the coming weeks if it holds. Not to be outdone though was A24’s ‘Uncut Gems’, whose $8m sees its stateside gross fall just under $40m.

Other notables from the weekend

  • This weekend marks a 2% increase in gross compared to the 1st weekend of 2019 ($142.1m vs. $139.3m).
  • For the top 10 films, this jumps to a 10% increase from 2019 ($131.2m vs. $119m).
  • Frozen 2’ now sits at $1.33bn worldwide – the 2nd most for any animated movie ever. Only last year’s ‘The Lion King’ ($1.66bn) has grossed more, however many publications, experts, and even Disney, do not consider ‘The Lion King’ a true animation.
  • Uncut Gems’ is now A24’s 3rd biggest movie domestically with $36.6m, behind only ‘Hereditary’ ($44.1m), and ‘Lady Bird’ ($49m).
  • Knives Out’s $130.1m domestic gross is now 2nd only to ‘Us’ ($175m) in the rankings of original films of 2019.
RankLast Week RankFilmSTUDIOTotal U.S. GrossWeekend Gross Weekend dropJUMPCUT’s predictionWeek number
11Star Wars: The Rise of SkywalkerDisney$451.6m$34.5m-52.3%$42.7m3
22Jumanji: The Next LevelSony$235.9m$26.2m-25.6%$22m4
34Little WomenSony$60.1m$13.6m-18.8%$11m2
43Frozen 2Disney$450.4m$11.9m-29.8%$11.6m7
5New!The GrudgeSony$11.4m$11.4m$15m1
65Spies in DisguiseFo­x-Disney$47.0m$10.4m-22.2%$8.8m2
76Knives OutLionsgate$130.1m$8.9m-9.7%$6m6
87Uncut GemsA24$36.6m$7.6m-21.0%$5.6m4