‘The Grudge’ Kicks Off 2020 Box Office as ‘Rise of Skywalker’ Rules Again


FILE PHOTO: A fan dressed as Kyle Ren awaits at a gala screening of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” film in Cologne, Germany, December 17, 2019. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

LOS ANGELES, (Variety.com) – Sony and Screen Gems’ “The Grudge” ignited the 2020 box office, scaring up $11.3 million in domestic ticket sales over the weekend.

“The Grudge,” the first new movie to open nationwide this year, was scorned by audiences and critics alike, who branded the reboot with an F CinemaScore and a “rotten” 18% on Rotten Tomatoes. But horror mavens are a demographic hardly dissuaded by reviews. Those receipts are a solid result given the R-rated horror film’s $10 million budget and were able to crack the top five on box office charts, though ultimately not enough to push past holiday holdovers.

Sam Raimi produced “The Grudge,” a remake of the 2004 movie starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Nicolas Pesce directed the latest revival, bringing on actors Andrea Riseborough, Demian Bichir, John Cho and Betty Gilpin to take on the cursed supernatural force that wreaks havoc on all who encounter it. Despite its middling reception, the studio hopes “The Grudge” remains a draw throughout January as the lone option catering to moviegoers itching for a scare.

Disney’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” easily stayed put atop box office charts for the third consecutive weekend, collecting another $34.5 million for a domestic tally of $450 million. J.J. Abrams’ final chapter in the sequel trilogy is rapidly approaching the coveted billion-dollar milestone as the tentpole surpasses $919 million after 19 days in theaters.

Sony commanded the next two spots as holdovers “Jumanji: The Next Level” and “Little Women” remain strong. The Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart-led sequel pulled in $26.5 million in its fourth weekend of release, a solid showing on par with the film’s second outing ahead of Christmas. “Jumanji” recently surpassed the $200 million mark in North America, with ticket sales at $236 million. Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” remake generated $13.5 million, pushing its domestic total to an impressive $60 million.

Disney’s “Frozen 2” rounded out the top five, bringing in $12 million. The sequel to 2013’s “Frozen” has generated a dazzling $450 million in the U.S. and $1.325 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing animated movie in history.

Holiday leftovers including Lionsgate’s “Knives Out” and A24’s “Uncut Gems” also continue to exceed expectations. “Knives Out,” Rian Johnson’s murder mystery, pocketed $9 million over the weekend, boosting its domestic haul to $130 million. Meanwhile, the Safdie Brothers’ suspense thriller “Uncut Gems” scored $7.8 million for an impressive tally of $36.8 million in North America.

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