Sony's "Jumanji" in rare return to top box office in N.America

LOS ANGELES: Sony's "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" managed the rare feat this weekend of regaining the No. 1 spot in North American box offices on its seventh week out, industry figures showed on Monday.

Taking in US$10.9 million, (RM42 million) for the three-day weekend — as competition with football's Super Bowl depressed ticket sales — "Jumanji" became the first film since "Titanic", in 1998, to win a Feb weekend following a nationwide release in Dec.

After holding top spot for three consecutive weekends, the film closed out January in second place.

The family flick, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Jack Black and Kevin Hart, follows a group of teens who find themselves transported inside the video game world of Jumanji. Its domestic cumulative take of almost US$338 million makes it only the third Sony film to reach that mark.

Last weekend's North American leader, Fox's "Maze Runner: The Death Cure", slipped to second place with a take of US$10.5 million, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations. The dystopian sci-fi film follows the harrowing adventures of three teens who have survived a destructive virus infecting the world.

In third spot was a new release, "Winchester" from Lionsgate, with takings of US$9.3 million despite abysmal reviews.

The movie, a gothic thriller, was inspired by the real-life story of Sarah Winchester, the 19th-century heiress to the Winchester gun-making fortune, who built an enormous, spookily elaborate mansion in California to appease the spirits of people killed by her family's firearms.

Despite the draw of Helen Mirren in the title role, the film scored a paltry nine percent on the Rotten Tomatoes website. Even she could not "class up ... this super-silly feature," The New York Times said.

Fox's "The Greatest Showman", with Hugh Jackman as larger-than-life circus impresario P.T. Barnum, clung to fourth spot, taking in US$7.7 million.

Fox's "The Post", starring Meryl Streep as newspaper publisher Katharine Graham, spent a second weekend at fifth place grossing US$5.2 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Hostiles" (US$5.1 million)

"12 Strong" (US$4.7 million)

"Den of Thieves" (US$4.6 million)

"The Shape of Water" (US$4.4 million)

"Paddington 2" (US$3.3 million). — AFP