‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ Starts Strong as Clint Eastwood Crumbles With ‘Richard Jewell’

Theaters were feast or famine this pre-Christmas weekend.

“Jumanji: The Next Level” lived up to its title with a domestic opening at $60 million — 66% better than the very successful 2017 reboot that went on to gross $400 million domestic and over $900 million worldwide.That film, along with “Frozen II” and “Knives Out” will keep the weekend on par with last year with about $120 million total gross.

But it could, and should, have been better: “Black Christmas” was a disappointment, while Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell” was a flop.The 2017 success of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” guaranteed another.

Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and the rising Karen Gillan all returned, as did the creative team and the big budget.Results are even better than expected, particularly after initial foreign returns last week didn’t show as much strength.

Few sequels or franchises see this sort of jump.

“The Next Level” is a Christmas 2019 cornerstone,

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