‘Star Wars’ stays aloft to again top N.America box office

Los AngelesUnited States (AFP)-“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” stayed on a strong glide path in North American theaters, taking in an estimated $73.6 million for the three-day weekend, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.

The Disney film, marketed as a grand finale of the nine-film “Skywalker Saga,” has had mixed reviews and was down considerably from last weekend’s lofty $177.4 million opening.

But it has compiled a strong domestic total of $364.5 million.

It again maintained a big lead over the No. 2 film, Sony’s “Jumanji: The Next Level,” an action sequel starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart, which had $34.4 million in North American ticket sales for the Friday-through-Sunday period.

In third for the second straight week was Disney’s “Frozen II,” at $17 million. The animated musical film has Broadway star Idina Menzel voicing Queen Elsa in her latest adventures.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 18, 2019 British actor Daisy Ridley (L) and British actor John Boyega (R) pose on the red carpet upon arrival for the European film premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in London. – The force is clearly still with the galactic good guys, as “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” opened with a massive estimated take of $175.5 million in North America, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported on December 22, 2019. The Disney film scored the third biggest December debut ever, behind only the two earlier chapters in the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy, “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi,” according to Variety.”Rise of Skywalker,” directed by J.J. Abrams and starring Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac, blew away the weekend’s competition. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)

Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel “Little Women” has been brought to the screen many times — no fewer than seven, by Variety’s count — but the new version from director Greta Gerwig has drawn strong reviews and netted $16.2 million to place fourth in its debut this weekend.

The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Timothee Chalamet, Emma Watson and Laura Dern, in the story of the joys and struggles of four sisters during the US Civil War.

In fifth was new Fox/Disney release “Spies in Disguise,” at $13.4 million. The animated children’s film features the voices of Will Smith and Tom Holland.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

“Knives Out” ($9.9 million)

“Uncut Gems” ($9.4 million)

“Bombshell” ($4.8 million)

“Cats” ($4.8 million)

“Richard Jewell” ($3 million)