Disney has owned the past weekends at the box office with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. However, it's time for someone else to come in and claim the top spot as a couple of new movies are hitting theaters this weekend, while a couple of possible Oscar contenders will be opening wide. Universal's 1917 and Warner Bros.' Just Mercy are expanding nationwide, while 20th Century Fox's Underwater and Paramount's Like a Boss both arriving for moviegoers to choose from as well.

1917, which comes from director Sam Mendes, looks to take the top spot at the box office. The World War I epic is one of the best-reviewed movies of 2019 and recently took home a Best Picture prize at the Golden Globes. Plus, Mendes is coming off of directing the past two James Bond flicks, Skyfall and Spectre, both of which did big business. It feels like a winning combination and that's what Universal is banking on. Estimates have it pulling in between $20 and $25 million this weekend. So far, in limited release, it's earned $2.28 million. This figures to be a decent start, but given its $90 million production budget, this one will need long legs to be considered a sizable hit.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will, in all likelihood, slide just one spot to number two this weekend, with between $15 and $18 million. Thus far, the final chapter in the Skywalker saga, directed by J.J. Abrams, has earned $936.3 million worldwide and looks to be closing in on the $1 billion mark by Monday. It's unlikely that the latest entry in the franchise will catch its predecessor The Last Jedi ($1.33 billion) by the end of its run. Be that as it may, this will still count as another big financial win for Disney.

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On the flipside for Disney, it looks like they're going to suffer a misfire with Underwater. The project was inherited in the merger with Fox last year and comes with an $80 million price tag. Directed by William Eubank, it's expected to bring in around $8 million, which is a brutal start for an expensive genre flick. The movie, which stars Kristen Stewart, centers on a crew of deep-sea researchers who uncover a deadly creature. Paramount's Like a Boss, directed by Miguel Arteta, should prove to be another R-rated comedy hit for the studio. Estimates have it bringing in between $10 and $15 million. It stars Rose Byrne, Tiffany Haddish and Salma Hayek.

Warner Bros. should do quite well with Just Mercy as it expands this weekend. The latest from director Destin Daniel Cretton has been received well by critics and audiences so far. The real-life drama starring Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan should bring in between $8 and $10 million. Meanwhile, in holdover news, Jumanji: The Next Level looks to keep its hot streak going with another $12 to $15 million. The sequel has already grossed more than $615 million globally. Lastly, Sony's The Grudge looks to become the first major disappointment of 2020. After opening to a so-so $11.4 million last weekend, it's likely to fall out of the top ten altogether in its second frame. Be sure to check out our full list of weekend box office predictions below and check back with us on Sunday for the weekend estimates. Numbers used in this report were provided by Box Office Mojo.

11917
2Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
3Jumanji: The Next Level
4Like a Boss
5Just Mercy
6Underwater
7Little Women
8Frozen 2
9Spies in Disguise
10Knives Out

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott