Box Office Guru

Box Office: Leo Fights His Way Into #1 Spot with The Revenant

by | January 24, 2016 | Comments

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This weekend Oscar frontrunner Leonardo DiCaprio returned to the number one spot for the first time in six years with his current Best Picture contender The Revenant which climbed up into the top spot in its third round of nationwide release. The acclaimed revenge saga grossed an estimated $16M falling 50% from its take from last weekend. Cume to date for Fox is a hefty $119.2M. Though starring in many critical and commercial successes in recent years, DiCaprio has not had a number one hit since the summer blockbuster Inception which spent three weeks on top in 2010 and 11 total weeks in the top ten. Both movies, coincidentally, co-star Tom Hardy.

Films across the board were impacted by a major winter blizzard hitting the eastern half of the country affecting over 80 million people across 19 states. Studios hope to recover lost business in the days and weeks ahead, though higher quality pics with strong audience buzz are the ones most likely to do so. Hollywood is also expecting Sunday sales to take a hit from the annual football conference championship games which always deliver high TV ratings.

The juggernaut of all juggernauts Star Wars: The Force Awakens got to climb up one spot from third to second place with an estimated $14.3M, down 46%. Disney has amassed a huge $879.3M and looks on track to finish up in the $910-915M range from the domestic marketplace. With no major Oscar nominations to keep the juice going the way Avatar and Titanic had at this same point in their record runs, the BB8 pic is seeing normal declines for a sci-fi actioner.

Worldwide, Force has risen to $1.94 billion thanks to an international weekend estimate of $23.3M (-51%) pushing the offshore cume to $1.06 billion. The overseas total will probably not surpass Furious 7‘s. Just under 55% of the worldwide haul for Force has come from international markets led by the U.K. ($173.3M) and China ($112.7M). The latter has not been delivering results near industry highs. Instead, the final gross in China will probably be on par with the latest Mission: Impossible film while also ending up $100M below Avengers: Age of Ultron and a whopping $250M below Furious 7.

The global total for the seventh episode of Star Wars now looks on track to end at about $2.05 billion which is still monumental. The same mid-December launch period has been staked out by Disney this year and in 2017 for the next two films in the franchise – Rogue One and Episode VIII.

Last week’s top film Ride Along 2 tumbled in its sophomore frame falling 63% to an estimated $13M giving Universal $59.1M overall. The Ice Cube-Kevin Hart sequel is running 22% behind the pace of its 2014 predecessor which had banked $75.5M at this same point that January. A final gross in the $85-90M range should occur giving both actors another profitable hit.

The critically-panned comedy Dirty Grandpa bowed in fourth with an estimated $11.5M from 2,912 theaters for a mild $3,958 average. Pairing Robert De Niro with Zac Efron, the R-rated pic tried to go after a male audience hoping to appeal to guys of all ages. Horrible reviews kept many away and mediocre word-of-mouth from those who did pay to go see it will lead to above average erosion.

The haunted doll chiller The Boy opened close behind in fifth place with an estimated $11.3M from 2,671 sites for a decent $4,216 average. The PG-13 spookfest played to young women as expected with exit polls showing the crowd to be 62% female and 75% under 25. Latinos contributed heavily to the supernatural thriller’s weekend making up a strong 41% of the audience. Reviews were weak but the B- CinemaScore is not bad for the horror genre. Budget was just $10M.

Also targeting young females this weekend was the new Chloë Grace Moretz-led sci-fi thriller The 5th Wave which debuted in sixth place with an estimated $10.7M. Sony averaged a lukewarm $3,680 from 2,908 locations. Studio data showed that the audience for the PG-13 pic was 55% female and 62% under 25. The production cost was only $38M. Reviews were negative across the board and a weak B- CinemaScore grade means a shaky road ahead.

Michael Bay’s military drama 13 Hours followed dropping a reasonable 40% in its second weekend to an estimated $9.8M boosting the cume to $33.5M. Look for Paramount to finish at about $55M for the low-cost project. Studio stablemate Daddy’s Home was off 45% to an estimated $5.3M lifting the cume to $138.8M on its way to the $150M range.

Lionsgate’s toon offering Norm of the North grossed an estimated $3.5M, down 40%, and put its sum at a soft $14.3M. Academy Award nominee for Best Picture The Big Short had a good weekend slipping 34% to an estimated $3.5M and also winning the prestigious PGA prize on Saturday night. The last eight consecutive Oscar winners for Best Picture won at the PGAs beforehand so Short has now moved into a very high profile slot with weeks of Academy voting still to come. Cume is $56.7M with plenty of potential ahead.

Moviegoers continued to sample other Oscar contenders for Best Picture which posted great holds outside the top ten. Fox Searchlight’s Brooklyn eased just 7% to an estimated $1.7M for $27.5M to date. Room nearly tripled its screen count and shot up 88% to an estimated $1.4M giving A24 $8M. Spotlight, winner of many top prizes from journalist groups, slipped only 17% to an estimated $1.4M in its 12th weekend. Open Road has collected $33M so far.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $99.3M which was down 27% from last year when American Sniper stayed at number one with $64.6M; but up 6% from 2014 when Ride Along remained in the top spot with $21.3M.

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  • Clint3po

    Glad Revenant finally took the first place spot this weekend after battling the Star Wars Grizzly Bear at the box office the last few weekends. Truly a fantastic film

    • criticontropus

      Did you “get” what’s the film about?..the revenant I mean

      • Matthew French

        are you serious?

      • Clint3po

        I am not sure what you are asking but I have discussed this film with many people and have formed some theories of my own. I would love to hear what you think this film is about but I saw it as equal parts Western and Revenge film. It really captures the concept of how far the human spirit will go if and when it is challenged. I found the beautiful cinematography of the bleak wastelands to be symbolic of Glass’ determination to get revenge on the men who left him and his son for dead. I felt the tone was bleak and grim but never pandering. It was edited perfectly so that the viewer understood what Glass was going through without being overly gratuitous.
        It is one of the best films I saw from last year and I hope because of its success at the box office we will get less remakes like the Force Awakens and more films that take chances like the Revenant.

        • criticontropus

          Once confronted with the stage, outdoor locations, overwhelmed by nature, Iñarritu changed his mind…and instead a film about human determination, or history, or story, he toys with the idea of a magical-mystical interrogation, kind of “nature in man / man in nature” dissertation, which, to me as juror, he didn’t absolve…at best he cames out with a trivial truth: nature is ruthless, and “man in nature” as well as “man in state of nature”, the same.
          Then, by contrast, the film might be a celebration of “civilization”…and a narrative of a paradoxon based on the origins of civilization.
          Or is it the film a proposal, an (a)moral one (not sure about the sign), about the subversion of the original food chain that used to run from nature to man, which now runs the way around?
          The misery of the film comes from this dubious moral stance. The film to me is like a lot of half-said phrases…half-thought ideas…half-pronounced words…half-expressed images. And badly addressed bad intentions of director trying to offer a film without director…It was nature (of nature and man) talking.
          The stage save the director. As you, I am sure, have noticed from commentaries, people was shocked by the wilderness (sound and light deserve an Oscar), Iñárritu too…he was the first one deeply moved by it.
          Please, dont take me wrong, beacuse of the story the story telling craftsmanship is impecable…despite Iñárritu.
          Not a single idea was explored to the bone…Iñárritu prefer, as God, hovering over the waters of revenge (holy to the indian culture), determinacy of human spirit (nature or nurture debate), mystical ancient nature cults, and justice.
          So, what was the film about?

          • Clint3po

            I had heard that it was a troubled production but so was Mad Max Fury Road, Titanic and Avatar, all of which ended up being nominated for or winning best picture.
            If Iñárritu did change his mind halfway through filming as you state then I never noticed a tonal shift in the film like I did with Spielberg’s A.I. or Wall E. Both films have completely different tones and ideas by the end than where they started and I felt it was very distracting. I always felt that the Revenant stayed focused. I would love to hear an example of where you felt it didn’t.
            In the end, I believe the movie is about the dexterity of the human spirit, revenge, getting Leonardo his well deserved Oscar finally and possibly letting Fox win best picture 3 years in a row.

          • criticontropus

            Melancholia (Lars von Trier) is such a dissertation…2:16 hours of coherent discourse…on the contrary, alaeatory intensity tells me about certain indeterminacy on the side of Iñárritu. Emphasis on pain, endurance, snow, trees, vengeance, while legitime in the story fails to provide for a single coherent filter…I saw no single theme but a failed research on many

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