This weekend, in what should come as no surprise to anyone, The Force was ridiculously strong at the box office again this weekend while a number of other films opened from extremely well to really poor over the Christmas weekend.
Setting records left and right, Star Wars: The Force Awakens remained at number one at the box office for a second straight weekend, bringing in a towering $153M according to estimates, a fall of only 38% from last weekend, bringing its total to an out-of-this-world $544.6M after only ten days. Throw in another $546M from overseas and its worldwide total is an astounding $1.1B. Along the way it has set records for fastest film to every milestone imaginable and the only question now is, how fast will it take down Avatar and become the highest grossing film of all-time? Avatar sits at $760M and it’s conceivable that The Force Awakens may make another $100 next weekend (which would be a 35% drop from this weekend). Add in holiday-week grosses that match last week (which was just under $150M) and by the end of next weekend it could very well be the new box office champ. And it’ll only be at the end of its third weekend! Is it really that crazy to think it could hit a billion dollars just domestically? At this point I’d say nothing is off the table when it comes to Star Wars.
There were other films in the marketplace this weekend. Second place belonged to the team of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in Daddy’s Home. The unlikely comedy duo took in an estimated $38.8M this weekend from 3,271 theaters for a per screen average of $11,862. Critics may have savaged the film but audiences seem to like these two coming together in a standard comedy.
Third place belonged to David O. Russell’s Joy starring his now usual stable of actors including Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper. Critics were mixed on this awards-bait film but audiences were somewhat kinder as the film made $17.5M, according to estimates, this weekend from 2,896 theaters for a per screen average of $6,043 – good but not great. It seems a lot of prestige pictures this year aren’t making the dent we’ve seen in past years. Is it possible the Star Wars wattage could also take it to Oscar glory?
A couple of holdovers rounded out the top five with Universal’s Sisters dropping almost nothing from last weekend to an estimated $13.8M this weekend, bringing its cume to $37.1M. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip also had a decent decline falling only 11% in its second weekend to an estimated $12.7M, bringing its total up to $39.4M.
Will Smith’s latest attempt at getting an Oscar opened this weekend in sixth place as the football drama Concussion took in an estimated $11M from 2,841 theaters for a per screen average of a poor $3,872. One has to imagine the NFL is pretty happy with this result. The film had the best critical reviews for films opening wide this weekend, and audiences gave it an A CinemaScore so it’s possible it’ll hold on over the next few weeks and a possible Best Actor nomination may turn a few heads.
The Big Short expanded nationwide this weekend and landed in seventh place with an estimated $10.5M from 1,585 theaters for a per screen average of $6,637 which again is good, but not great. It’s almost as if no one wants to take the early lead in Oscar voting this year.
Yet another film opened wide this weekend and it was Point Break which took in an estimated $10.2M from 2,910 theaters for a per screen average of $3,512. Critics completely tore this movie apart as it currently sits at a whopping 4% positive on Rotten Tomatoes with audiences giving it only a B CinemaScore which means the road ahead is most likely a dead end.
A couple of long-term holdovers rounded out the top 10 with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 taking in an estimated $5.3M in its sixth weekend bringing its cume up to $264M and Creed fighting its way to an estimated $4.6M in its fifth weekend bringing its total to $96M.
There were some other award-potential films lurking outside of the top 10, the most notable being Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight which brought in an estimated $4.5M from only 100 theaters for a per screen average of a scorching $45,366 and Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Revenant which made $451,000 from only 4 theaters for an average of an astounding $117,750. Could these two films gain some traction heading into awards season?
The top ten films grossed $278M which was up 56% from last year when The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies remained at number one with $40.9M; and up 66% from 2013 when The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug also remained in the top spot with $29M.
Compared to projections, Daddy’s Home and Joy opened ahead of Gitesh’s respective $24M and $17M forecasts while both Concussion and Point Break debuted on target with his predictions of $11M and $9M respectively.