Weekend Box Office

Box Office: The Force is Still Awake

by | December 27, 2015 | Comments


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.

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  • Dragon

    Woo! I loved Star Wars and can’t wait to see it again.

  • Moby85

    While the Force may be awake with this movie for most critics and lots of film goers, I’m seeing a serious amount of hate for it on various message boards from a very vocal minority. To these people literally nothing about the film is good: Terrible acting, dialogue, and the story is a complete copy of Episode IV. I disagree strongly with all three sentiments…But they’re out there, and for a sizable minority of fanboys – shockingly – it seems we indeed have Phantom Menace Part 2.


      I don’t think so, trolls are like that, they’ll always look like they’re majority, but the people that really liked it don’t give a shit about them, neither come to these websites like rotten tomatoes or imdb.
      For me the movie was fantastic, even if we see the hate on TPM turning on TFA I won’t change my opinion.

    • David Muñoz

      Well, i really like the movie, great actings, a very nice/warm sensation while watching it, but we cant deny that in fact that a lot of elements were repeated in this film.

      Im still scheduled for my 6th visit in IMAX, its a very good movie.

    • World’s Finest Comments

      If Gremlins came out today, those same joyless nerds would criticize it to pieces because the rules are so vague.

    • tridus

      Some of the fanboys built the hype level up so high that anything short of the second coming of Empire Strikes Back was going to be seen as a letdown. That’s a problem of bad expectations.

      If you went into this expecting more “Star Wars” action and a new cast of characters, then you got what you wanted. It delivers that. It was never going to live up to Empire, because Empire already had the heavy lifting of introducing people and settings done for it and could get straight into things. Episode 8 will have that same advantage, as 7 had to do the work of getting us to care about a new cast of characters.

      With that done, they can put the pedal to the floor next time out.

    • Stepp

      If you ignore completely the fact that it is a Star Wars movie and just see it is as a arbitrary fiction movie, no one would say its a really good movie…
      I dont hate Star Wars and i hardly care for the new Star Wars attempt, so i can say that is really a bad and mostly boring, predictable movie with very weak (but really funny) villains.
      (and really: a new much bigger death star…seriously?!?!)

      • “(and really: a new much bigger death star…seriously?!?!)”

        I have to wonder if there were so many joyless insufferables as yourself when Return of the Jedi revealed initially that the Empire had built a bigger, badder Death Star the first time around.

        Yeah, the Empire builds planet-destroying battlestations… that’s sort of its calling card. And it serves as an infinitely more imminent and palpable threat than, say, ramshackle droid armies, trade embargoes, and phantom menaces.

        • Stepp

          I am joyless and insufferable because i have a different opinion…ok
          Yes a planet destroying battle station is totally badass and the most evil thing one could thing of…..so yes we have to recycle it a third time. writers stop being creative and rewrite the a new hope script
          the empire has obviously unlimited resources to build such inefficient stations

    • Kicker2

      You’ll always see a fair amount of hate and the same complaints no matter who writes or directs. The ability to post on a message board does not make anyone intelligent. I am not saying you have to like the movie or anything to be intelligent. The internet allows anyone to post, with billions of people in the world, you are going to get a percentage of people who don’t like the film, no matter who writes or directs and it will always be that way with any Star Wars film, or any movie for that matter. I can only imagine if there was a busy internet during the original Star Wars films debuts from 1977 to 83, same stuff would have happened.

      • Moby85

        Hey Kicker2 “The ability to post on a message board does not make anyone intelligent.” Is that a Phantom Menace reference, when Qui-Gonn tells Jar-Jar “The ability to speak doesn’t make one intelligent”? If so, I got it lol.

        Seeing Force Awakens for the 3rd time tonight!

        • Kicker2

          Very much! 🙂

    • trolls gon’ troll.

      The vast, *vast* majority of people – diehards and novices alike – have enjoyed TFA in a way only pre-kindergarteners did TPM.

  • likeyeahwhatever

    I hope tfa dethrones avatar, I mean, the movie was utter perfection.

    • Clarityman

      Utter perfection? You didn’t find it at all derivative?

      Good movie, and I really liked it, but definitely flawed in ways.

      • Star Wars is at its very core and essence derivative! It tells the same overarching hero tale again and again, with variations on the theme. It was itself inspired – nay pull piecemeal – from the pages of pulp comics and TV serials.

        And I say that not at all negatively! It’s *supposed to be that way!* And given the fact that it’s attempting to breathe new life into a beloved franchise that A) has a new director B) a new owner and C) got itself thoroughly tarred and feathered its last go-round at the box office… can anyone really blame Abrams or Disney for taking the time to go back to the basics of what make Star Wars, well, Star Wars… and the cultural touchstone it has been for decades? It was downright refreshing to get a good guys blow up the doomsday planet plot compared to the Galactic Senate politics mud-pit that was the last trilogy.

  • Sean Drinkwater

    It’s an actual movie. Most SW nerds (I count myself among them) don’t know how to reconcile that with the garbage of the last three ‘installments,’ and a very uneven cartoon. Add in all the shitty books, videogames, and comics-of-greatly-varying-quality, and most hard SW fans don’t even remember what was good about the originals. Glad the rest of the world does. As uneven as this film is in places, it still ends up being a totally pleasing cinematic experience.

    • Moby85

      I think this is a very fair assessment. I think many hardcore SW fanboys are so hurt from the prequels it’s tough for them to appreciate “better” whereas only “Magnificent” seems to do now.

      P.S. I cringe whenever my personal fav, Revenge of the Sith, is thrown in with the first two prequels. You’re entitled to your opinion, but it hurts lol.

      • Clarityman

        I love Revenge of the Sith as well, and agree, it unfortunately just gets thrown in there with the term “the prequels.”

  • paulh

    total repeat of 3rd star wars movie. But at least characters (finn and rey) are somewhat likeable and believable, so that puts ‘awakens’ above the last three star wars movies. I would rank this #4. I didn’t mind the bad special effects, because they avoided computer generated characters. computer generated landscapes, ect are fine, but when used for living beings, are still not believable and detract from most movies.

  • George Lopez

    I can’t believe why I let my son convincing me to see this movie. The worse part is out of the one billion dollars that the movie has made twenty bucks are from my wallet.

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