In its second weekend, ‘Star Wars’ retained the top spot at the box office and continued to break records. No surprise there. In addition, despite the density of new releases, it was a successful weekend for (nearly) all of them.
As for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘, the Force is strong with this one. The film’s second weekend yielded a massive $153.5 million, making it the biggest second weekend of all time and already pushing the movie beyond the domestic $500 million mark. After ten days, ‘Episode VII’ has grossed $544.5 million in North America, placing it on track to pass ‘Avatar’ ($760.5 million) as the highest-grossing domestic release of all time. Its success continues overseas as well. The $546 million international boost already places the film’s worldwide total over the $1 billion mark. Based on theatrical sales alone, Disney has almost earned back 25% of the overall cost of the Lucasfilm acquisition. Factoring in merchandise sales, the $4+ billion price tag seems like a steal.
Destroying expectations, the new Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg anti-buddy comedy ‘Daddy’s Home‘ opened in a very strong second place. From more than 3,200 locations, the PG-13 picture earned $38.8 million over the holiday weekend. That’s even better than the duo’s last pairing, the R-rated ‘The Other Guys‘, opened to ($35.5 million) in 2010. Perhaps they can do even better if they join forces in another five years for PG family flick.
It’s not often that David O. Russell’s movies open in wide release right off the bat, but after two consecutive successes that put Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro side by side by side, Fox decided to debut their latest collaboration on nearly 2,900 screens. ‘Joy‘ opened nicely to $17.5 million, but with mixed reviews and word-of-mouth, it isn’t likely to stay strong for long.
Surprisingly, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s swing-and-a-miss comedy ‘Sisters‘ had nearly perfect holdover. Falling only a fraction of a percentage point in attendance, the R-rated picture finished in fourth place with $13.8 million. The $30 million comedy has grosssed $37.1 million over the last ten days.
It looks like we know where all the parents took their kids when they couldn’t find a ‘Star Wars’ showing with enough open seats. ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip‘ rounded out the Top 5 with a $12.7 million second weekend. Slipping 11% in attendance, the family flick has a ten-day total of $39.3 million.
Will Smith’s ‘Concussion‘ opened in the #6 spot to slightly better-than-expected numbers. Sony’s NFL-based brain trauma drama earned $11 million from 2,841 locations. Although critics didn’t go bananas for it, word-of-mouth ought to keep the $35 million picture afloat and relevant for a few weeks.
The ‘Point Break‘ remake didn’t quite biff it, but it also didn’t stick its landing. From nearly 3,000 locations, it stole $10.2 million – just enough to put it in the #8 spot. Unfortunately, the expensive Warner Bros. flick isn’t likely to hang around for long.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight‘ had a bright limited opening. From 100 locations and clocking in with a runtime north of three hours, the “roadshow” version of the Western earned $4.5 million from entirely sold-out holiday weekend showings. Its per-screen average came in at $45,366. It will be interesting to see what the $44 million picture makes when a slightly abbreviated version opens wide at digital cinemas this weekend.
Performing even stronger from four locations was Alejandro González Iñárritu’s gorgeous survival/revenge drama ‘The Revenant‘. The Leonardo DiCaprio/Tom Hardy vehicle earned $471,000 and a per-screen average of $117,750. The limited release goes wide on January 8th.
Sundance Selects’ ‘45 Years‘ also had a solid limited debut. From three locations, the marital drama brought in $69,300 and a per-screen average of $23,100.
1. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (Buena Vista) – $153,522,000
2. ‘Daddy’s Home’ (Paramount) – $38,800,000
3. ‘Joy’ (Fox) – $17,500,000
4. ‘Sisters’ (Universal) – $13,880,000
5. ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip’ (Fox) – $12,700,000
6. ‘Concussion’ (Sony) – $11,000,000
7. ‘The Big Short’ (Paramount) – $10,520,000
8. ‘Point Break’ (Warner Bros.) – $10,220,000
9. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2’ (Lionsgate) – $5,300,000
10. ‘Creed’ (New Line) – $4,600,000