Christmas Box Office: Who’s Your Daddy?

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.

Top 10:

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


  1. ‘The Hateful Eight’ cost $44 million. ‘Inglourious Basterds’ cost $70 million, ‘Django Unchained’ $100 million. I wonder how Quentin spent less than half of what he did on his previous Western. Considering the epic length, big cast, (expensive) stock and Ennio Morricone, I’d think ‘The Hateful Eight’ would at least match the budget for ‘Django Unchained’. Relatively speaking, this is a cheap movie.

    • Shooting almost the entire movie on one enclosed soundstage set must have helped keep the budget down. Why he felt the need to film that in 70mm is beyond my comprehension.

      • Chris B

        This is a complaint more and more people are making, that the setting doesn’t neccesitate the wide aspect ratio and 70 mm format. Then again PTA shot The Master in 70mm and it consists of mosty dialogue with the exception of the hawaiin scenes in the opening and the motorcycle scenes towards the end.

        • Luke Hickman

          I have to laugh about all the complaining that’s going on surrounding QT’s decision to shoot it in ultra wide 70mm. Yes – a good chunk of the movie is set on a soundstage. But a whole lot of the movie is also set outdoors. And THAT’s the footage that warrants it.

          I laugh at the complaints for two reasons:

          1. The complaints are against using 70mm for the duration of the film; however, the bitchin’ would arise if he switched aspect ratios each time the movie jumped to or from a soundstage. See the hater comments surround Christopher Nolan’s decision to do so with the Dark Knight movies.

          2. I guarantee you that most of the complainers haven’t even seen The Hateful Eight yet. I’ve seen it. It’s gorgeous. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the width of the soundstage footage. Never once did I think, ‘I wish this wasn’t so wide.’ The film jumps in and out of soundstage and location footage. There’s more than enough beautiful location footage to justify it.

  2. Csm101

    I just went to the movies this morning and picked up a cool little pamphlet for the Hateful Eight Roadshow screening and theres actually an Orlando listing which happens to be AMC Downtown Disney or Disney Springs where I just finished watching Star Wars at. It’s a cool little booklet sort of like a program with details on the cast and shooting the film. There’s a 7:00 and 11:00 showtime. It’s funny because I asked the ticket ripper chick about it when I picked up the pamphlet and she knew nothing about a 70 mm screening.

      • Csm101

        I’m on the fence. Having it so close to home definitely beckons to me a little more, plus the fact that I’ve never seen a 70 mm screening before. I’ll wait this week out, and maybe I’ll see how I feel on my next days off. Although the whole muddy cabin setting certainly makes me wonder if that extra screen real estate will be worth it.

        • William Henley

          I am in a major metropolitan area, but even I was surprised at the number of theaters showing it in 70mm. At least 22 theaters in the area. Most of these have NEVER had film projectors, so this is quite surprising to me – did these theaters get 70mm projectors JUST to show this movie? Weird. When Interstellar showed in 70mm, I think there were half a dozen theaters in the area showing it in 70mm.

          I have no interest in seeing this movie, though. I did see Interstellar in 70mm. It was not as impressive as I was expecting. I think Film IMAX and 4k Digital projections has spoiled me

          • The Weinstein Company pushed theaters to retrofit with 70mm projectors just for this roadshow. The cost of doing so was as much as $80,000 per screen. Many of these theaters had never projected film before at all, much less 70mm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *