Weekend Box Office: Red Five Standing By

For the fourth consecutive week, ‘Star Wars’ held the top spot at the box office and continued breaking records. However, it was nearly defeated by Leonardo DiCaprio and his bear.

With another $41.6 million, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ climbed up to a domestic total of $812 million. This week, it defeated the $760.5 million domestic record set by ‘Avatar’ in 2010, so every dollar more that it earns in North America just goes to raise that bar even higher. The force continues to awaken internationally as well. To date, the film has grossed $921.4 million overseas, including the record-breaking $53 million in China over its odd two-day opening weekend. The international gross make it the seventh-highest international release of all time, and the $1.733 billion worldwide total makes it the third-highest release of all time behind ‘Avatar’ ($2.788 billion) and ‘Titanic’ ($2.186 billion).

While the $41.6 million weekend for ‘Star Wars’ was great, DiCaprio and his bear came snapping at its heels with a $38 million nationwide expansion for ‘The Revenant‘. Fox decided to go big with the North America push on 3,375 screens, and the payoff was huge. ‘The Revenant’ earned $11,259 per screen, which was even higher than ‘Star Wars’ ($10,070 per screen). As we near the Academy Awards, the numbers should stay high week over week. Domestically, it has pulled $39.5 million so far. The frontier survival/revenge flick also opened in nine international countries this weekend to $20.2 million, giving it a worldwide total of $59.7 million. To match its $135 million production budget is going to take some work.

The Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg comedy ‘Daddy’s Home‘ did well again in its third week. The additional $15 million brings its domestic total up to a strong $116.3 million. With ‘Ride Along 2’ opening this coming weekend, it’s likely that ‘Daddy’s Home’ will take a hard hit.

For a low-budget genre flick, Natalie Dormer’s big screen test ‘The Forest‘ made a decent fourth place debut. The $10 million PG-13 horror entry opened to $13 million from 2,451 locations, which is about on par with expectations and with the results of similar titles. Next week’s estimates place it as declining in the 60% range and ultimately fading away in the mid-$20 millions.

The braindead Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy ‘Sisters‘ rounded out the Top 5 in its fourth week with $7.1 million. That raised its domestic run up to $74.8 million, which is quite strong for a $30 million comedy.

Paramount expanded Charlie Kaufman’s animated drama ‘Anomalisa‘ from four screens to 17 and saw good returns. The $221,000 weekend brought its domestic total up to $490,532 – but ‘Anomalisa’ also has some work to do to make back its $8 million production budget.

IFC’s release of Tim Blake Nelson’s ensemble drama ‘Anesthesia‘ apparently couldn’t wake up any interest from viewers. The single-screen debut yielded $7,200, a total not quite high enough to warrant more than just a slight expansion.

Debut numbers for ‘Yosemite’ have yet to be announced.

Top 10:

1. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (Buena Vista) – $41,630,000

2. ‘The Revenant’ (Fox) – $38,000,000

3. ‘Daddy’s Home’ (Paramount) – $15,000,000

4. ‘The Forest’ (Grammercy) – $13,088,000

5. ‘Sisters’ (Universal) – $7,170,000

6. ‘The Hateful Eight’ (Weinstein) – $6,351,000

7. ‘The Big Short’ (Paramount) – $6,300,000

8. ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip’ (Fox) – $5,550,000

9. ‘Joy’ (Fox) – $4,500,000

10. ‘Concussion’ (Sony) – $3,050,000

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