Weekend Box Office: 2016 Off to Great Start

Look out, ‘Avatar’. The Force is coming for you.

For the third consecutive week, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ finished at the top of the box office. Even after falling an estimated 41% in attendance, the film managed to reel in $88.3 million and set some new records. After 17 days, ‘The Force Awakens’ has earned $740.2 million domestically. It only needs an additional $20 million to dethrone ‘Avatar’ as the all-time highest-grossing domestic release, which it should do over the next several days. Its overseas totals now add up to $770.5 million, giving it a $1.510 billion worldwide haul and making it the sixth-highest grossing movie of all time. By this time next week, it will at least trump ‘Furious 7’ ($1.515 billion) and ‘The Avengers’ ($1.519 billion) to claim the all-time #4 spot. After seeing these numbers, can you really blame George Lucas for his recent bitter soundbytes? He has got to be regretting the sale of his baby by now.

While ‘Star Wars’ took a typical week-over-week dip in attendance, only one of the other Top 10 films followed suit. (‘Joy’ fell 39%, but we’ll get to that.) In its second week, the Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy ‘Daddy’s Home‘ retained the #2 spot with a slight 25% decline. The $50 million comedy earned another $29 million, giving it a massive $93.6 million domestic total. Who saw that coming?

After five impressive days playing exclusively on 70mm film projectors, The Weinstein Company decided to expand ‘The Hateful Eight‘ nationwide ahead of schedule. (The special roadshow engagement was originally slated to run until January 6th, but then Weinstein moved up the nationwide expansion to December 31st.) That landed the movie in the #3 spot with $16.2 million. Many box office reports are calling this a lesser kick-off, but when you consider the film’s three-hour runtime (which means fewer showings daily), that’s a solid total. To date, the $44 million movie has earned $29.5 million domestically.

Sisters‘ and ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip‘ each maintained their respective fourth- and fifth-place rankings by only dropping 11% and 10% week-over-week. ‘Sisters’ added $12.5 million in its third week, bringing its domestic total to $61.7 million. Also in its third week, ‘The Road Chip’ added $11.8 million, giving it a $67.3 million domestic total.

While most of the other Top 10 movies took slight dips in attendance, David O. Russell’s ‘Joy‘ fell 39%. The $10.4 million second week knocked the $60 million drama from third place to sixth and brought its domestic total up to $38.7 million.

The Big Short‘ held strong over its second week playing wide. From nearly 1,600 locations, the seventh place flick grossed $9 million, for a domestic total of $32.9 million.

Will Smith’s ‘Concussion‘ dropped one ranking into eighth place over its second week. The $35 million sports drama added $8 million to its $25.3 million domestic total.

Ninth place went to the ‘Point Break‘ remake, which also dropped one spot. With a 30% dip in attendance, the $105 million action drama grossed $6.8 million, bringing its domestic total to $22.4 million so far.

Rounding out the Top 10 was ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2‘. Its $4.6 million seventh week on the silver screen brought its domestic total up to $274.2 million. Its overseas revenue sits at $361.7 million, for a worldwide total $635.9 million.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s bone-chilling period survival/revenge thriller ‘The Revenant‘ remained on four screens and earned $450,000 (down 5% from last week). The expensive picture (estimated at $135 million) has now earned $1.3 million in limited release, but expands nationwide this weekend.

The only notable new release over New Year’s weekend was Charlie Kaufman’s ‘Anomalisa‘. The R-rated, stop-motion animated drama drew $140,000 from four locations, giving it a $35,000 per-screen average. Paramount is planning to expand the release this month, but the expansion date and number of screens are still to be determined.

Top 10:

1. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (Buena Vista) – $88,300,000

2. ‘Daddy’s Home’ (Paramount) – $29,000,000

3. ‘The Hateful Eight’ (Weinstein) – $16,240,000

4. ‘Sisters’ (Universal) – $12,580,000

5. ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip’ (Fox) – $11,800,000

6. ‘Joy’ (Fox) – $10,400,000

7. ‘The Big Short’ (Paramount) – $9,000,000

8. ‘Concussion’ (Sony) – $8,000,000

9. ‘Point Break’ (Warner Bros.) – $6,845,000

10. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2’ (Lionsgate) – $4,625,000

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