Weekend Box Office (January 8 - 10, 2016)

by Sujit Chawla

THIS WEEKEND Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now the number one film all time domestically, The Revenant expanded nationwide to explosive results while Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight crumbled in its second week of wide release.

In a mere 20 days, Star Wars: The Force Awakens managed to overtake Avatar and become the highest grossing film of all time domestically. In its 4th weekend (which would be 24 days), The Force Awakens racked up another $41.6M, according to estimates, raising its record to $812M. Internationally it made another $146M (including a record-breaking $52.6M two-day opening in China) bringing its cume to $921M for a worldwide total of $1.73B, overtaking Jurassic World for number three all-time. This leaves only Titanic ($2.1865B worldwide) and Avatar ($2.788B) left in its path. Will it be able to make another billion dollars? That might be difficult but never say never with this film. Perhaps if one person wins this week's $1.3B Powerball jackpot in the U.S., they'll spend all their money on Star Wars tickets?

In what turned out to be a close race, Leonardo DiCaprio's best chance yet at Oscar glory The Revenant exploded in wide release taking in an estimated $38M from 3,375 theaters for a per screen average of $11,259, best in the top 10. If the estimates hold, it'll be the fifth highest opening weekend in January, slipping right in between 2015's Taken 3 ($39M) and 2014's Lone Survivor ($37.8M). The last three years have seen five of the top six January openings. For DiCaprio, it's his fourth biggest opening behind Shutter Island ($41M in 2010), The Great Gatsby ($50M in 2013) and Inception ($62.8M in 2010). Finally, we have a prestige pic that does well in its nationwide expansion, which should bode well for its Oscar chances.

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg's Daddy's Home continued it's impressive run with an estimated $15M in its third weekend, a drop of 48% from last weekend's holiday infused grosses. Its total now stands at $116M for Paramount, a studio always in desperate need of a hit.

Debuting in fourth was the horror film The Forest which made $13.1M, according to estimates, from 2,451 theaters for a per screen average of $5,340. January has always been kind to horror films and anytime you can make back your budget in a single weekend, you're on the right path. Between this and The Revenant, audiences spent a lot of money on films that take place in between the trees.

Also continuing a strong run was the tag team of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler with Sisters taking in an estimated $7.2M this weekend, bringing its cume after four weekends to $75M. Collapsing in sixth place was the eighth film from Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight which fell 60% from last weekend despite adding over 450 theaters. It took in an estimated $6.35M this weekend bringing its total up to $41.5M. So let's kindly forget my thoughts from last week where I said it had a shot at hitting $100M, shall we?

Holding on in seventh place with the smallest drop in the top 10 (30%) was The Big Short which made an estimated $6.3M bringing its total up to $42.8M for Paramount. A couple of Fox films took the next two spots with Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip bringing in an estimated $5.5M lifting its total to $75M and awards-hopeful Joy taking in an estimated $4.5M bringing its cume up to $46M. And rounding out the top 10 was Concussion which became much more relevant after the vicious hit taken by Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers last night left him with a concussion. The Will Smith starrer took in $3M, according to estimates, bringing its total up to $31M.

Outside of the top 10 Anomalisa added 13 theaters but saw its per screen average drop from $35,000 to $13,000 with its total now at $490K.

The top ten films grossed $140.6M which was up 34% from last year when Taken 3 debuted at number one with $39M; and up 25% from 2014 when Lone Survivor jumped into the top spot in its first weekend of wide release with $37.8M.

Note: Gitesh Pandya will return to this column the weekend of January 15th.

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Watch the NEW trailer for Star Trek Beyond.

Be sure to check back on Sunday as Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Revenant battle it out against Ride Along 2, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi and Norm of the North.


Last Updated: January 10, 2016 at 12:45PM ET

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