Weekend Box Office (December 25 - 27, 2015)
by Sujit Chawla
THIS WEEKEND In what should come as no surprise to anyone, The Force was ridiculously strong at the box office again this weekend while a number of other films opened from extremely well to really poor over the Christmas weekend.
Setting records left and right, Star Wars: The Force Awakens remained at number one at the box office for a second straight weekend bringing in a towering $149.2M, according to final studio figures, a fall of only 40% from last weekend, bringing its total to an out-of-this-world $540.1M after only ten days. Throw in another $546M from overseas and its worldwide total is an astounding $1.1B.
Along the way it has set records for fastest film to every milestone imaginable and the only question now is, how fast will it take down Avatar and become the highest grossing film of all-time? Avatar sits at $760M and it's conceivable that The Force Awakens may make another $100 next weekend (which would be a 35% drop from this weekend). Add in holiday-week grosses that match last week (which was just under $150M) and by the end of next weekend it could very well be the new box office champ. And it'll only be at the end of its third weekend! Is it really that crazy to think it could hit a billion dollars just domestically? At this point I'd say nothing is off the table when it comes to Star Wars.
There were other films in the marketplace this weekend. Second place belonged to the team of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in Daddy's Home. The unlikely comedy duo took in $38.7M this weekend from 3,271 theaters for a per screen average of $11,844. Critics may have savaged the film but audiences seem to like these two coming together in a standard comedy.
Third place belonged to David O. Russell's Joy starring his now usual stable of actors including Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper. Critics were mixed on this awards-bait film but audiences were somewhat kinder as the film made $17M this weekend from 2,896 theaters for a per screen average of $5,875 - good but not great. It seems a lot of prestige pictures this year aren't making the dent we've seen in past years. Is it possible the Star Wars wattage could also take it to Oscar glory?
A couple of holdovers rounded out the top five with Universal's Sisters dropping almost nothing from last weekend to $14.2M this weekend, bringing its cume to $37.5M. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip also had a decent decline falling only 8% in its second weekend to $13.1M, bringing its total up to $39.8M.
The Big Short expanded nationwide this weekend and landed in sixth place with $10.5M from 1,585 theaters for a per screen average of $6,644 which again is good, but not great. It's almost as if no one wants to take the early lead in Oscar voting this year.
Will Smith's latest attempt at getting an Oscar opened this weekend in seventh place as the football drama Concussion took in $10.5M from 2,841 theaters for a per screen average of a poor $3,701. One has to imagine the NFL is pretty happy with this result. The film had the best critical reviews for films opening wide this weekend, and audiences gave it an A CinemaScore so it's possible it'll hold on over the next few weeks and a possible Best Actor nomination may turn a few heads.
Yet another film opened wide this weekend and it was Point Break which took in $9.8M from 2,910 theaters for a per screen average of $3,368. Critics completely tore this movie apart as it currently sits at a whopping 4% positive on Rotten Tomatoes with audiences giving it only a B CinemaScore which means the road ahead is most likely a dead end.
Next was The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 taking in $5.3M in its sixth weekend bringing its cume up to $264.5M. Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight brought in $4.6M in tenth place from only 100 theaters for a per screen average of a scorching $46,107. Leonardo DiCaprio's The Revenant made $474,560 from only 4 theaters for an average of an astounding $118,640. Could these two films gain some traction heading into awards season?
The top ten films grossed $273M which was up 53% from last year when The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies remained at number one with $40.9M; and up 63% from 2013 when The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug also remained in the top spot with $29M.
Compared to projections, Daddy's Home and Joy opened ahead of Gitesh's respective $24M and $17M forecasts while both Concussion and Point Break debuted on target with his predictions of $11M and $9M respectively.
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Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Hateful Eight expands nationwide.
|#||Title||Dec 25 - 27||Dec 18 - 20||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||Star Wars: The Force Awakens||$ 149,202,860||$ 247,966,675||-39.8||4,134||2||$ 36,092||$ 540,058,914||Disney|
|5||Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip||13,143,329||14,287,159||-8.0||3,705||2||3,547||39,848,982||Fox|
|6||The Big Short||10,531,026||378,285||1,585||3||6,644||16,022,474||Paramount|
|8||Point Break||9,800,252||2,910||1||3,368||9,800,252||Warner Bros.|
|9||Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 2||5,277,828||5,692,683||-7.3||1,813||6||2,911||264,540,685||Lionsgate|
|10||The Hateful Eight||4,610,676||100||1||46,107||4,610,676||Weinstein Co.|
|12||The Good Dinosaur||3,783,746||4,350,285||-13.0||2,134||5||1,773||105,350,933||Disney|
|14||The Danish Girl||1,536,275||547,434||180.6||440||5||3,492||3,236,367||Focus|
|19||In the Heart of the Sea||965,800||3,484,270||-72.3||685||3||1,410||22,283,230||Warner Bros.|
|Top 5||$ 232,291,015||$ 286,882,427||-19.0|
|Top 20 vs. 2014||291,381,564||203,548,388||43.2|
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: December 27, 2015 at 6:15PM ET
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