Star Wars: The Force Awakens breaks yet another Box Office record
In last weeks Box Office Wrap Up we saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens break every record imaginable, and despite Neil and I having mixed reactions about the film, people still went out and watched it! Then they watched it again as the latest installment in the Star Wars saga broke the 1 billion mark in just 12 days, one day ahead of Jurassic World. Sure, one day may not seem like a lot but keep in mind that The Force Awakens has yet to be released in the world’s second largest movie market – China.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens also happened to break the best Christmas gross ever and the $153.5 million the film earned in its second weekend in theaters not only broke that record but would rank 10th on the list of the biggest opening weekends of all time. With its momentum and (mostly) positive reviews theres no question that we have the biggest film of all time on our hands.
Coming in at a shockingly strong second place was the Mark Wahlberg/Will Ferrel comedy Daddy’s Home beating its $22 million expectations, with $38.8 million. This surpasses the 35.5 million of thier previous collaboration The Other Guys.
Produced for $50 million and directed by Sean Anders, Daddy’s Home stars Ferrell as a mild-mannered man competing for the affections of his stepchildren after the arrival of their freewheeling biological father, played by Wahlberg. The film played well to audiences earning a B+ from Cinemascore. Critics however, hated the film giving it a 30% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
We also had a quartet of Oscar hopefulls debut this weekend to varying degrees of success.
David O. Russell’s Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence, came in at third in North with a strong $17 million from 2,896 theaters). The $60 million Fox dramedy, is loosely based on the life of Joy Mangano, creator of the Miracle Mop, and marks Russell’s second-best opening after 2013’s American Hustle ($19.1 million).
The Hateful Eight opened only on IMAX in 100 theaters, 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. One caveat is that earlier this year, two films, Everest and Steve Jobs also opened well in limited release and generated great reviews and audience reaction, but both fizzled upon going wide. A third film, The Walk tried the same strategy, but didn’t do well even in limited IMAX release.
Fox’s The Revenant opened to $471,000 on just four screens in New York and Los Angeles. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and is directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, director of the 2015 best picture Oscar winner Birdman.
Roger Goodell got exactly what he wanted from Santa this Christmas with Concussion getting sacked for $11 million. An important film based on PBS’s 2013 Frontline investigative documentary League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis. The doc dealt with the NFL’s unconscionable foot-dragging with respect to the link between multiple head injuries (concussions) and long-term brain disorders. While the documentary was riveting, the steak and potato eating masses did not want anything to do with a film that questioned their past-time. Perhaps Will Smith’s concust slur was too high brow for them?
Surprisingly, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s swing-and-a-miss comedy Sisters had perfect holdover. Falling barely a fraction of a percentage point in attendance, the film finished in fourth place with $13.8 million. The $30 million comedy has grossed $37.1 million over the last ten days. Not too shabby.
When parents couldn’t find an open seat for Star Wars: The Force Awakens they went and saw Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip. The live action/cgi movie 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.
Box Office Totals
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, $153.5 million
2. Daddy’s Home, $38.8 million
3. Joy, $17.5 million
4. Sisters, $13.9 million
5. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, $12.7 million
6. Concussion, $11 million.
7. The Big Short, $10.5 million
8. Point Break, $10.2 million
9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2, $5.3 million
10. The Hateful Eight, $4.5 million.