Weekend Box Office: Nothing Can Touch “The Force Awakens”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens continued its stranglehold on the worldwide box office as the mega-blockbuster continued to knock down records left and right, including the first movie to cross a billion dollars in ticket sales in less than ten days time. The continued dominance of the latest adventure in a galaxy far, far away overshadowed every other film playing at local multiplexes. This included a strong debut from Daddy’s Home, a decent opening for Joy and a powerhouse limited release of Quentin Tarantino’s new flick, The Hateful Eight.

The Force Awakens saw its box office good fortune dip a mere 38% from its record-setting opening last weekend on 4,134 screens to earn a massive $153 million this weekend. Thanks to a midweek haul of $145 million, the overall domestic total for the latest chapter in the Star Wars saga stands at $545 million after only ten days. Foreign totals are nearly identical for the sci-fi phenomenon with current totals standing at $546 million.

With a holiday week coming up, which will include New Year’s Day falling on a Friday, the Star Wars express should see another $175-200 million in sales stateside. That will help it sail past Jurassic World, The Avengers and Titanic to become the second-highest grossing film of all time (pre-inflation, of course). After that, it will be only a matter of days before it passes Avatar to become the new box office king.

Where it goes after that is anyone’s guess. Should the film continue to hold up well at the box office –there’s no reason to think it won’t- , The Force Awakens could become the first film to come close to earning one billion dollars domestically. Even with inflation factored in, that would put it right up there in the all-time top ten grossers. Incredible.

Second place went to one of several new arrivals on the scene, the Paramount comedy Daddy’s Home with an estimated $38.8 million from 3,271 theaters. Critics eviscerated the Mark Whalberg/Will Ferrell comedy but ticket buyers didn’t seem to care.

In third place with an estimated $17.5 million from 2,896 theaters was Fox’s Jennifer Lawrence vehicle Joy. The $60 million comedy/drama, directed by David O. Russell, was met with mixed notices from critics.

Fourth place went to Universal’s comedy Sisters with $13.8 million from 2,962 theaters, almost even with its opening one-week ago. After ten days, the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler film has earned $37.1 million.

Rounding out the top five was the Fox family flick Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip with $12.7 million from 3,705 theaters. Off 11% from its opening, Alvin has earned $39.3 million so far.

Two other features opened in wide release on Christmas Day and were met with mixed results. Sony’s football drama Concussion earned $11 million from 2,841 theaters. As was the case with Joy, the Will Smith feature earned mixed notices from critics. Those mixed notices were positively glowing compared to the 4% approval rating for Warner’s remake of 1991’s Point Break, which landed in eighth place with $10.2 million from 2,910 theaters.

Just outside the top ten was the 100-screen debut for the new film from Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight. Playing exclusively in 70mm Roadshow presentations for the next week, the Weinstein Company release scored a great $4.5 million for a per screen average of $45,366. Overall reviews for the 3-hour Western were positive. The film goes wide on New Year’s Eve.

The remainder of the top ten were:

  1. The Big Short (Paramount) $10.5 million; $16 million
  1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part Two (Lionsgate) $5.3 million (-10%); $264 million
  1. Creed (Warner) $4.6 million (-8.2%); $96.3 million

With the exception of the nationwide expansion of The Hateful Eight, no new films will open next weekend. Even if there were, none would touch the expected $100 million third weekend take of The Force Awakens.

TheHDRoom may be paid a small commission for any services or products ordered through select links on this page.