Weekend Box Office: ‘Star Wars’ Crosses $1 Billion Worldwide And Could Topple ‘Avatar’

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is showing no signs of slowing down, and now owns the record for the largest second weekend of all time, at $153 million (in domestic monies). The previous record holder was Jurassic World, at $106 million. TFA has now earned $544 million domestically and $546 million internationally, putting it over the billion dollar mark in just 12 days. Avatar‘s $760.5 million domestic is now the number to beat. Per Box Office Mojo:

The question right now doesn’t necessarily seem to be a matter of “if”, but “when” followed by “How much?” A 3.5 times multiplier based on its opening weekend alone projects a $867.8 million domestic run… could it possibly go higher? A drop of 50% next weekend would still be enough to claim the largest third weekend of all-time as the stars seemed to be properly aligned for continued Star Wars box office glory.

Neato. Elsewhere, a bigger surprise was Daddy’s Home grossing almost $40 million ($38.8m) in its opening weekend. The Ferrell/Wahlberg joint essentially copied Neighbors‘ “Family Vs. Frat” marketing approach with the equally simplistic “Dad Vs. Stepdad,” and it clearly worked. So expect more “____ vs. ____” comedies.

Joy was David O. Russell’s first movie to open in wide release since Three Kings in 1999 (as opposed to the limited/platform release favored by more “arthouse” titles) and it fared just fine, earning $17.5 million in about 2900 theaters. That was $6.5 million more than Will Smith in Concussion, which earned $11 million from about the same number of theaters. Thanks to ubiquitous advertising, “Tell the truth!” is this year’s “out here it’s ‘bling-bang.'”

The Big Short expanded to 1,585 theaters, earning $10.5 million more, bringing it to $16 million total, and making it a lock to pass Steve Jobs‘ $17.77 million. I may be the only person seeing these two movies as a head-to-head battle, but I desperately want to see this as a triumph of the innovative adaptation over the old-fashioned one. So I’m going to.

Tarantino’s three-hour Western whodunnit The Hateful Eight earned $4.5 million in just 100 theaters, before it expands to 1800 theaters December 31st in a condensed, two hour and 47-minute cut. The overall box office was hitting record numbers, with the top 12 making the second-most of all time.

Which leaves us with? Oh right, the Point Break remake, which took the extraordinary step of cancelling its press screenings and pushing the review embargo to opening day. Which worked out… not so great. The Ericson Core remake starring Luke Bracey earned just $10.2 million, on a budget rumored at $105 million. Not screening for critics felt like a pretty timid approach from the people who came up with the tagline “the only law that matters is gravity.”

Seems like they could’ve just embraced the ridculousness, since the movie was nothing if not totally ridiculous. Personally, I loved it. If you can’t enjoy lines like “Roach Rollinger? You’re a moto legend!” I don’t know what’s wrong with you. (More on this movie tomorrow morning.)

Audience Response:

The Big Short: A- Cinemascore, 86% on RottenTomatoes
Daddy’s Home: B+ Cinemascore, 28% on RottenTomatoes
Concussion: A Cinemascore, 60% on RottenTomatoes
Joy: B+ Cinemascore, 57% on RottenTomatoes
Point Break: B Cinemascore, 4% on RottenTomatoes


Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens $153,522,000 (-38.1%) $37,136 $544,573,329
2 Daddy’s Home $38,800,000 $11,862 $38,800,000
3 Joy $17,500,000 $6,043 $17,500,791
4 Sisters $13,880,000 (-0.3%) $4,686 $37,147,018
5 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip $12,700,000 (-11.1%)
$3,428 $39,399,330
6 Concussion $11,000,000 $3,872 $11,000,000
7 The Big Short $10,520,000 (+2,681.0%) $6,637 $16,013,656
8 Point Break $10,220,000 $3,512 $10,220,585
9 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 $5,300,853 (-10.1%) $2,923 $264,603,802
10 Creed $4,600,000 (-8.2%) $3,030 $96,316,423


[Chart via ScreenCrush]