Weekend Box Office: ‘Star Wars’ Narrowly Edges Out ‘The Revenant’ And Opens Huge In China

Expanding wide this weekend, The Revenant opened huge with a “stronger-than-expected” $38 million, which still wasn’t quite enough to knock Star Wars: The Force Awakens out of number one, with $41.6 million for the weekend. The Revenant did, however, blow its projections out of the water ($20 million, according to the L.A. Times, “many in Hollywood had expected the movie to open to less than $25 million” according the Wall Street Journal). And good thing, The Revenant‘s famously-ballooning budget reportedly topped out at $135 million.

$38 million was also good enough to put The Revenant in the top five January openings of all time, so you can imagine how much money Star Wars is making to beat it in week three. It’s up to $812 million in domestic box office, the first ever film to reach the $800 million mark. It also grossed $53 million in two days in China, which is huge. Star Wars was famously a fairly unknown quantity in China, but it looks like Disney’s marketing efforts, including the release of “The Inner Force,” by South Korean pop star and official Chinese Star Wars ambassador Luhan were a success. See, you guys, I told you I believed in the power of Luhan.

Moving down, The Forest opened strong, grossing an estimated $13 million, despite earning a “C” Cinemascore rating and barely breaking 10% on RottenTomatoes. Luckily, horror fans are like crack addicts, and how good the crack is matters much less than whether there is some.

In much worse news, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight expanded to 464 more theaters but managed to drop 59.6% off last weekend, which was already a steeper dropped than hoped for after the first weekend. It’s currently sitting at $41 million domestic, and at a $44 million budget, may not even end up earning out after factoring in marketing costs, depending on foreign box office. It’s quite a disappointment after Django Unchained grossed $425 million worldwide, but at the same time, the movie was pretty good and no one’s going to stop giving Tarantino money to make movies any time soon.

Next week brings us Oscar nominations, but also Ride Along 2, Norm of the North, and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi. Welcome to January, y’all.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens $41,630,000 (-53.9%) $10,070 $812,011,043
2 The Revenant $38,000,000 (+8,385.4) $11,259 $39,556,901
3 Daddy’s Home $15,000,000 (-48.6) $4,307 $116,313,576
4 The Forest $13,088,000 $5,340 $13,088,000
5 Sisters $7,170,000 (-43.8%)
$2,503 $74,879,330
6 The Hateful Eight $6,351,000 (-59.6) $2,162 $41,473,000
7 The Big Short $6,300,000 (-30.5%) $2,491 $42,849,837
8 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip $5,500,000 (-54.4) $1,851 $75,608,339
9 Joy $4,500,000 (-55.9%) $1,791 $46,555,608
10 Concussion $3,050,000 (-61.1%) $1,483 $30,968,278

[Chart via ScreenCrush]