December 27, 2015

EARLY WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: “Force Awakens” Sets More Records; “Hateful 8″” & “The Revenant” Slide


Another day, another record or two for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (Lucasfilm/Disney).  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, its Saturday was no less than $55M, which tidily dispatched the biggest 2d Saturday of all time ($42.9M for The Avengers).  Sunday should close out the biggest 2d weekend of all time at $155M or so, demolishing Jurassic World‘s $106.6M (it will actually beat all but 9 opening weekends in Hollywood history) and with $545M in its 1st 10 days of release, it will be way ahead of Jurassic‘s $402.8M.  In terms of the comparison with Avatar, Force‘s 10% Friday-to-Saturday increase is below Avatar‘s 22%, but it’s so far ahead of Avatar in total dollars (as of Sunday, Force will be something like $333M ahead of Avatar‘s first 10 days) that it can well afford to be marginally behind in terms of daily percentages.

The weekend’s newcomers slowed down on Saturday.  DADDY’S HOME (Red Granite/Paramount) remained in 2d place, but lost about 15% for a $13.5M Day 2, which should give it a $40M weekend that could have it nudging $100M by the end of the holidays.

JOY (Annapurna/20th) had a similar Saturday decline to $6M, which should give it $18M for the weekend, and perhaps $50M by January 3.

CONCUSSION (Columbia/Sony) was a bit below $4M on Saturday, heading for a $11M weekend and $30M by the end of the holidays.  The numbers were similar for THE BIG SHORT (Regency/Paramount), but look a lot better because that film is in 1250 fewer theatres.  POINT BREAK (Alcon/Warners) followed the lowest debut of the weekend with the biggest drop, down 20% from Friday to $3M, and unlikely to hit $10M by Sunday or $25M by holiday’s end.

SISTERS (Universal) was extremely steady, heading for a 2d $14M weekend in a row, while ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP (20th) will dip around 10% to a weekend a bit below $13M.  Alvin will be by far the lowest-performing of its franchise.

The hardcore Quentin Tarantino fans showed up in droves on opening day for his 3-hour 70mm opus THE HATEFUL EIGHT (Weinstein), but they were starting to run out by Saturday, as the film fell more than 20%, heading for a $45K weekend average on its 100 screens (and that’s literally 100 since the 70mm means that it can only play in one auditorium at each venue).  That’s a fine number, but it makes one wonder where the film will go once it expands into wide release on Thursday.

THE REVENANT (Fox Searchlight), in just 4 theatres (but multiple screens at each) was steadier, dipping about 12% from Friday and heading for a $110K weekend average, which would be 2d place for the year behind Steve Jobs‘ $130K.  It, too, will be a question mark until wide release, which in its case will happen in 2 weeks.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."