Box Office Report: Star Wars Continues Obliterating Records, Daddy’s Home Surprises

In a rather expected turn of events, Star Wars: The Force Awakens retained first at the domestic (and international and worldwide) box office this weekend, to the surprise of nobody. After all, everyone knew it was going to be a long run before any film that belongs to a galaxy of our own clinches the champion title again. And if anyone wanted to retreat after seeing what seems like a massive tidal wave last weekend, they could. Gladly, none of the studios decided to take the offer and run, since they’ve spent a hell lot of money on their marketing, and they already came into this weekend knowing what to expect. Therefore, what we end up getting is pretty much one of the biggest weekends of all time, four new wide releases seeking the public’s attention, and serving as this week’s counter-programming, and two other Oscar baits testing out the waters before their respective nationwide debuts, both to impressive numbers. Yeah, it’s Christmas weekend, so the large swath of new openings and shifts in the charts are rather expected at this time of year, just before life pretty much goes back to normal when the new year starts, and studio heads once again prepare to amp up marketing for their respective summer fare (except Warner Bros., who is probably most concerned with starting their year on a high with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice).

star wars the force awakens 2

Star Wars: The Force Awakens retained first place for a second week running, which nobody expected otherwise, since Star Wars opened to such ridiculous numbers last weekend. For more of last weekend’s figures, you can click here. Before talking about its second weekend numbers, let’s just have a quick look at what happened on the weekdays preceding- after worries that Star Wars might drop like a rock, since its opening weekend was the very definition of front-loadedness, and the Friday to weekend multiple was only slightly above 2x, Star Wars showed everyone that the force (and Yoda) should never be underestimated. Yeah, Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned $40.1 million on its first Monday, which is the biggest Monday gross by any film to date, even after adjusting for inflation. That’s way more than Spiderman 2, which held the record prior with $27.66 million, which was already considered… rather impressive. And Jurassic World earned $25.3 million. That’s a 33.8% drop from Monday, fueling thoughts that Star Wars just might have the holding power that Avatar presented, since reviews and word of mouth have been highly optimistic (Avatar had a 33.8% drop, too). It was subsequently followed by a $37.4 million Tuesday, which is by far the biggest Tuesday gross by any film, opening or not, beating Amazing Spider-Man’s $35 million record (and that was the latter film’s opening day). Unfortunately, the force wasn’t strong enough to eclipse The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ($68.5 million), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($62 million), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($58.2 million), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ($44.2 million) and Spiderman 2 ($40.4 million) on Wednesday, when Star Wars barely earned $38 million. The catch? Those films were having their first official day of release, which Star Wars was already on to its sixth. Looking at films already released for 6 days, Hunger Games: Catching Fire was the next closest, with $20.8 million, followed by Jurassic World, with $19.9 million. Then of course came Thursday, which Star Wars once again failed to attain first, retaining sixth position on that chart (with $27.4 million) behind Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith ($50 million), Matrix Reloaded ($37.5 million), Hangover Part II ($31.6 million), Star Wars Episode II ($30.14 million) and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($29.1 million). Before moving on, its worthy to point out that there’s two Star War prequel on that list, so long live Star Wars (and the force! And the Jedi!), and another point would be that apart from Revenge of the Fallen, all of the above films which topped Star Wars on Wednesday have sadly fallen like a rock, and plummeted down the charts. Case in point- on day 2, Eclipse earned $24.2 million, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince earned $22 million, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix earned $18.4 million, and Spiderman 2 earned $23.8 million. However, in terms of day 7 performances, Jurassic World was the next closest, with $17.8 million.

Here’s a line gap to give you a moment to breath after reading all wars the force awakens 5

Okay, the weekend is the most important aspect. That’s pretty much why you’re here, so enough with record overload, and on to Star Wars weekend figures. Star Wars earned another ridiculous $149.2 million, which represents a decline of 39.8% from the weekend before. In terms of pure weekend dip (which is minus the previews and all), Star Wars dipped 21.9%. That’s absurd. For a film that opened that big. Of course, comparisons are scarce, since December is really an exception to the rule when calculating box office figures, so here’s every second weekend drop you need to see- Avatar dipped 1.8%, Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey dipped 56.4%, Titanic jumped 23.8%, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug dipped 57.2%, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King dipped 30.3%, I am Legend dipped 56.6%, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers dipped 21.2%, and Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies dipped 25.2%. Yeah, I know, Star Wars’ dip is far bigger than Lord of the Rings and the final Hobbit, and even Titanic and Avatar, but we are looking at a figure which is minimum three times bigger. And is easily one of the most anticipated movies the decade has even seen. Minus the midnight figures, and Star Wars is probably in a far better shape. Anyways, the cumulative gross by Sunday domestically was $540.42 million (which, by the way, has jumped to barely over $600 million after Tuesday’s figures, but that’s for next week’s report), which easily made it the second biggest film of the year, just behind Jurassic World’s $652.3 million. And fifth of all time, just behind Avatar ($760.5 million), Titanic ($658.7 million), Jurassic World and Avengers ($623.4 million). Assuming big weekday grosses, Star Wars might be primed to hit $650 million right before the weekend begins. Let’s have some fun trying to figure how big Star Wars will be before the end of weekend two- if it dips around 30%, which would be slightly better than last weekend’s figure (and something which we should be looking forward to), Star Wars will earn around $104.4 million on its third weekend, close to Jurassic World’s second weekend, and there pretty much goes Avatar’s initial run’s box office domestic gross. If it dips around 22%, which is around the same dip as last weekend, minus the previews and everything, its $116.4 million, for a cumulative gross of around $766 million, which is the biggest domestic grosser of all time, when taking into account reruns. If it drops huge, say 50%, we get $74.6 million, which will still get it to $725 million, and yeah, that figure might just lengthen Avatar’s place at number one, but Avatar will have to let go of another record-biggest third weekend of all time. If it dips 40%, which is really possible, but unlikely, that leaves us $89.5 million. And if Star Wars manages to dip anywhere between 20-40% (or perhaps even better), and dips, say, another 40% in its fourth weekend (since the Holiday season is over), it easily attains the biggest fourth weekend gross as well, and leaves us with a gross in the ballpark of $770 million to $900 million. A big range, but here’s hoping for the higher end of the range.

daddy's home

So, enough with the percentages and math, and back to the rest of the top 10, which I have mostly left aside, up till this point. Daddy’s Home did gangbuster business on its first weekend, earning $38.74 million. Paramount must be having a really great time right now, ending off their year on a high. Its Friday to weekend ratio at the moment appears to be 1: 2.47, which is really good. Expect good holds in the coming weeks, especially with New Year still around the corner. Despite blistering reviews, Daddy’s Home is proving to be fantastic counter-programming for families who have had enough of Star Wars, are still waiting for tickets for Star Wars, or simply want a more light-hearted laugh for Christmas. 52% of moviegoers for this film are male, while 61% are over the age of 25, when looking at demographics. And, oh, this film attained a B+ Cinemascore.

Joy was next up on the chart, earning $17.0 million. Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell’s follow-up project hasn’t seen the Oscar buzz that their past two outings together have seen, with mediocre reviews of only 57% as of writing time. Still, the Friday to Weekend ratio is 1: 2.47. Word of mouth doesn’t look as great as compared to their past outings, so don’t expect such favorable holds here. Still, $60 million is almost a sure bet at this point in time. 66% of moviegoers here were females, while 77% were over the age of 25.

The other new wide openers haven’t really been seeing such a great time at the box office. Concussion was the next biggest, with $10.5 million as of estimates, but that was barely enough for seventh on the chart. 50% of moviegoers are male here, while 62% are over the age of 25. Point Break, meanwhile, was no much better, with $9.8 million over its opening weekend. The latter will be a particular blow, though, if overseas figures are disappointing (its budget is a massive $105 million).

The top 12 earned $281.2 million, while all the films combined accumulatively picked up $295.9 million over the three day weekend. Despite falling short of optimistic expectations set prior to the weekend that this might end up being the second time in history that $300 million is beaten (some even thought that it will be bigger than last weekend), this still was no small deal- this was the second biggest weekend of all time, well ahead of the $266 million figure on the week Jurassic World premiered. This weekend is 50% ahead of last year’s top 12 bunch, and 41.2% ahead, when taking into account all films that are currently in release. Anyways, enough with the blabber, here’s the top 10:

(NOTE: New films are bolded)

Rank Last Week Rank Film Weekend Gross Change Total Gross Per-Theater Average Week
1 1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens $149,202,860 -39.8% $540,058,914 $36,092 1
2 Daddy’s Home $38,740,203 $38,740,203 $11,844 1
3 Joy $17,015,168 $17,015,168 $5,875 1
4 3 Sisters $14,189,455 +1.9% $37,455,995 $4,790 5
5 2 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip $13,143,329 -8.0% $39,848,982 $3,547 4
6 19 The Big Short $10,531,026 +2683.9% $16,022,474 $6,644 4
7 Concussion $10,500,000 $10,500,000 $3,696 3
8 Point Break $9,805,000 $9,805,000 $3,369 2
9 4 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 $5,277,828 -10.4% $264,540,474 $2,911 1
10 The Hateful Eight $4,610,676 $4,610,676 $46,107 1

Want more? Attached below is an excel file which will give you this weekend’s figures to scrutinize (thanks to Box Office Mojo), if you want to know how the rest of the films did.

Box Office (Dec 25-27)


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