Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Will Surpass ‘Avatar’ in a Day or Two

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Lucasfilm

It took Avatar two and half months to become the highest grossing movie of all time. Star Wars: The Force Awakens will surpass its domestic box office gross within the next day or two after less than three weeks in release. The big question now is when J.J. Abrams’ sequel will find its ceiling because as of right now, it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens $88,300,000 (-40.9%) $21,359 $740,265,583
2 Daddy’s Home $29,000,000 (-25.1) $8,677 $93,684,495
3 The Hateful Eight $16,240,000 (+252.2) $6,564 $29,577,791
4 Sisters $16,240,000 (-11.3%) $4,224 $61,703,640
5 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip $11,800,000 (-10.2%)
$3,397 $67,376,330
6 Joy $10,400,000 (-38.9) $3,557 $38,721,000
7 The Big Short $9,000,000 (-14.5%) $5,668 $32,979,656
8 Concussion $8,000,000 (-23.8) $2,816 $25,370,585
9 Point Break $6,845,853 (-30.2%) $2,352 $22,430,802
10 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 $4,625,000 (-12.4%) $3,114 $274,222,959

 

With $88 million in its third weekend (a number many films would kill to gross in their entire theatrical run), The Force Awakens reached a domestic total of $740 million, putting it oh-so-very-close to Avatar’s total gross of $760 million. Since it will pass that number before the week is up, we have to wonder if the new Star Wars movie will become the first movie to reach $1 billion at the domestic box office. With no serious or direct competition waiting in the wings, there is little to keep this film from playing to full capacity theaters throughout January. All The Force Awakens has to do is hang around during next month’s doldrums and it’ll make more box office history than it already has. It still faces a battle on the international front, where Avatar’s $2.7 billion worldwide still feels secure…for now. If there’s one thing to take away from this, it’s that you should never assume that The Force Awakens won’t shatter expectations.

While Star Wars has been stealing the headlines, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg have been quietly headlining a gigantic hit. Daddy’s Home grossed $29 million this weekend, dropping only 25 percent for a current total of $93 million. Ferrell’s comedies tend to average between $80 million and $120 million and this one looks ready to blow past those numbers. At this rate, it may have the gas to surpass Elf ($173 million) as his highest grossing movie. Not bad at all.

For a slightly more complicated picture, look to The Hateful Eight in the third slot, which expanded wide from its incredible (and slightly controversial) 70mm “roadshow” release and did okay business. $16 million over the weekend for a $29 million total isn’t disastrous by any means, but it’s a pretty significant drop compared to director Quentin Tarantino’s previous two movies, which opened to $38 million and $30 million. However, both Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained showcased strong legs and grossed far north of $100 million. But those two movies were action-packed crowd-pleasers and The Hateful Eight…is not. Although the film should ultimately prove profitable, the chances of $100 million happening here look a little slim.

In fourth place, Sisters continued defying the odds. For the second weekend in a row, this Tina Fey / Amy Poehler comedy dropped a minuscule percentage, transforming a weak opening weekend into one of the most consistent runs seen at the box office in a long time. With $61 million in the bank so far, this movie is officially a sleeper hit. Could it do $100 million? Maybe? It looks like it could. In fifth place, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip showed similar endurance, but it’ll still gross significantly less than the previous three films in the series.

The bottom five was a bit of a mixed bag. Joy continued to do solid if unremarkable business in sixth place, while The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 squeezed out a few more bucks in 10th place, chasing that phantom $300 million gross. In other words: a tough week for Jennifer Lawrence. It was tougher for Will Smith, as Concussion continued to fly under the radar in the worst way possible. It was toughest for Point Break, which is currently pursuing Jupiter Ascending’s trophy for biggest mainstream bomb of 2015. The real winner down here is The Big Short, which fell only 14 percent and earned $9 million for a $32 million gross. Not bad for a terrifying comedy about economics.

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