'Star Wars: Force Awakens' Crosses $1 Billion Worldwide, Topping Christmas Weekend
by Brad Brevet
December 27, 2015
With the largest second weekend of all-time, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has now grossed more than $544 million domestically and another $546 million internationally, totaling over $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales in just twelve days. Along with five other new wide releases, it also sits atop the second largest weekend of all-time with the top twelve films grossing over $285 million as Daddy's Home defied expectations, cruising to an easy second place finish with an estimated $38.8 million. Otherwise, expectations were mostly met when it comes to fellow newcomers in Joy, Concussion and Point Break while The Hateful Eight performed quite well in its limited, 100 theater debut.
Topping the weekend for a second straight weekend with an estimated $153.5 million, Star Wars is now the second highest grossing domestic release of 2015 with $544.5 million and the 15th highest grossing worldwide release of all-time. It's also now the record holder for the largest second weekend of all-time, besting Jurassic World's previous record by a massive $46.9 million. In fact, the records are piling up so quickly it's becoming ridiculous as it is now the fastest movie to cross $100, $150, $200, $300, $350, $400, $450 and $500 million as well as holds the largest three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten day gross. For even more of the over 35 records it now holds click here.
Force Awakens has topped the two largest weekends of all-time and next weekend the only added competition is the expansion of Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight. Avatar's domestic box office record of $760.5 million is very much in sight as Force Awakens is currently only $215.9 million shy of that number and has only been in domestic theaters for ten days. 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.
Looking at the Christmas weekend's new wide releases we first come to the impressive performance of Paramount's Daddy's Home. Reuniting Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, the well-timed, PG-13 rated comedy scored an estimated $38.8 million and a second place finish. This was well above expectations and an improvement over the $35.5 million Ferrell and Wahlberg's The Other Guys opened with back in 2010.
In third was Joy, the latest film from David O. Russell and his troupe of actors led by Jennifer Lawrence alongside Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. The film matched expectations with an estimated $17.5 million, but with middling reviews it doesn't seem like this will match the success of Russell's most recent efforts. This was also the first film from Russell that went wide in its opening weekend since Three Kings in 1999. His last three films all opened in limited release, riding a wave of positive reviews and award nominations to solid box office returns with both American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook finishing well above $100 million. Depending on second weekend returns, Joy will probably finish around $50-60 million.
Also finishing as expected, the Will Smith drama Concussion tallied $11 million for the weekend along with an "A" CinemaScore. Smith did score a Golden Globe nomination for his performance, but to give this one much of a chance moving forward he's going to have to hear his name announced as an Oscar nominee come January 14, otherwise the legs on this one are likely to tire soon.
Expanding wide this weekend, Adam McKay's The Big Short brought in an estimated $10.5 million from 1,585 theaters, topping the Warner Bros. Point Break remake. Opening day audiences awarded Point Break a very generous "B" CinemaScore to go along with an estimated $10.2 million for the three day weekend. Expect this one to sink like a stone over the coming weeks.
We finally come to Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, which brought in an estimated $4.5 million from just 100 theaters for an impressive $45,366 per theater average. This is a strong opening for the three-plus hour Western epic, which will expand into over 1,800 theaters nationwide on December 31 in a slightly condensed, two hour and 47 minute version.
In limited release, Fox Searchlight's The Revenant kicked things off in four theaters with an impressive $471,000 for a $117,750 per theater average. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, the film is directed by the Oscar-winning director of Birdman, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and has generated considerable buzz for both its actors and director as well as cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. The film is set to expand to over 2,700 theaters on January 8.
Also opening in limited release, 45 Years starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay brought in $93,882 from three theaters.
Not to be overlooked, also contributing to the massive Christmas weekend, Universal's Sisters dropped only 0.3% for a second weekend, fourth place finish with an estimated $13.8 million, bringing its cume to $37.1 million.
On one final note, while the domestic run for The Peanuts Movie is winding down, it has expanded its international reach and brought in an estimated $25 million this weekend from 9,332 screens in 49 markets over the Christmas weekend. The international cume stands at $45m, with 14 additional markets releasing within the next two weeks.
You can browse the complete weekend estimates right here and, as the holidays continue, don't expect full actual results until around January 4, 2016.
Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.