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Weekend Wrap-Up: The Force Awakens Earns $149.20 million and Daddy Hits Home Run

December 28th, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens easily won the weekend race, but not by as much as anticipated. On the other hand, Daddy's Home was a surprise hit and should cruise to $100 million. None of the rest of the new releases really bombed and most will end their runs as midlevel hits. Overall, the box office fell just 5.1% from last weekend to $295 million, which is the second biggest combined weekend of all time. It was also 41% bigger than the same weekend last year and 2015's year-over-year lead grew to 7.0%. It looks like the 2015 box office will reach $11 billion when all is said and done, but we won't know for sure till we get the absolute final numbers.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens easily earned first place at the box office with a record sophomore haul of $149.20 million; however, this was significantly lower than expected. I think the reason why this happened is simple... the Fanboy Effect overcame amazing reviews and the Christmas boost. The Fanboy Effect usually trumps overwhelmingly positive reviews, but there was evidence The Force Awakens would be different. In retrospect, expecting it to maintain pace with Avatar was unrealistic, as that film was a new I.P. and not a sequel. After ten days of release, the film has $540.06 million. It broke the record for fastest to $500 million by a full week and will get to $600 million before next weekend. It still has a shot at $100 million next weekend.

Daddy's Home earned almost as much opening day as it was expected to earn opening weekend. Over the weekend, it made $38.74 million despite earning just 30% positive reviews. It is the biggest comedy of the month, so that clearly helped. Meanwhile, with a short week and a long weekend ahead, it has a good shot at $100 million by the time its box office run is over.

Joy matched predictions (nearly) perfectly with $17.02 million over the weekend. Its reviews are fine, but that's hardly high praise. Given the historical norms the film should have no trouble getting to $50 million, while it should eventually match its $60 million production budget.

Sisters rose 2% to $14.19 million over the weekend for a ten-day total of $37.46 million. This is already more than it cost to make and with the New Year's holiday coming up, it could double this in the end.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip rounded out the top five with $13.14 million over the weekend for a total of $39.85 million after two weeks of release. This film cost $90 million to make, so it will need to do well internationally and on the home market to break even. It is too early to tell how well it will do internationally, but I'm not overly hopeful.

Concussion was next with an estimated $11 million opening. Like Joy, its reviews are good, but not great. It's not getting a lot of Awards Season buzz and it really needs it if it wants really long legs. Then again, it only cost $35 million to make, so it doesn't need to become a monster hit to break even.

The Big Short expansion earned the film $10.53 million over the weekend and $14.55 million from Wednesday through Sunday, for a total of $16.02 million after 17 days of release. Its theater average is high enough that further expansion is likely, while its performance during Awards Season so far suggests long legs with the occasional boost from nominations / wins.

Point Break was the lone dud of the weekend, earning eighth place with $10.22 million. That's not a terrible amount and it is better than predicted. However, the film cost $100 million to make and unless it is a surprising hit internationally, it will cost Warner Bros. money.

One last note: The Hateful Eight managed tenth place with $4.61 million in 100 theaters. Its reviews are 75% positive, so it should do well when it expands truly wide on Thursday.

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Related pages:
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Star Wars franchise history
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens Recent Comparisons
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens All-Time Comparisons
- Theatrical Records

Filed under: Weekend Wrap-up, Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, Sisters, Point Break, Joy, The Hateful Eight, The Big Short, Concussion, Daddy’s Home, Star Wars