‘Star Wars’ Ruling Christmas Weekend Box Office

Star Wars Episode VII The Force
Courtesy of Disney/Lucas FIlm

The Force remains a record-setter as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” dominates the Christmas weekend.

“The Force Awakens” smashed the Christmas Day record with $49.3 million in the U.S. on Friday. That was double the earlier record of $24.6 million from “Sherlock Holmes,” which opened on Dec. 25, 2009.

The second weekend of Disney’s space saga is projected to wind up the three-day holiday weekend with as much as $140 million at 4,134 U.S. theaters, lifting its 10-day total to as high as $530 million.

“The Force Awakens” will demolish three records set by “Jurassic World” in June — highest second weekend ($106 million), highest 10-day total ($402.6 million) and the fastest film to go past the $500 million milestone (17 days).

The movie, starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, has managed to exceed sky-high fan expectations. Director J.J. Abrams has received near universal praise for re-invigorating the franchise, three years Disney bought Lucasfilm for more than $4 billion and launched plans for half a dozen “Star Wars” films, starting with “The Force Awakens.”

It was the biggest overall Christmas Day in U.S. box office history with over $100 million, according to Rentrak.  The previous biggest Christmas came in 2009 with $86 million when “Sherlock Holmes” opened and “Avatar” was in its second weekend.

The three-day holiday frame should also wind up as the biggest Christmas weekend overall in history beating the $269.8 million in 2009, Rentrak said.

Internationally, the seventh Star Wars movie has hit nearly $450 million as of Christmas Day, bringing its global box office receipts to an astounding $890 million since its first showings on Dec. 16. The pic should surpass the $1 billion worldwide mark by the end of the Christmas weekend, setting yet another record as the fastest to hit the 10-figure milestone.

Paramount’s Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy “Daddy’s Home” is leading the rest of the pack at U.S. multiplexes with as much as $35 million at 3,271 sites — far above recent forecasts. It grossed an impressive$15.7 million on Christmas Day, or less than a third of “The Force Awakens.”

Fox’s Jennifer Lawrence drama “Joy” also appears to be easily outperforming pre-Christmas forecasts with over $20 million at 2,896 locations for the weekend. The biopic took in a solid $6.9 million on Christmas Day.

Universal’s second weekend of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s “Sisters” is showing impressive staying power, heading for around $15 million at 2,962 sites — giving the raunchy comedy the rare distinction of improving on its opening frame, which came in at $13.9 million.

Sony’s Will Smith NFL drama “Concussion” appeared to be performing slightly better than recent estimates with $4.3  million on Christmas Day at 2,841 locations for a projected weekend of $13.3 million. Prior to Christmas, the studio had issued guidance of $10 million for the film, which received an A CinemaScore plus a Golden Globe nomination for Smith.

L Star Capital and Village Roadshow co-financed “Concussion,” which has a $35 million budget.

Warner Bros.’ remake of “Point Break” took in $4.1 million at 2,910 sites on Christmas, which translates to a $10 million to $12 million opening weekend. The action-thriller, set in the world of extreme sports, has already grossed nearly $40 million in China, where it opened on Dec. 3.

Alcon Entertainment and DMG Entertainment financed “Point Break.”

Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” launched impressively for The Weinstein Co. with $1.9 million at 100 venues in 44 U.S. markets on Christmas Day. The opening day projects to an impressive $5 million for the weekend — or around $50,000 per screen — for what’s the largest 70 mm release in the last 20 years.

Fox saw a solid $171,758 at four sites for its Christmas launch of Leonard DiCaprio’s “The Revenant,” set in the icy Western wilderness of the 1820s and directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu.

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  1. Alex says:

    The record to break is $2.788 billion, that’s what “Avatar” made in the box office.

  2. ssilva872 says:

    Universal’s second weekend of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s “Sisters” is showing impressive staying power, heading for around $15 million at 2,962 sites — giving the raunchy comedy the rare distinction of improving on its opening frame, which came in at $13.9 million.

    WOW that is really rare so congrats to them.

    I still need to see Joy, The Big Short, and The Hateful 8 but I instead saw Carol yesterday (it was awesome).

  3. THE FORCE is with DADDY'S HOME (LOL) says:

    PARAMOUNT execs must be in shock this morning to learn that their Oscar bait, THE BIG SHORT, did $4 million in limited release and their Christmas mega-hit, Daddy’s Home took a sizeable bite out of the Star Wars audience with nearly 16 million dollars. Star Wars will be the undisputed number one this weekend, but families are clearly turning out in force to see Will Ferrell do battle with Mark Wahlberg for favorite daddy.

  4. Jonathan says:

    As much as…? Star Wars should gross $140-160 million off that Xmas day. It won’t fall on Saturday it’ll rise especially since Xmas wasn’t much of a ride from mid-week figures. Probably $153M or so.

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