Box Office: ‘Star Wars’ Crosses $800 Million Domestically, ‘Revenant’ Impresses

Golden Globe Nominees 2016 Reactions
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The Force was strong with Leonardo DiCaprio, but not quite strong enough to dethrone “Star Wars” from its perch atop box office charts.

Throughout the weekend, “The Force Awakens” was locked in a pitched battle with “The Revenant” for first place, but as the dust settled on Sunday, the “Star Wars” sequel had managed to eke ahead of the bloody revenge drama to retain its crown for the fourth straight weekend, picking up $41.6 million in receipts. That brings the space opera’s stateside haul to $812 million, making it the first film to ever cross $800 million domestically.

“The Revenant” still had much to celebrate. The film about a fur trapper whose quest for vengeance finds him braving roaring rapids, dodging hostile Native American tribes and disemboweling a dead horse, became an unlikely box office winner. The film, which is expected to land DiCaprio in the Oscar race, pulled in a sterling $38 million in its wide release debut.

Directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu, Fox bowed the bloody thriller across 3,375 locations. The hugely complicated shoot was a production nightmare, with the film’s budget ballooning from $90 million to $135 million and the cast and crew being forced to decamp from Canada to Argentina in search of snow. Despite the challenges wrought by global warming, the film exceeded projections, which had it opening to around $20 million. The film appealed to men and older ticket-buyers, drawing an audience that was 57% male and 73% over the age of 25.

“Quality prevails,” said Chris Aronson, Fox’s domestic distribution chief. “This is a real, reality-based film drawn from true events. It’s a motion picture that was made in the most arduous of circumstances and the end result is just a fantastic achievement.”

Combined with its grosses from the two weeks it spent in limited release, “The Revenant” has now made $39.5 million. In an era of diminishing star power, the picture confirms DiCaprio’s popular appeal, analysts say. The actor’s strategy of pooling his clout with the artistic visions of distinctive filmmakers such as Inarritu, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Baz Luhrmann has paid off with unorthodox hits such as “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Great Gatsby” and “Django Unchained.”

“He is one of the last great poster boys for star power in Hollywood,” said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “He is on a great streak of picking great movies and aligning himself with top tier directors. He’s doing that better than anyone else. It’s what makes him a movie star.”

There were other films looking to share in the post-holiday spoils. Paramount’s “Daddy’s Home,” a comedy about a step-father (Will Ferrell) competing with his wife’s first husband (Mark Wahlberg) for her kid’s affections, took third place with $15 million. It has made $116.3 million since debuting over Christmas.

Focus Features opened the thriller “The Forest,” starring Natalie Dormer and Taylor Kinney, in 2,451 locations, where it grossed $13.1 million for a fourth place finish. The film centers on a young American woman who travels to Japan to find her sister.

Universal’s “Sisters” rounded out the top five, earning $7.2 million. The Amy Poehler and Tina Fey comedy about a pair of siblings suffering from arrested development has racked up a respectable $73.9 million since opening last month.

Among awards season hopefuls, Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” dropped a steep 60% from its wide release bow despite adding 464 theaters. The revisionist Western from the Weinstein Company picked up $6.4 million, bringing its total to $41.5 million.

And Paramount’s “The Big Short” made $6.3 million. The financial crisis comedy with Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale and Steve Carell has earned $42.8 million. It could get a box office bump after the Golden Globes air Sunday and after Oscar nominations are announced on Thursday.

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  1. Jordan says:

    It’s called a “Chinook”, not global warming. Look it up and maybe check your facts before submitting your review. Don’t believe everything you hear because it comes from Leonardo DiCaprio

  2. Alex says:

    It’s not called “Global Warming” anymore, it’s now called “Climate Change”, or as I call it, “weather”.

  3. Joe says:

    Another stupid plug for global warming… What an idiot writer!!! Biggest hoax ever!!

    • You know, I just got done reading an article in the New York Review of Books about the dumbing down and anti-intellectualism of America, and along comes Joe to prove the point. Here’s a tip: trying getting your facts from scientists instead of Fox News. Or, go through life uneducated. Up to you.

    • Michael says:

      Except, you know, the director of the film said the same exact thing. Rather than criticizing the writer, perhaps you should acquaint yourself with the science behind global climate change.

    • Leung says:

      Obviously people don’t believe in global warming are all idiots…they even don’t know how to read.

  4. bill "bullet" hauer says:

    Thoroughly speaking; DISAPPOINTING. By the last bloody brawl I was silently praying for a speedy death! TOO, too: unreal, obtuse, and l o o o n n n g!!! Save your money.

  5. Global warming? Really!? In California we’re having record snowfall….

    • “How can the Titanic be sinking? My end of the boat is 200 feet in the air!”

    • Michael says:

      It’s called GLOBAL climate change, not CALIFORNIA climate change. Moreover, it’s called CLIMATE CHANGE, not GLOBAL WARMING. If people would get past the “It’s colder here” nonsense and actually research the subject, instead of relying on their subjective sensibility, the planet would be much better off.

    • Leung says:

      The world becomes warmer everywhere except California? Wow, California is such a special place on earth!

      • DSykes says:

        Try reading a science book written by a climatologist, if you need Global Climate Change/Global Warming explained to you…and really the name of the phenomena is inconsequential, its effects are what matters! FFS people!

  6. Kyle says:

    Ha, with all the movies that were already released plus the ones that got released Friday, Concussion didn’t make the spotlight. A slight chance I’ll see Will Smith, if I’ve got nothing else to do. Tired of the guys ego. Saw The Revenant yesterday. Something that’s actually worth the price. Leonardo and Hardy both did well jobs. Good directing, acting etc.

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