‘The Revenant’ Hunts for $35 Million-Plus in Box Office Opening

The Revenant Movie Reivew
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Underlining Leonardo DiCaprio’s star power, “The Revenant” is heading for a better-than-expected $35 million to $40 million this weekend in a potential showdown with box office magnet “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

“The Revenant” grossed an impressive $2.3 million in Thursday night preview screenings as it expanded from a successful four-screen run that began on Christmas Day to 3,371 site on Friday. Recent expectations had been for a weekend in the $20 million range domestically for “The Revenant,” or less than half than the fourth weekend of “Star Wars.”

Friday estimates showed “The Revenant” with $13 million to $15 million on Friday, which will likely edge  the 22nd day of the seventh Star Wars movie. “The Force Awakens” is still expected to win the weekend with nearly $45 million.

“‘The Revenant’ has suddenly become the got-to-see film because of DiCaprio,” noted Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Rentrak. “He may be one of the last movie stars, which is a rare commodity these days.”

The stark drama, directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu, has performed solidly in its limited release, earning $1.5 million since Christmas at the four sites — including the nation’s sixth-best per-location gross with $198,767 at the Arclight Hollywood while “The Force Awakens” posted the top five.

DiCaprio portrays fur trapper Hugh Glass, who was mauled by a bear and left for dead  by members of his party during a brutal winter expedition in 1823. The shoot lasted nearly a year and stretched from Canada  to South America to capture realistic conditions.

“The Revenant” carries plenty of awards season credibility with a Producers Guild nomination announced Tuesday, American Society of Cinematographers nom unveiled Wednesday, four Golden Globes nominations and a Screen Actors Guild nod for DiCaprio. The film carries a $135 million price tag with New Regency financing along with RatPac, Alpha Pictures and Empyre.

The opening of Gramercy’s horror-thriller “The Forest” is performing in line with expectations and heading for a $10 million launch at 2,451 theaters. The story centers on an American, played by “Game of Thrones” star Natalie Dormer, investigating the disappearance of her twin sister in the legendary Aokigahara Forest at the base of Mount Fuji.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” set a new record Wednesday as the top domestic movie of all time by eclipsing the final total for “Avatar.”  “The Force Awakens” took in $6 million domestically on Thursday, its 21st day of release, for a total of $770.4  million and the international gross grew by $9 million Thursday to push the total to $821.3 million — just ahead of  “Minions’” $821.2 million for the 10th spot.

Paramount’s third weekend of Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy “Daddy’s Home” will continue to perform solidly and finish in third place with about $16 million at 3,493 sites, lifting its 17-day total by Sunday to $117 million.

Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” looks likely to finish the frame in fifth with a 50% decline to about $8 million at 2,938 sites. The Western has grossed about $35 million so far.

Watch our Q&A with Leonardo DiCaprio and Alejandro G. Inarritu:

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  1. Mike says:

    DiCaprio is a strong movie star. But giving him ALL the credit is just ridiculous. I hate how the media makes a bigger deal about individuals rather than the whole project.

    The director’s last film won Best Picture.
    The film looks great and has gotten stellar reviews, award nominations etc.
    Tom Hardy and Domhnall Gleeson have combined to make Mad Max: Fury Road, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Legend, Ex-Machina, London Road, Brooklyn, and Child 44 JUST THIS YEAR!
    Even Will Poulter’s only two other American films, We’re The Millers and The Maze Runner, have combined for over $250 million domestically.
    DiCaprio is great, but it’s not JUST HIM!

  2. Argos Wolf says:

    I was very excited when I first saw the trailer for “The Revenant” but once it said it was a movie from Iñárritu my excitement went down considerably as I kinda knew the type of movie it was going to be and I was not wrong: a pretentious, slow, tedious movie for cinema hipsters that like to put extra mustard on their hot dog and boast about it.

    Some people are making a big deal about the visuals, but even those got pretentious, with the use of some weird wide lens on some scenes that is too distracting and over the top. Lubezki is a great cinematographer, but it seems like some of the self grandeur of Iñarritu is also rubbing on him. In the end, nothing you don’t see any given day on the National Geographic Channel.

    The story is nothing special either: revenge, and not a even a good one. Opening scene tries to be the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan and you feel like you’re watching Gladiator all over again with all those visions of the wife.The only scene that I liked was the one with the bear, and that’s about it. By the time the movie was over, I was glad; and unlike some movies that are longer than 2 hours but go by fast and you end up kinda let down that it’s over, this one really did feel the drag of two hours and then some.

    And of course, there’s the question about this possibly being the one that gives DiCaprio the Oscar, an issue that has become something like the elephant in the room. If you ask me, no, this is not the one and if he gets it, then it confirms that the Oscars are more a popularity contest -or he’s a “winner by pitty”- than about actually deserving the statue. He’s done better jobs in other movies as far as acting goes. The eating a raw liver thing, yeah, looks like it was done on purpose to have more shock factor and thus, serve as more Oscar bait.

    In short, another movie from Iñarritu. If you like his grandeur oh my gawwddd the seventh art worship house of cinemaaaa style, go for it. I obviously don’t like it and hence, I didn’t like this movie either.

    Curious how The Revenant isn’t being touted as coming “from the director that brought you Birdman”… bad marketing, I suppose.

  3. Bill B. says:

    The movie sounds very intriguing and I’d be willing to bet big bucks DiCaprio wins an Oscar for it & I plan on seeing it, but I’ve never understood his popularity.

  4. Alex says:

    Last Disney ruled the box office, this year will belong to FOX.

  5. Ken says:

    This movie deserves a few Oscar nods. Hardy and DiCaprio are exceptional in their roles and Inarittu brings an artistic vision that is truly mesmerizing. This movie deserves a nomination for make-up, as well. , I have seen a lot of movies in 66 years and this one is right up there with the best of them. If you want to see professional acting at its best and directing that captures the art and grit and talent of a master, you need to see this film for yourself.

  6. Trudy says:

    It’s not going to happen. Haven’t you “Experts” noticed that since Leo revealed his hypocrisy of Jet-setting all over the world and yachting all over the world….while “PREACHING” that Global Warming is a real thing, his movies and audiences have dropped off the face of the earth he’s traveling all around for Premieres?

    You can’t have it both ways. You either DO believe it or you’re a hypocrite.

    • Patrick Juvet says:

      You do know that just because you want something to happen , doesn’t mean it’s true, don’t you ? There is probably no other actor in the last decade who has chosen more consistently successful projects than Leonardo DiCaprio in both a critical and commercial sense. Johnny Depp would kill to have Leonardo’s career outside of his Pirate movies.

    • Sanwa says:

      Agreed. Look and see how Quentin Tarantino’s movie flopped because of calling all “Cops” killers and murderers. The Hateful Eight will never see a profit.

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