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‘Star Wars’ Smashes Christmas Day Record; ‘Daddy’s Home,’ ‘Joy’ Looking Joyful

Christmas Day is heralding yet another record for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Disney’s space saga is smashing the Christmas record with estimates of at least $40 million at 4,134 U.S. theaters on Friday. That will easily exceed the earlier record of $24.6 million from “Sherlock Holmes,” which opened on Dec. 25, 2009.

“The Force Awakens” is expected to take in as much as $145 million this weekend, which will push its U.S. total past $500 million. The space saga racked up $391.1 million in its first week — obliterating the record of $296.2 million set in June by the first week of “Jurassic World.”

Paramount’s Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy “Daddy’s Home” looked likely to lead the rest of the pack at U.S. multiplexes with as much as $30 million. It  took in a solid $1.2 million in preview screenings on Christmas Eve at 1,920 locations and is on pace to pull in at least $10 million on Christmas Day — portending a better-than-expected weekend of as much as $30 million at 3,271 sites.

“Daddy’s Home,” which carries a $50 million budget, is PG-13-rated with Sean Anders directing. Ferrell plays a mild-mannered stepfather forced to compete for the affections of his two stepchildren when Wahlberg’s fun-loving biological father Dusty arrives on the scene.

Fox’s Jennifer Lawrence drama “Joy” was also starting with a solid $7 million at 2,896 locations on Christmas Day, which would give it an opening weekend above $20 million. The early results have come in well above recent forecasts for the biopic about Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano.

Paramount’s expanded comedy-drama “The Big Short” was showing decent traction with about $5 million on Christmas at 1,585 sites for a weekend in the $15 million to $20 million range.

Sony’s Will Smith NFL drama “Concussion” appeared to be performing in the same range as “The Big Short” and slightly better than recent estimates with about $5 million on Christmas Day at 2,841 locations and a weekend that could top $15 million.

Warner Bros.’ remake of “Point Break” was headed for a Christmas in the $3.5 million to $5 million range at 2,910 sites, which would translate to a $10 million to $15 million opening weekend.

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