NORTH AMERICA: Weekend Actuals: 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Destroys Second Weekend Record with $149.2M; 'Daddy’s Home' Surprises with Strong $38.7M; 'Joy' Solid in Third with $17.0M

on December 28, 2015

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By Daniel Garris

Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens continued its historic run this weekend with a record breaking second weekend take of $149.20 million. The blockbuster seventh installment of the Star Wars franchise zoomed past the previous second weekend record of $106.59 million set by Jurassic World earlier this year by $42.61 million and 40 percent. Thanks in part to Christmas falling on Friday and in part to very strong word of mouth, The Force Awakens fell 40 percent this weekend (in comparison, Jurassic World fell 49 percent in its second weekend). In addition, The Force Awakens topped the previous Christmas weekend record of $75.62 million, set by Avatar in its second weekend back in 2009, by 97 percent.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has grossed a massive $540.06 million in just ten days. That already places The Force Awakens in fifth place on the all-time unadjusted domestic box office chart and in 41st place on the all-time adjusted domestic chart. The Force Awakens is currently running 34 percent ahead of the $402.80 million ten-day start of Jurassic World and 154 percent ahead of the $212.71 million ten-day gross of Avatar. In passing the $500 million domestic mark on its tenth day of release on Sunday, The Force Awakens is easily the fastest film to ever reach the $500 million milestone. Previous record holder Jurassic World took 17 days to reach $500 million.

The next question for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is whether or not the film will be able become the first film to ever gross at least $100 million in its third weekend of release. Avatar currently holds the all-time third weekend record with $68.49 million. Stay tuned.

In other box office news, Paramount's Daddy's Home was off to a terrific second place start with $38.74 million. The PG-13 rated comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg surged past expectations and opened 9 percent ahead of the $35.54 million start of 2010's The Other Guys. Pre-release online activity had been soft for Daddy's Home, but the film ultimately became the main Christmas alternative to The Force Awakens this weekend. Comedies aimed at family audiences have a history of surprising over Christmas weekend, as Daddy's Home joins a list that also includes 2012's Parental Guidance, 2008's Marley and Me, 2006's Night at the Museum and 2003's Cheaper By the Dozen.

Daddy's Home was quite front-loaded towards Christmas Day this weekend. The film took in $15.71 million on Christmas, fell 16 percent on Saturday to gross $13.13 million and declined 25 percent on Sunday to gross $9.90 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.47 to 1. Daddy's Home received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore, which suggests that the film is going over better with moviegoers than it has with critics.

Fox's Joy debuted in third place with $17.02 million. The David O. Russell directed film starring Jennifer Lawrence opened in line with expectations. Joy opened 11 percent below the $19.11 million debut of 2013's American Hustle, but is likely to be significantly more front-loaded than American Hustle was due in part to mixed critical reviews and in part to being viewed as an outsider for a Best Picture nomination. Joy launched with $6.90 million on Christmas, declined 13 percent on Saturday to gross $5.97 million and fell 31 percent on Sunday to gross $4.74 million. That gave the film a front-loaded opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.47 to 1. Like Daddy's Home, Joy also received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore.

Holdovers occupied fourth and fifth place this weekend, as Universal's Sisters took in $14.19 million, while Fox's Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip grossed $13.14 million. Sisters was up a healthy 2 percent over last weekend's debut, while The Road Chip was down a slim 8 percent. Respective ten-day grosses stand at $37.46 million for Sisters (which places it 3 percent ahead of the $36.43 million ten-day start of 2012's This Is 40) and at $39.85 million for The Road Chip (which places it 19.5 percent behind the $49.53 million ten-day take of 2011's Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked). Both Sisters and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip should continue to hold up well going forward.

Paramount's The Big Short took in $10.53 million in its first weekend of wide release. The critically acclaimed Adam McKay directed film opened towards the lower end of expectations and had a promising performance with its award season potential, Wednesday expansion and modest location count of 1,585 in mind. The film's weekend performance was quite similar to the $11.27 million Up in the Air grossed during its first weekend of wide release over Christmas weekend back in 2009. The Big Short earned an additional $4.02 million on Wednesday and Thursday, which places the film's five-day to three-day ratio at 1.38 to 1. The Big Short has grossed $16.02 million in 17 days and is scheduled to receive another expansion on January 8 (when the film will be playing in an estimated 2,500 locations). The Big Short received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore.

Sony's Concussion followed closely behind with an estimated $10.50 million. The Will Smith led sports drama opened towards the lower end of expectations and 29 percent below the $14.85 million debut of 2008's Seven Pounds. Despite concussions in the NFL being a very current topic among sports fans, Concussion ultimately couldn't compete with the competition from The Force Awakens and Daddy's Home this weekend. Concussion opened with $4.27 million on Friday, declined 11 percent on Saturday to gross $3.80 million and fell 36 percent on Sunday to take in $2.43 million. That gave the film a front-loaded opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.46 to 1. On a positive note, Concussion received an A rating on CinemaScore, which made it the highest rated of the weekend's five new wide releases on CinemaScore.

Point Break landed in eighth place with an estimated $9.81 million. The pricey action remake from Warner Bros. debuted on the lower end of its already modest expectations and performed poorly with its price tag in mind. Point Break represents another poor recent performer for Warner Bros., as it joins the likes of Pan, Our Brand is Crisis, The 33 and In the Heart of the Sea over the past few months. Point Break opened with $4.14 million on Friday, fell 20 percent on Saturday to gross $3.30 million and declined 28 percent on Sunday to gross $2.37 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at an especially front-loaded 2.37 to 1. Point Break received a B rating on CinemaScore, which represented the softest CinemaScore rating among the weekend's five new wide releases.

Meanwhile, The Weinstein Company's The Hateful Eight was off to an impressive start with $4.61 million from its 100 location 70mm roadshow launch. That gave the extended version of the Quentin Tarantino directed western a terrific per-location average of $46,107 for the frame and placed the film in tenth place among all films this weekend. Given the strength of this weekend's performance, The Hateful Eight looks to be in very good shape for its expansion into wide release this coming Wednesday (when the film will be playing in an estimated 1,800 locations).

Tags: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Daddy's Home, Joy, Sisters, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, The Big Short, Concussion, Point Break, The Hateful Eight, north-america

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