“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” unwrapped a nifty new Christmas Day record of $49.3 million Friday to lead the crowded holiday party at the box office. Disney’s juggernaut is headed for a three-day haul in the $170 million range, which would easily be the best second weekend ever, too.
“The Force Awakens” crushed the old Christmas Day record of $24.6 million set by “Sherlock Holmes” in 2009, and will do the same to the $106 million second-weekend mark set by “Jurassic World” in June.
The smashing first day of the Mark Wahlberg-Will Ferrell comedy “Daddy’s Home” ($15.7 million) and the better-than-expected debut of David O. Russell‘s “Joy” ($6.8 million) were nice presents for Paramount and Fox, and roughly translate to three-day totals of $46 million and $21 million, respectively.
The opening of Sony’s football injury saga “Concussion” ($4.2 million, heading for $13 milllion) and expansion were the box office equivalent of a gift sweater from Aunt Ida, very nice if not thrilling. Paramount’s expansion of “The Big Short” was comparable, with $3.7 million translating to $11.5 million on just 1,585 screens Even the weekend’s fifth wide opener, “Point Break,” came in at the high-end of low expectations with $4 million first day that translates to a $10.5 million weekend.
Leonardo Di Caprio’s “The Revenant” appeared to have a slight edge on Quentin Tarantino‘s “The Hateful Eight” on the first day in the battle of snowbound frontier movie thrillers at the box office, but both are off to very strong starts.
Comparisons are tricky because the rollouts are very different, but the Alejandro G. Iñárritu-directed “Revenant” debuted to $172,000 on four theaters for Fox. That translates $490,000 for the weekend, which would be a $122,000-plus per-theater average, and one of the year’s best.
“The Hateful Eight,” written and directed by Tarantino, brought in $1.9 million from 100 theaters that were equipped with 70mm projectors as part of a special run. If it can keep that pace up it would come in with $5.3 million for the three days, and strong $53,000-plus per-screen average for the Weinstein Company.