UPDATED, MONDAY: 2:00 PM: This Christmas holiday 2015 may not have gotten to the $300M mark, but it still is the biggest Christmas ever and with $295.5M it’s the second-best weekend of all time at the box office, thanks to a Force that just won’t quit. Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens is on its way now to the fastest to $600M, $700M and beyond. Can it get to $1B before it ends its run in the states? At this rate, all bets are on that it will get close to that mark. Its cume is $540M. Avatar, released in 2009, had a total gross of $760.5M for the top record, which Star Wars will clearly break, it’s just a matter of when. The best grossing weekend of all time (which included a $57M preview reported by Disney) was $312.9M (not $313M as thought) which Rentrak updated just a few minutes ago.

This weekend because of Star Wars, all of the films were lifted, as moviegoers flocked to theaters. The last time Christmas fell on a Friday was in 2009, which helped to bolster the entire weekend gross. What moviegoers had that they haven’t for awhile was the gift of choices. The cluster of films also ran the gamut of demographic appeal. “It’s been an interesting holiday weekend with Christmas being on Friday and the Star Wars of it all. I think with all films out there, there is great diversity of choices for each gender, age and ethnicity,” said Universal’s distribution guru Nick Carpou.

Daddy’s Home stomped all over early tracking numbers which had it in line to do only $20M to $25M and walked away with a $38.7M weekend. “Daddy’s Home is a great family comedy, playing really well across all demos with a A- CinemaScore. It’s also strong in Latino and African American markets,” Paramount’s distribution head Megan Colligan told Deadline.

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Also expanding is Fox’s The Revenant, which did gangbusters per screen in only 4 locales. It will go wide on Jan. 8 to 2,700 locales. Based on the performance of Hateful Eight, TWC is gobbling up screens and changing up its release pattern after the 70mm run. Nothing like controversy from a filmmaker to stir up interest, eh? As one industry observer noted, however, “Whose idea was it to put two snowbound frontier thrillers, both brutal and bloody, into the marketplace at the same time?” Regardless, it seems to be working. For now. Whether Hateful Eight can get the kind of momentum that Django Unchained did at the box office is yet to be seen. It certainly has not done the same in critical circles as a precursor for Oscar.

Sisters, in its second weekend, actually gained momentum, rising 2%. One curiosity this weekend was its outstanding performance and just why that may have occurred. “We were the only film that wasn’t expanding wide that went up in percentage,” said Carpou. “There is something about the R-rated, character-driven comedy. I think being out there before Christmas gave us traction and we were already introduced in the marketplace.” Certainly it helped word of mouth. Not only that but its stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted Saturday Night Live last weekend, which may have accounted for why the film did very well last Sunday and was on top of mind going into this weekend.

Other new films — Joy, Concussion, Point Break — came in kind of in line with what Deadline expected, with Point Break the worst opener of the bunch with only $9.8M on a budget of $105M. It did sell off Asian markets to try to brunt the cost (see analysis below).

Concussion, which had a softer than expected Sunday, was not really a surprise given that some of its audience was watching the NFL. Ironic, no? “Nothing says Christmas like Concussion,” added one industry tracker. However, neither does The Exorcist and that opened in 1973 the day after Christmas to stellar business. On the bright side, Smith is being buzzed about for a possible Best Actor nomination.

Another film, The Big Short which has given Paramount a strong marketing angle with an ensemble cast with Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei and Melissa Leo, has been playing well on the East and West Coasts as it rolled out to a moderate release faster than originally planned this past weekend. Other parts of the country under-indexed so will be interesting to see how this continues to play. The studio expands the film to about 2,500 theaters (more or less) on January 8.

Warner Bros., Paramount and Sony spent media on sports shows to bring awareness up for the core male demo on Point Break, The Big Short and Concussion, respectively.

While The Good Dinosaur (after 5 weeks in release) is tipping the scale at $105M to become Disney’s 6th film this year to go over that mark and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip had a stronger Sunday than estimated (after 2 weeks in release), there seems to be a lack of kids’ fare this holiday. Daddy’s Home is more adult, Alvin plays young, so where are those 8 to 14 year olds going? According to Rentrak, 14% of kids 13 to 17 years old are going to Star Wars.

On Wednesday, Paramount plans to release the stop-motion, animated Anomalisa from filmmaker Charlie Kaufman. It will be playing in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles. The film got nominated as Best Animated Film by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the Golden Globes and the Audience Award at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. The studio acquired worldwide rights to the project (sans the U.K.) for multi-millions out of Toronto last year.

Here’s the Top 20 chart:

1). Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS), 4,134 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $149.2M (-40%) / Per screen: $36,092 / Total cume: $540M Wk 2

2). Daddy’s Home (PAR), 3,271 theaters / 3-day cume: $38.7M / Per screen: $11,844 / Wk 1
*includes $1.2M in Thursday previews

3). Joy (FOX), 2,896 theaters / 3-day cume: $17M / Per screen: $5,875 / Wk 1

4). Sisters (UNI), 2,962 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $14.1M (+2%) / Per screen: $4,790 / Total cume: $37.4M / Wk 2

5). Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip (FOX), 3,705 theaters (+52) / 3-day cume: $13.1M (-8%) / Per screen: $3,547 / Total cume: $39.8M / Wk 2

6). The Big Short (PAR), 1,585 theaters (+1,577 theaters) / 3-day cume: $10.5M (+2,684%) / Per screen: $6,644 / Total cume: $16M / Wk 3

7). Concussion (SONY), 2,841 theaters / 3-day cume: $10.5M / Per screen: $3,696 / Wk 1

8). Point Break (WB), 2,910 theaters / 3-day cume: $9.8M / Per screen: $3,369 / Wk 1

9) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (LGF), 1,813 theaters (-840) / 3-day cume: $5.27M / Per screen: $2,911 / Total cume: $264.5M / Wk 6

10). The Hateful Eight (TWC), 100 theaters / 3-day cume: $4.6M / Per screen: $46.107 / Wk 1

11). Creed (MGM/New Line/WB), 1,518 theaters (-915) / 3-day cume: $4.4M / Per screen: $2,915 / Total cume: $96.4M / Wk 5

12). Good Dinosaur (Disney), 2,134 theaters (-621) / 3-day cume: $3.7M/ Per screen: $1,773 / Total cume: $105.3 / Wk 5

13). Krampus (Uni), 1,152 theaters (-1,149) / 3-day cume: $2.1M/ Per screen: $1,875 / Total cume: $40.45M / Wk 4

14). The Danish Girl (FOC) 440 theaters (+359) / 3-day cume: $1.5M/ Per screen: $3,492 / Total cume: $3.2M / Wk 5

15). Bajirao Mastani (EROS), 250 theaters (-54) / 3-day cume: $1.3M/ Per screen: $4,380 / Total cume: $4.3M / Wk 2

16). Carol (TWC), 180 theaters (+164) / 3-day cume: $1M/ Per screen: $6,075 / Total cume: $2.8 / Wk 6

17). Spotlight (ORF), 480 theaters (-345) / 3-day cume: $1M/ Per screen: $2,258 / Total cume: $24.8M / Wk 8

18). Brooklyn (FSL), 288 theaters (-255) / 3-day cume: $1M/ Per screen: $3,569 / Total cume: $18.4M / Wk 8

19). In the Heart of the Sea (WB), 685 theaters (-2,418) / 3-day cume: $1M/ Per screen: $1,460 / Total cume: $22.3M / Wk 3

20). Dilwale (UTV), 235 theaters (-30) / 3-day cume: $915K/ Per screen: $4,034 / Total cume: $3.96M / Wk 2

Noteworthy: 22). The Revenant (FOX), 4 theaters / 3-day cume: $474K / Per screen: $118,640 / Wk 1

UPDATED, Monday 8:20 AM: This morning, Star Wars: The Force Awakens came in below industry estimates to hover right around $149M+ for a total cume of $540.3M. A stupendous second weekend, nevertheless, dropping only about 39% to 40%. With one more week to go before year’s end, all bets are on that it could end between $950M and $1B. Also noteworthy is that The Hateful Eight did end up taking the No. 10 spot, knocking out competitor Creed. In fact, Quentin Tarantino’s film did so well this weekend — selling out theaters (ending the weekend with $4.6M and a 46K per screen) that distributor TWC is going wider to 1,800+ screens on Wednesday, the 30th instead of the 31st.

In the meantime, with these calculations and a softer Sunday all around, it seems that the box office might fall short of a historic $300M weekend, but just a hair. We won’t know until all estimates are in later today. Paramount’s comedy Daddy’s Home, which should bring in about $38.7M, was embraced by audiences this weekend as was the Universal comedy Sisters which held strong in its second weekend (+2% without a screen change); the film had a slightly stronger uptick Sunday than predicted ($14.2M).

Fox’s Joy was just slightly under estimates ($16.8M to $17M this AM) as was Concussion which had a slightly softer Sunday and will come in around $10.5M instead of the $11M that Sony predicted. Fox’s family flick Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip had a slightly stronger Sunday to bring in around $12.85 to $12.9M, dropping a mere 9% in its second weekend.

UPDATED, Sunday 8:38AM write-thru after Saturday 11:52PM update: Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens is headed into the record books yet again with a second weekend cume of between $540M and $546M after the Christmas holiday frame hauls in an estimated $154M to $155M. Saturday business was up 15% to bring in about $59.5M. With a plethora of moviegoing choices and a pack of films, the Paramount/Red Granite comedy Daddy’s Home was the best of the newcomers hauling in an estimated $38M to $39M to help push Christmas 2015 to what could be a historic weekend.

Christmas 2015 may become the biggest box office weekend ever, if estimates hold. Thanks to Star Wars, this weekend should get to $300M, surpassing the $269.8M set back in 2009, which is also the last time Christmas fell on a Friday. It is the first true-three day ever to do that. Last weekend, the three-day grossed $313M but that was with a preview added in — the $57M Disney reported for Star Wars previews on Thursday.

The Force Awakens has also crossed the $1B mark globally in record time (see Nancy Tartaglione’s international box office story here). Meanwhile the phenomenon has racked up multiple records since releasing on Dec. 18. Those include biggest domestic and biggest December debut of all time ($247.9M); biggest second weekend of all time ($153.5M); biggest Thursday preview gross ($57M); biggest Friday, opening, and single day ($119.1M); biggest Sunday ($60.5M), Monday ($40.1M), Tuesday ($37.3M), and Christmas Day ($49.3M); highest per-theater average for a wide debut ($59,982); biggest Imax debut ($30.1M); and fastest film to reach $100M (1 day), $200M (2 days), $300M (5 days), $400M (8 days), and $500M (10 days).

For Star Wars, eight of the top 10 top grossing spots were Imax locations, which can tout also 15 out of the top 20 highest grossing screens. With holiday and repeat business, The Force Awakened on 391 Imax screens to push the three-day gross to $19M or a per screen of $49K. It is pushing much faster than Avatar did on Imax (Star Wars got to $70M in 11 days, compared to Avatar in 30).

The Force was also with the Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg comedy Daddy’s Home which brought in around $13.1M Saturday (-16%) for a total gross of $38M to $39M for the three-day. During Christmas, PG titles traditionally tend to do well and this was no exception.

Daddy’s Home is a great family comedy that’s playing really well across all demos with an A- CinemaScore for kids,” noted Megan Colligan, Paramount’s president of worldwide marketing and distribution. “It’s also  strong in Latino and African American markets.” Demographic split is 48% female vs 52% male and 39% under 25, 61% over 25. Overall CinemaScore is B+.

The rest of the pictures which were elbowing each other for position yesterday and last night began lining up nose to tail.

In the third position is Joy which should end the weekend between around $17.5M after sweeping in another roughly $5.9M on Saturday, dropping about 14% from Christmas Day. That gives star Jennifer Lawrence two films in the Top 10 this weekend as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 will come in at No. 9 with a cume somewhere around $265M.

With it’s $17.5M estimate, Joy marks David O. Russell’s No. 2 best wide opening behind his American Hustle’s $19.1M. Joy received the same B+ CinemaScore that Hustle did.

With a $17.5M estimate, Joy marks director David O. Russell’s No. 2 best wide opening behind his American Hustle’s $19.1M. Joy received the same B+ CinemaScore as Hustle.

The demographic breakdown for Joy was 66% female vs. 34% male with 77% being 25 years or older. In terms of playability, Joy over-indexed in the Midwest and Northeast.

The Universal comedy Sisters is next at No. 4 and has held on perfectly in its sophomore frame. Expect the Amy Poehler, Tina Fey comedy to bring in about $13.75M this weekend after having a nice 14% bump Saturday to bring in around $5.1M. If that gross holds true, it means that there will be virtually no percentage drop from opening weekend (maybe -1%). Stellar.

No. 5 is Fox animated holdover Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip which got a nice kick from families yesterday with a 42% jump for about $5.1M. It will drive in roughly $12.6M to $12.8M for the Christmas holiday in its second weekend out.

No. 6 is Concussion, which we watched slide a bit Saturday, was down about 11% yesterday with a take of about $3.79M. This one is experiencing opening weekend trauma with a soft $10.8M to $11M for the three-day. The drama earned an A CinemaScore and exit surveys showed a 50-50 male/female and 38% under 25.

In 7th is Paramount/New Regency’s The Big Short (+1%) with the same take on Saturday as Concussion had but over 1,200 fewer screens. It should end up with a nice $10.4M for the three-day and a cume of just under $16M. Over the long haul for The Big Short, Paramount’s Colligan cited the film’s A- CinemaScore as one indicator of the movie’s potential. She noted that director “Adam McKay has made a complex film with awards potential, especially with its Golden Globe nominations and its potential for SAG Awards as well.”
Demographic split is 48% female vs 52% male, and audience is 86% over 25 vs. 14% 25 and younger. The Big Short will expand to 2500 theaters on January 8.

Point Break opened to No. 8 after dropping 20% from Friday and could eke out $10M. Yet another soft opening for a Warner Bros.’ film. It brought in, by all accounts, $3.2M on Saturday.

Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and Creed were virtually neck and neck for the No. 10 spot on Saturday. Each movie took in a too-close-to-call $4.4M to $4.5M for the three-day period. But Hateful Eight enjoyed a fantastic “70MM roadshow” debut in 100 cinemas for an average of roughly $45K per theater. For more on Hateful Eight, see Brian Brooks’ specialty report.

Finally, in only four theaters, Leonardo DiCaprio and his bear are expected to have a final weekend gross of $471K for an outstanding per screen of $117,750, per 20th Century Fox. The Revenant grossed just under $158K Saturday. Also, check out the specialty report (here). For detailed analysis, continue reading after the coming chart:

1). Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS), 4,134 theaters (0) / $49.3M Fri. (-58%) / $59.5M Sat. (+15%) / $47.6M Sun. (-15%) / 3-day cume: $152M – $154M+ (-38%) / Total cume: $544M – $545M / Wk 2

2). Daddy’s Home (PAR), 3,271 theaters / $15.65M Fri.* / $13.1M Saturday (-16%) / $10.5M Sun. (-20%) / 3-day cume: $38M – $39M / Wk 1
*includes $1.2M in Thursday previews

3). Joy (FOX), 2,896 theaters / $6.8M Fri. / $5.9M Sat. (-14%) / $4.7M Sun. (-20%) / 3-day cume: $17.5M / Wk 1

4). Sisters (UNI), 2,962 theaters (0) / $4.65M Fri. (-6%) / $5.1M Sat. (+14%) / $3.8M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $13.75M (-1%) / Total cume: $36.9M to $37.1M / Wk 2

5). Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip (FOX), 3,705 theaters (+52) / $3.6M Fri.  (-13%) / $5.1M Sat.(+42%) / $4M+ Sun. (-20%) / 3-day cume: $12.6M – $12.8M (-10% to -12%) / Total cume: $39.4M / Wk 2

6). Concussion (SONY), 2,841 theaters / $4.27M Fri. / $3.79M (-11%) Sat. / $2.8M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $10.8M to $11M / Total cume: $M / Wk 1

7). The Big Short (PAR), 1,585 theaters (+1,577 theaters) / $3.7M Fri. (+3,620%) / $3.8M Sat. (+1%) / 3-day cume: $10.4M (+2,654%) / Total cume: $15.9M / Wk 3

8). Point Break (WB), 2,910 theaters / $4.1M Fri. / $3.2M Sat. (-20%) / $2.6M Sun. (-20%) / 3-day cume: $9.8M – $10M / Wk 1

9) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (LGF), 1,813 theaters (-840) / $1.5M Fri. / $2M Sat. (-10%) / $1.78M Sun. (-11%) / 3-day cume: $5.25M / Total cume: $264.6M / Wk 6

10). The Hateful Eight (TWC), 100 theaters / $1.9M Fri. /$1.4M Sat. (-26%) /$1.2M (-15%) / 3-day cume: $4.4M – $4.5M / Per screen: $45,366 / Wk 1

Creed (MGM/New Line/WB), 1,518 theaters (-915) / $1.5M Fri. / $1.6M Sat. (+8%) / $1.2M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $4.4M – $4.5M / Total cume: $96.1M – $96.3M+ / Wk 5

UPDATED, Saturday, 11:52 PM: Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens is headed into the record books yet again with a two-week take in the $545M range after the Christmas holiday frame hauls in an estimated $155M+. Saturday was up about 19% to bring in anywhere from $55M to $58M+. All holdovers had percentage increases while all newcomers dropped a bit today.

The Force was also with the Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg comedy Daddy’s Home which should bring in 13.5M Saturday (-16%) for a total gross of $38M to $40M for the three-day. During Christmas, the PG titles traditionally tend to do well and this was no exception. The rest of the pictures which were elbowing each other for position yesterday and this morning are now lining up nose to tail.

In the third position is Joy which should end the weekend right around $17M to $18M after sweeping in another $5.8M to $6M+. It dropped about 13% from Friday. That gives star Jennifer Lawrence two films in the Top 10 this weekend as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 will come in at No. 9 with a cume somewhere around $265M.

The Universal comedy Sisters is next at No. 4 and has held on perfectly in its sophomore frame. Expect the Amy Poehler, Tina Fey comedy to bring in about $13.8M to $14M this weekend after having a nice 14% bump from yesterday to bring in around $5.2M to $5.5M today. If that gross holds true, it means that there will be no percentage drop from last weekend. Stellar.

No. 5 is Fox animated holdover Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip which got a nice kick from families today. It’s between 46% and 53% for about $5M. It will drive in roughly $12.6M to $12.8M for the Christmas holiday in its second weekend out.

Concussion, which we watched slide this morning, is down about 11% with about $3.7M to $3.9M for a soft opening of around $11M to $11.3M. Right behind it is The Big Short (+1%) with the same take on Saturday as Concussion had but over 1,200 fewer screens. It should end up with a nice $10.4M for the three-day and a cume of just under $16M.

Point Break opened to No. 8 after dropping 20% from yesterday and probably won’t even crack $10M. Yet another soft opening for a Warner Bros.’ film. It brought in about $3.3M today.

We have enough estimates to look at two other relevant pictures outside of the Top Ten: Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight, which dropped anywhere between 21% and 26% today to bring in around $1.4M. That will give the film a $4.4M to $4.6M three day weekend on only 100 screens which means a fantastic $45K per screen.

Finally, on only four screens, Leonardo DiCaprio and his bear are expected to have a final weekend gross of $445,000 for an outstanding per screen of $111,250. The Revenant grossed about $151K Saturday (-5% from Friday).

star wars the force awakensSaturday, 8:15 AM Write-thru after 2:30 AM Update: Star Wars: The Force Awakens is having an unprecedented impact on the box office, not only Christmas box office this weekend, but the market overall. With what is expected to be a second weekend of anywhere between $155M and $160M, the Disney film will not only be the fastest title ever to cross $500M in a jaw-dropping 10 days (beating Jurassic World‘s 17 days to the mark), but total ticket sales for 2015 are poised to beat 2013’s record high of $10.919B, climbing to $11B by Dec. 31.

Estimates were lower for Star Wars last night, but this is the first time since 2009 that Christmas fell on a Friday, so this title is playing very similarly to Avatar where its second weekend was as strong as its first (see analysis below).

This year’s Christmas frame will upset last weekend’s $313M all-time total ticket sales record (greatly padded by Force Awakens’ Thursday $57M previews) with an estimated true three-day record of $325M-$330M because of Episode VII. A slew of titles across all sectors from megaplexes to arthouses are also basking in the sunlight of Force Awakens’ all-time record sophomore frame, with a majority of wide entries beating their projections with few B.O. casualties.

Overall, the box office is up 50% over 2014. Five openers and strong performances is why, not to mention that kids are fully off school and more females are in the marketplace.

the hateful eightEven awards contenders such as Spotlight  and Brooklyn which shed a few hundred screens are posting minor dips, while newcomers such as Weinstein Co.’s The Hateful Eight and 20th Century Fox’s The Revenant are respectively selling out shows and overperforming.

The Revenant is set to match or post the second highest opening weekend theater average of 2015 as it’s tracking between $125K and $130K. Steve Jobs posted $130K, while Hateful Eight’s road show is beating its weekend industry projections of $3M-$4M with a near $45K-$51K per venue or $4.4M to $5M at 100 sites. Quentin Tarantino’s latest has been selling out and times were added in some venues to accommodate his rush of fans.

Let’s start with Force Awakens. Exhibition insiders are telling Deadline that the film reminds them a lot of Avatar in regards to how it’s playing: Force Awakens is selling out and posting strong numbers in the same venues where the James Cameron played six years ago (despite the fact that the current Imax, 3D and PLF landscape has swelled immensely).

force awakensWhere does Episode VII end its domestic box office run? One non-Disney distribution chief told us fearlessly tonight: $1 billion. Distrib chiefs always believe that the competition is always setting them up to fail in the media with outrageous projections, however, that cume isn’t a crazy thought.

Consider the following: Through Sunday, Force Awakens will be pacing ahead of Jurassic World‘s 10-day cume ($402.8M) by 36% and ahead of Avatar over the same period ($212.7M) by 157% – and at those speeds, Episode VII lands well within the $800M-$1B range. Couple this with Disney having a stronghold on big auditoriums for at least four weeks along with a lengthy Imax run. Distrib sources told us many times during the run of American Sniper, that when repeat business propels a film’s grosses to this magnitude, the picture becomes an animal unto its own.

Social remains on fire for Force Awakens with its Twitter chatter outpacing this weekend’s new titles by 14 to 1 per RelishMix. The Star Wars social media universe grew 33M since its opening currently counting 727M people. Star Wars videos are being reposted at a rate of 35 to 1, well above the 10 to 1 norm for a studio wide release.

RELATED: The Social Media Force Awakens A Star Wars-Ruled Crowd Of Christmas Films

The pic’s second Friday is down about 58% with about $49M on account of the fact that the J.J. Abrams’ film had its opening day padded by those Thursday shows.

daddys homeIn second, Daddy’s Home, which marks the comedy reunion of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg following 2010’s The Other Guys, will outstrip the $35.5M opening of that movie with $43M to $46M. That figure would make it Ferrell’s second-highest live action opening behind Talladega Nights ($47M), but would put it at fourth or fifth on Wahlberg’s list of record openers.

Many distribution executives had a strong sense that this PG-13 title would break out against Star Wars, serving the appetites of older and younger males looking for laughs in a serious sci-fi B.O. atmosphere. CinemaScore respondents gave it a B+, which is better than the B- Other Guys ($119.2M domestic) earned and the B that Ferrell’s last comedy, Get Hard, received ($90.4M domestic).

Paramount & Red Granite report that Daddy’s Home cost an estimated $50M before P&A, while iSpot.TV observes an estimated $22.3M in TV ad spend across a bulk of sports programming such as NFL football and NBA. And by the way, a number of studios focused their TV spot spends on sports shows for Point Break, The Big Short and Concussion as they vied to pull guys into theaters this weekend. The demographic breakdown is 52% male and 48% female with 61% over 25. The actors were the reason that 52% of the overall audience came to see it, but 62% said they also came because it was a comedy.

joy 2Third place belongs to 20th Century Fox’s Joy, the third dramedy collaboration between leading actress Jennifer Lawrence and director David O. Russell. The absurdist biopic about Joy Mangano, the creator of the Miracle Mop, is currently estimated to pull in between $20M+, boosted by a slew of Critics Choice and Golden Globe nominations. That opening would beat the $19.1M wide expansion of the duo’s previous American Hustle which legged out to $150M off a B+ CinemaScore. Joy received the same grade tonight. In terms of demographic breakdown, 62% of moviegoers were female and 63% of the total audience came to see Lawrence.

Fox sold Joy squarely on Lawrence in its one sheets, billboards and TV spots (which iSpot estimates at $15.3M) and it’s further proof that the actress is one of the few stars today who can still open movies. Meanwhile, a cache of femmes continue to flock to see her in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2 which looks to raise its domestic B.O. to $$264 to $266M by Sunday.

Still near the top of the chart is Universal’s Sisters which could see a second weekend that’s +4% to 7% over its opening. The Tina Fey-Amy Poehler R-rated party hardy comedy is showing itself to a be a sleeper oasis for those older femmes fatigued by Force Awakens. It got a surprisingly nice bump last night taking in about $4.65M and is holding very well (off only 6% from last Friday).

As some box office analysts predicted, there is a crunch of new titles around each other on the charts in slots 4 to 6:

ConcussionWill Smith football drama Concussion from Sony/Village Roadshow/LStar Capital is looking at FSS between $11.4M to $13M which could be well under the debuts of the actor’s serious fare for Sony, read Seven Pounds ($14.85M) and Ali ($14.7M). Ali also opened on Christmas day 2001. These are typical numbers for Smith’s non-tentpole dramatic stretches — however, working to Concussion‘s advantage is the A CinemaScore that moviegoers awarded it tonight (better than Seven Pounds’ B+), hence the $35M film can look forward to a decent multiple. Still, it is playing softer than hoped. Ali finaled at $58M stateside while Seven Pounds ended its run breaths away from $70M. The film is playing 51% male and 47% female with most (74%) over 25. Also, interesting is that 59% of moviegoers went to see the subject matter with 42% saying they went to see Smith.

If matinees for Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip aren’t trampled tremendously by Force Awakens, then the fourth Alvin film can look forward to a weekend haul of anywhere between $13M and $16M.

the big shortMeanwhile, Adam McKay’s The Big Short is beating both studio and industry five-day weekend forecasts of $11.6M (that’s the average estimate) with a $17M-plus run. Not just critics, but audiences love it with an A- CinemaScore, which bodes well for its run during awards season. The financial comedy is also bringing in older chicks females, according to opening weekend polls thanks to the male hunk ensemble cast of Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale and Brad Pitt. Audience demo was 52% male and 48% female with 76% saying they came for the subject matter and 36% for the actors.

Lastly, there’s Alcon’s reboot of Point Break which arrives with a $105M estimated production cost before P&A, and stateside FSS that ranges from $10.5M-$11.4M. Though Warner Bros. is handling the title for a fee, Alcon mostly financed this action film in collaboration with the Middle Kingdom’s DMG Entertainment. Males were the dominant force for the film, with 53% coming out for the film for reasons of subject matter and 56% type of movie it was.

Point BreakBefore any bad word of mouth from the states seeped about this remake, Alcon through its foreign partners (WB has some overseas as well as Lionsgate) rolled Point Break out in eight Asian territories where as of yesterday it has accumulated $45.7M. What worked to the title’s advantage in its Asian release is that many audiences weren’t even familiar with the original 1991 Kathryn Bigelow film, so they were able to assess the film purely on its action merits. So, if Point Break is going to ride any waves, it has to be overseas because it ain’t cutting it stateside.

Here in the states, the film is weathering a B CinemaScore and atrocious reviews of 5% rotten. During previous holiday frames, such as 2009 when Avatar reigned, it wasn’t uncommon to see an action title as the definite second choice to the monster tentpole in the marketplace (Sherlock Holmes made $209M). But that’s not what’s going on here with Point Break, especially when it’s opening this low. Alcon, which handles P&A, shelled out an estimated $27.9M in TV spots per iSpotTV, which is about the same amount of media value Disney expended for Force Awakens per the tracking firm.

As we predicted a few weekends ago, In the Heart of the Sea would perform so poorly at the box office, that exhibitors would have no choice but to pull it off screen in order to make room for Point Break. Hence, with Point Break opening at 2,910 theaters, In the Heart of the Sea lost 2,418. The Chris Hemsworth headliner is estimated to make $1M+ at 685 playdates, down around 70% in its third sesh, for a running cume of $22.4M. Another box office stinker for Warner Bros.

One interesting note is that we are seeing New Regency involved with the production of three Christmas pics: The Revenant, Alvin and The Chipmunks and The Big Short (with Plan B).

Here’s the chart with the latest weekend estimates:

1). Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS), 4,134 theaters (0) / $49M+ Fri. (-58%) / 3-day cume: $155M – $160M+ (-34% to -36%) / Total cume: $545M – $550M / Wk 2

2). Daddy’s Home (PAR), 3,271 theaters / $15.65M Fri.* / 3-day cume: $43M – $46M / Wk 1
*includes $1.2M in Thursday previews

3). Joy (FOX), 2,896 theaters / $6.8M Fri. / 3-day cume: $20M+ / Wk 1

4 thru 6). Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip (FOX), 3,705 theaters (+52) / $3.6M Fri.  (-13%) / 3-day cume: $13M – $16M+ (-15% to +6%) / Total cume: $39.7M – $43M / Wk 2

 Sisters (UNI), 2,962 theaters (0) / $4.65M Fri. (-6%) / 3-day cume: $14.4M – $14.8M (+4% to 7%) / Total cume: $37.6M – $38M+ / Wk 2

Concussion (SONY), 2,841 theaters / $4.26M Fri. / 3-day cume: $11.4M $13M / Wk 1

7/8). The Big Short (PAR), 1,585 theaters (+1,577 theaters) / $3.7M Fri. (+3,620%) / 3-day cume: $11.5M – $11.7M (+2,900%) / Total cume: $17M+ / Wk 3

Point Break (WB), 2,910 theaters / $4.1M Fri. / 3-day cume: $10.5M – $11.4M / Wk 1

9/10)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (LGF), 1,813 theaters (-840) / $1.5M Fri. (-3%) / 3-day cume: $5.5M – 6.5M (-4% to +16%) / Total cume: $264M – $266M / Wk 6

Creed (MGM/New Line/WB), 1,518 theaters (-915) / $1.5M Fri. (+13%) / 3-day cume: $5M $6M (-2% to +10%) / Total cume: $96.6M – $97M+ / Wk 5

11/12)

The Hateful Eight (TWC), 100 theaters / $1.9M Fri. / 3-day cume: $4.4M – $5M+ / Per screen: $45K-$51K / Wk 1

The Good Dinosaur (DIS), 2,134 theaters (-621) / $984K Fri. (-9%) / 3-day cume: $4.3M (0%) / Total cume: $105.9M / Wk 5

Notables:

Bajirao Mastani (ERO), 304 theaters (0) / $629K Fri. (+40%) / Per screen: $7,200 / 3-day cume: $1.7M – $2.1M (+12%) / Total cume: $4.7M – $5.1M / Wk 2

The Danish Girl (FOC), 440 theaters (+359) / $484K Fri. (+216%) / 3-day cume: $1.57M – $1.69M (+187% – 208%) / Per screen: $3,650 / Total cume: $3.2M – $3.3M / Wk 5

Dilwale (UTV), 265 theaters (0) / $430K Fri. (-24%) / 3-day cume: $1.43M (-25% to 31%) / Per screen: $5,500 to $5,600 / Total cume: $4.45M / Wk 2

Spotlight (OPRD), 480 theaters (-345) / $320K Fri. (-12%) / 3-day cume: $1.1M to $1.3M (-15%) / Total cume: $25M / Wk 8

Carol (TWC), 180 theaters (+164) / $350K Fri. (+478%) / Per screen: $6,800 to $7,200 / 3-day cume: $1.17M (+404%) / Total: $2.95M / Wk 6

Brooklyn (FSL), 288 theaters (-255) / $275K Fri. (-11%) / 3-day cume: $1M (-13%) / Total cume: $18.3M / Wk 8

The Revenant (FOX), 4 theaters / $172K Fri. / 3-day cume: $490K – $520K / Per screen: $125K – $130K / Wk 1

Youth (FS) 149 theaters (+88) / $110K (+76%) / 3-day cume: $420K (+74%) / Per screen: $2,780 / Total cume: $1.07M / Wk 4 

 Trumbo (BST), 116 theaters (-157) / $57K Fri. (-33%) / 3-day cume: $216K (-47%) / Total cume: $6.75M / Wk 8

45 Years (IFC), 3 theaters / 3-day cume: $75K / Per screen: $25K / 5-day cume: $100K / Total cume: $100K