UPDATED 9:23AM PT Thursday after 7:30AM: Star Wars: The Force Awakens took in a higher than projected $28.1M on Wednesday, down only 4.7% from its Tuesday figure of $29.5M. That brings its domestic second-week total to $629.0 million, Disney reported this morning. The new cume also makes Star Wars Episode VII the highest-grossing film domestically in Disney’s history, surpassing in 13 days the $623.4M gross of Marvel’s The Avengers from 2012.
The Force Awakens‘ running total also secures its current (likely brief) position as the No. 4 movie of all-time domestic releases, ahead of previous occupant of that slot Marvel’s The Avengers. If it keeps up this pace, The Force Awakens will probably cross $700M on Friday or Saturday, leapfrogging Jurassic World and Titanic to become No. 2 among all-time domestic movies. That puts Star Wars within toppling distance of Avatar, currently the No. 1 domestic grosser with $760.5M.
Spreading out to 1985 theaters, Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight corralled $3.5M Wednesday which boosted the movie to No. 4 from its weekend position at No. 10. Its total since opening Christmas Day is now $10.187M, The Weinstein Company reported this morning.
Previously 11:55PM Wednesday: Expanding to 1,985 locations, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight took in between $3.4M and $3.7M Wednesday night, according to industry sources. Including Tuesday evening previews that took in $600K and earlier grosses from its 70MM run in 100 theaters, Hateful Eight‘s cume comes to roughly $10.2M since the Weinstein Company release opened Christmas Day. The additional runs boosted Hateful Eight from its weekend slot at No. 10 to No. 4 on Wednesday night. The picture will expand to 2,264 dates on Thursday and 2,474 by Friday.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, meanwhile, dropped only about 5% from Tuesday for an estimated Wednesday take of $27.5M to $27.9M which would bring its domestic cume to $628.7M. If, as expected, that total holds it will advance Star Wars Episode VII to the 4th highest domestic grosser of all time, dislodging Marvel’s The Avengers, which grossed $623.3M back in 2012. With that kind of staying power, it’s likely Disney/Lucasfilm’s The Force Awakens will hit $700M domestic sometime Friday or Saturday.
Tarantino’s latest opening received a B CinemaScore, but the writer-director has a dedicated following which might grade that B on a curve. The Hateful Eight‘s special engagement 70MM Ultra-Panavision “roadshow” in 100 venues scored a per theater average of $46,107 off a Christmas weekend gross of $4.6M, with performances selling out as quickly as theaters added wee-hours screenings to accommodate demand. That demand prompted The Weinstein Company to accelerate the movie’s expansion into digital cinemas starting with Tuesday previews. Tarantino’s previous two pictures, Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds, opened wider to begin with ($30.12M at 3,010 cinemas on Dec. 25, 2012 and $38.05 at 3,165 on Aug. 21, 2009, respectively). Django went on to gross $162.8M and Basterds took in $120.5M.
The rest of the lineup held up very well, with No. 2 Daddy’s Home from Paramount also dipping only about 4.8% from Tuesday to bring in about $6.67M, bringing the Mark Wahlberg-Will Ferrell comedy’s domestic tally to $58.8M. In third place animated fourquel Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip dropped about 9% to an estimated $4.25M Wednesday and a second-week cume of about $54.4M.
Also in its second week, Universal’s Tina Fey-Amy Poehler comedy, at No. 5, Sisters slid just 2% from Tuesday to bring in an estimated $3.15M Wednesday for a cume of about $46.8M.
No. 6 Joy, Fox’s reteaming of Jennifer Lawrence with director David O. Russell dropped around 8.5% from Tuesday to bring in an estimated $2.6M Wednesday for a cume of $25M. In its third week, expanding to 1,585 theaters from 8, Paramount’s The Big Short dropped only about 0.56% for a Wednesday take of $1.94M for 7th place, bringing its cume to $21.89M.
Sony’s Will Smith pro football drama Concussion came in at No. 8, with an estimated $1.685M, down just over 10% from Tuesday’s $1.875M, bringing its 6-day cume to about $15.74M.
Warner Bros. reported Point Break grossed $1.425M Wednesday night to land at No. 9 with $14.355M since opening Friday. Wednesday’s gross was down a bit more than 13% from Tuesday’s $1.645M.
No. 10 Disney/Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur grossed $1.4M on Wednesday, down about 4.2% from Tuesday’s $1.47M, with a cume in week 5 of $109.5M.
Notable among limited releases in its first week, Fox’s The Revenant is holding up very well in four New York City and LA theaters. After grossing $118,640 per theater over Friday-Saturday-Sunday ($474,560), the Alejandro González Iñárritu survival thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy has been grossing more than $25K per theater since Monday, when it took in $117,768 ($29,442 average). Tuesday it dropped only 11.32% to $104,433 ($26,108 per theater) and Wednesday it fell just 0.78% from Tuesday’s figure to $103,623 ($25,906 per theater). Its six-day cume in those four theaters is $800,384 or a little over $200K per location. The Revenant goes out wide to 3,000+ theaters on January 8.