5TH UPDATE, Monday 4:12 PM final writethru: Star Wars: The Force Awakens stands at $742.2 million, $18.3M away from overtaking Avatar as the all-time top-grossing film at the domestic box office, a marvel many predict will occur at the end of tomorrow. Despite the J.J. Abrams film coming in toward the higher end of yesterday’s industry estimates at $90.2M, New Year’s Weekend 2016 didn’t take the all-time crown for tickets sales, falling breaths behind 2010’s $220M FSS record with $219.26M.

As for 2016 vs. 2015 in regards to ticket sales — well, we’re already 24% ahead of last year.

During the first weekend of 2010, Avatar ruled with $68.5M in its third session followed by Sherlock Holmes in second with $36.6M. Force Awakens did take the best third weekend ever title away from the James Cameron film this weekend. It is also the fastest film ever to reach $700M and did so in 16 days; Avatar took 72 days.

This weekend also saw Episode VII become the second-highest-grossing release, sailing by Titanic ($658.7M, includes 3D re-issue) and Jurassic Park ($652.3M) in record time (see below). Among 2015 releases, Force Awakens is second with $652M, inches behind Jurassic World’s $652.27M. 

It didn’t hurt that it has been dominating the Imax screens over the holidays. With $152M hauled in worldwide from those venues, The Force Awakens is the company’s second-highest-grossing title ever. It did so in a record 19 days (without the benefit of a China release) as compared to Avatar, which took 47 days to reach $150M (and included a China release). The current per-screen average for an Imax screen is a big $226K.

Domestically, the franchise favorite was on 391 screens; the North American cume will be $98.2M to become the company’s second-highest domestic player of all time. It’s just a day or so away from crossing the $100M threshhold. In only about 20 days, it will be cutting Avatar‘s record in half as it took 49 days to reach that mark.

While it’s overperforming domestically, it added another $186M+ this weekend internationally. For how it’s comparing to Avatar, read Nancy Tartaglione’s box office report.

Daddy’s Home is No. 2 and right on track with estimates, ringing up $29.2M in its second FSS and a 10-day running cume of $93.88M. Picwill pass the $100M threshhold for Paramount in short order. Megan Colligan, president of worldwide marketing and distribution, attribute’s the film’s success to the comedy duo of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. “That one booking Will Ferrell did on Jimmy Fallon over Christmas aired twice so that was a good get,” she said. “He always brings something special. Wahlberg, she noted, is “a very big star with the African American community and in the Middle of the country. Together they cover so many bases. The film itself has slapstick and sophisticated jokes, a lot of heart at the end of the film, so it does well with families. It’s playing very strong throughout the country and it’s because of these two guys.”

The Hateful EightThe Hateful Eight played a bit softer yesterday (down about 8%) from Friday with a final FSS of $15.7M. Its filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s latest bluster took place in the UK, telling the Telegraph, “I’ve always felt the Rebel flag (Confederate flag) was some American swastika.” Okay, okay. The latest from Tarantino ended the weekend with a cume of $29M. Weinstein Co. will add another 400 to 500 runs to the pic’s current 2,474 theater count.

The question is how much staying power does this one have as it’s not performing like Tarantino’s last picture Django Unchained which opened on Christmas Day to $30.1M and had momentum going forward into Awards season? This one, which is being singled out as much more bloody and violent, just isn’t the critical darling and had a very different release pattern to accommodate Tarantino’s wish for a 70mm run. Hateful Eight lassoed a 75% fresh Tomatometer score versus Django‘s 88%. Kudos to the distribution team for being able to pull that off.

“We did a B CinemaScore, but they conducted that on the Wednesday, the 30th so we asked them to do a supplemental CinemaScore over the weekend when the picture went wider, and that one came in with an A- which bodes for the film,” said Erik Lomis, president of theatrical distribution and home entertainment for distributor The Weinstein Co.  On Wednesday, fewer moviegoers were in the marketplace and the sample size was smaller. A whopping 89% said the reason they attended the film was because they wanted to see the director’s latest. It also played a notch better with male moviegoers, which made up 62% of the audience polled.

“I think the 70mm in 100 screens did almost 15% of the business so his fans really responded to that. We’re encouraged that with Awards seasons coming up, we will have long legs,” said Lomis.

SistersMeanwhile, the guessing game is over and Sisters just took the No. 4 spot away from those annoying little (oops!), we mean loveable chipmunks on Saturday. The raunchy comedy starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler which surprised everyone with its percentage jump last weekend, brought in another $12.76M raising its cume to $61.88M for Universal and chased the critters into the fifth spot on the box office chart. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip grossed $12.07M for Fox bringing its total through three weekends to $67.6M

Joy is next at No. 6 with a three-day of $10.2M down 40%, taking the biggest slide of all the wide releases in its sophomore frame. The Big Short reaped $9.06M for the three-day to take the No. 7 spot and a $33.05M cume after four weeks in release.

316397id1_PointBreak_Jumpers_Intl_27x40_1Sheet.inddConcussion made $7.8M for the 3-day off 25% while Point Break is bringing up the rear and dropping 30% in its second weekend for $6.8M and a 10-day gross of $22.4M. Our sources tell us this morning that the first crop of holiday titles to shed screens this weekend are these two titles.

Rounding out the Top Ten is Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 in its seventh weekend in play and with a cume to date of about $274.1M after a $4.6M weekend. Through the same frame a year ago, MJ2 is flocking behind MJ1 by 15%. MJ1 finaled its total cume at $337.1M.

NOTEWORTHY: Creed, at No. 12, broke the $100M mark for Warner Bros. this weekend in its sixth week in the ring for a total cume of $103.1M. They need the good news after Point Break‘s lackluster opening and second weekend. Worldwide the Alcon title, which has a production cost of $105M before P&A, has generated $80.77M.  Point Break’s highest grossing market is China at $38.8M.

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney, $90.2M (-40%), 4,134 locations, $21,829 average, $742.2M, 3 weeks.
  2. Daddy’s Home, Paramount, $29.2M (-25%), 3,342 locations, $8,739 average, $93.889M, 2 weeks.
  3. The Hateful Eight, The Weinstein Company, $15.7M (+241%), 2,474 locations, $6,349 average, $29M, 2 weeks.
  4. Sisters, Universal, $12.76M (-10%), 2,978 locations, $4,285 average, $61.88M, 3 weeks.
  5. Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip, 20th Century Fox, $12.07M (-8%), 3,474 locations, $3,475 average, $67.6M, 3 weeks.
  6. Joy, 20th Century Fox, $10.2M (-40%), 2,924 locations, $3,492 average, $38.5M, 2 weeks.
  7. The Big Short, Paramount, $9.06M (-14%), 1,588 locations, $5,705 average, $33,055M, 4 weeks.
  8. Concussion, Sony, $7.8M (-25%), 2,841 locations, $2,762 average, $25.2M 2 weeks.
  9. Point Break, Alcon/Warner Bros., $6.8M (-30%), 2,910 locations, $2,343 average, $22.4M, 2 weeks.
  10. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Lionsgate, $4.6M (-13%), 1,485 locations, $3,109 average, $274.18M, 7 weeks.
  11. The Good Dinosaur, Disney, $4.05M (+7%), 1,735 locations, $2,335 average, $114.766M, 6 weeks.
  12. Creed, MGM/New Line/Warner Bros., $3.7M (-15%), 1,375 locations, $2,718 average, $103.1M, 6 weeks.
  13. The Danish Girl, Focus Features, $1.5M (0%), 449 locations, $3,439 average, $6.05M, 6 weeks.
  14. Brooklyn, Fox Searchlight, $1.24M (+17%), 284 locations, $4,397 average, $20.8M, 9 weeks.
  15. Spotlight, Open Road, $1.185M (+9%), 385 locations, $3,078 average, $27.1M, 9 weeks.
  16. Carol, The Weinstein Company, $1.181M (+8%), 189 locations, $6,250 average, $4.98M, 7 weeks.
  17. Krampus, Universal, $812K (-63%), 663 locations, $1,225 average, $42.27M, 5 weeks.
  18. Bajirao Mastani, Eros Entertainment, $778K (-41%), 302 locations, $2,579 average, $5.8M, 3 weeks.
  19. Spectre, Sony, $730K (-18%), 331 locations, $2,208 average, $197.8M, 9 weeks.
  20. In The Heart Of The Sea, Warner Bros., $686K (-29%), 533 locations, $1,289 average, $23.75M, 4 weeks.

Noteable:

The Revenant (FOX), 4 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $447K (-6%)/ Per screen: $112K / Total cume: $1.32M / Wk 2

Anomalisa (PAR), 4 theaters / 3-day cume: $135K / Per screen: $34K/5-day cume: $211K / Wk 1

Sunday’s weekend chart as of 8 AM :

1). Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS), 4,134 theaters (0) / $34.2M Fri. (-30%) / $34.2M Sat. (+0%) / $22.2M Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $90M-$91M (-39%) / Total cume: $742M / Wk 3

2). Daddy’s Home (PAR), 3,342 theaters (+71) / $11.476M Fri. (-26.9%) / $11.5M Sat. (+1%) / $6.3M Sun. (-45%) / 3-day cume: $29M+ (-24%) / Total cume: $93.6M to $94M+ / Wk 2

3.) The Hateful Eight (TWC), 2,474 theaters (+2,374) / $6.4M Fri. (+232%) / $5.9M Sat. (-8%) / $3.86M Sun. (-35%%) / 3-day cume: $16M to $16.2M (+252%)/ Total cume: $29.5M / Wk 2

4). Sisters (UNI), 2,978 theaters (+16) / $4.7M Fri. (-1% to +4%) / $5M Sat. (+6%) / $2.7M Sun. (-45%) / 3-day cume: $12.5M (-11%) / Total cume: $61.78M / Wk 3

5). Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip (FOX), 3,474 theaters (-231) / $4.37M Fri. (-7%) / $4.8M Sat. (+10%) / $2.6M TO $2.8M Sun. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $12M (-6%) / Total cume: $67.3M to $67.6M / Wk 3

6). Joy (FOX), 2,924 theaters (+28) / $4M Fri.(-42%) / $4.1M Sat. (+3%) / $2.8M Sun. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $10.4M-$10.6M (-8%) / Total cume: $38.7M to $38.9M / Wk 2

7). The Big Short (PAR), 1,588 theaters (+3) / $3.36M Fri.(-11%) / $3.6M Sat. (+8%) / $2.3M Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $9M-$9.4M (-10% to -14%) / Total cume: $33.8M to $33.4M / Wk 4

8). Concussion (SONY), 2,841 theaters / $3M-$3.2M Fri. (-25% to -29%) / $3.2M Sat. (+7%) / $1.8M Sun. (-45%) / 3-day cume: $8M-$8.2M (-22%) / Total cume: $25.5M / Wk 2

9). Point Break (WB), 2,910 theaters / $2.68M Fri. (-35%) / $2.65M Sat. (-1%) / $1.45M Sun. (-45%) / 3-day cume: $6.7M – $6.8M (-31%) / Total cume: $22.3M to $22.4M / Wk 2

10). The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (LGF), 1,485 theaters (-328) / $1.79M Fri. (+19%) / $1.8M Sat. (+6%) / $1M Sun. (-45%) / 3-day cume: $4.6M (-12%) / Total cume: $274.2M / Wk 7

Anita Busch compiled Saturday night’s report and Sunday’s write-thru.

Saturday 7:59AM 3RD UPDATE, write-thru: As the second day of 2016 gets underway, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has easily claimed the No. 2 spot among all time domestic grossers. Disney reported a cume through Friday of $686.4M. Industry guesstimates have Episode VII adding another $34M or thereabouts today which would elevate J.J. Abrams’ contribution to the canon to about $720 million on its 16th day of release. If Sunday business as projected brings in $21M-$25M the 3-day/third weekend figure will be something like $90M-$94M.  By the end of business Sunday with a cume of $741M-$745M, the latest Star Wars saga seems assured of surpassing Avatar‘s all time domestic record of $760.5M sometime Monday.

Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, expanded from 100 theaters to 2,474, added an estimated $6.4M Friday and is expected to gross $6.6M-$6.8M Saturday plus about $4M on Sunday for a 3-day figure of about $17M. The movie’s 70MM screenings still lead the pack across the country, selling out many evening shows, per the Weinstein Company. Overall the movie seems to be a bigger draw in the West and Southwest, especially so in smaller to midsize markets including Portland, Salt Lake City, Omaha, Kansas City, Boise and Reno to name just a few.

Kinsey Lowe compiled the Saturday morning report and write-thru.

Friday 2ND UPDATE, 11:42PM: Early Friday PM industry figures show Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens making as much as $35M today, raising its cume through 15 days to $687M. What does this mean? It means that Force Awakens flew past the No. 2 and No. 3 all-time domestic grossing titles Titanic ($658.7M) and Jurassic World ($652.27M) in the same day. By end of Sunday, Force Awakens’ total is projected to stand between $744.8M-$746M, just $14.5M-$15.7M short of Avatar‘s all-time domestic record of $760.5M. Should these figures hold up, this would put Force Awakens in a position to own the all-time crown by end of Monday.

Estimated third FSS for Force Awakens: $90M-94M, off at most 37% from its Christmas frame. In its third weekend, which also fell over New Year’s 2010, Avatar made $68.5M.

Disney reported this morning that Force Awakens ended its 2015 with $652M, just $271K short of Jurassic World’s cume (which that film took 5-1/2 months to hit).

hateful eightThis weekend’s sole wide release, Weinstein Co.’s The Hateful Eight is looking at a $6.4M Friday at 2,474 with an eye on a second FSS between $17.2M off a B CinemaScore. By Sunday, the eighth Quentin Tarantino film could be looking at an estimated 10-day cume of $30.6M. Ever since 2010’s True Grit, westerns have showed long legs during the year-end holidays. Also looking strong in its second weekend is 20th Century Fox/New Regency’s The Revenant, projected to take $106K per theater over FSS for $424K, -10.7% from Christmas frame for a 10-day haul of $1.29M. True Grit, rated PG-13, had a B+ CinemaScore, opened to $36M over five days and ended its run at $171.2M, a 4.76 multiple. Tarantino’s R-rated Django Unchained at 165 minutes is the closest comp here for Hateful Eight which carries two running times: 167 minutes for the wide release and 187 minutes for the road show version. Django debuted when Christmas fell on a Tuesday, so it had a 6-day opening of $63.4M. Based off its FSS of $30.1M, Django churned a 5.4 multiple with a final stateside tally of $162.8M.

hateful eight photoHateful Eight began its run with 100 70MM road shows in its first five days before upping its theater count on Wednesday. Tarantino and various cast members have made appearances around the country in the last week at screenings; on Wednesday the director surprised fans at an Alamo Drafthouse Ritz screening in Austin followed by a Q&A with the exhib chain’s founder Tim League. One person who attended the film Wednesday night at the Coolidge Corner posted the following photo of the line for Hateful Eight — and there were more people behind him. Coolidge is one of the three theaters in Boston showing Hateful Eight in 70MM — and it’s one of the better venues. It’s as though the fanboys who’ve had their fill of Force Awakens are now jonesing for another cinematic fix and getting it with Hateful Eight.

tarantino tim leagueHateful Eight‘s marketing included Tarantino making his traditional pit stop at Comic-Con back in July. There was a ’12 days of Hateful Giveaways’ contest. Notable ad buys and promotions targeted men and sporting events, read Hateful Eight was the exclusive sponsor of the Conner McGregor UFC fight. The pic sponsored Christmas Day NBA games on ABC and ESPN. There were promos with WWE Raw and Smackdown on USA and SyFy. CMT aired the making-of-special, and there was a Twitter retweet campaign pushing the roadshow. ISpotTV estimates that TWC shelled out $15.4M in estimated ad spot buys.

Most of the films in the weekend’s top 10 are seeing soft holds coming off the Christmas frame ranging from -7% to -38%. As we’ve overwritten — this isn’t the end of the holiday moviegoing stretch. Some schools remain out through the end of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, so it will be interesting to see how far this Christmas crop can go. And, of course, Golden Globes wins next Sunday as well as Oscar nominations on Thursday, Jan. 14 are just going to goose the B.O. of any title that’s in the conversation.

Paramount’s Daddy’s Home has a hold on second place in its second weekend with studio reporting Friday of $11.476M (down almost 26.9% from opening day) from 3,342 theaters.  3-day industry estimate is $28M-$29M (-25% to -28%) for a 10-day cume of $92.7M-$94M.

Anomalisa

Paramount also opened in four venues the adult animated feature Anomalisa which gained serious awards season traction with a Golden Globe ani nom as well as five Annie awards. Critics love it with a 97% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Par reported $54K for Friday and it’s looking at a $140K FSS ($35K PTA) weekend and a five-day total of $215K after opening Wednesday. That’s all right with a $53.75K per theater average over the five days.
Par’s third holiday release, New Regency’s The Big Short‘s FSS is currently projected at $8.8M-$9.3M in 1,588 cinemas for No. 7 with a four-weekend cume by Sunday between $32.78M- $33.3M.
Fox’s Joy is looking at an estimated second weekend hold of -35% to -39% with $10.4M to $11M and a 10-day cume of $39M in sixth place. Compared to the same exact number of daysDavid O. Russell’s latest title is pacing ahead of his last title American Hustle by 93%.

Sony/Village Roadshow/LStar’s Concussion at 2,841 looks to post $7.9M-$8.4M in eighth place for a 10-day total by weekend’s end of $25.5M. The Will Smith drama is trailing his December 2008 drama Seven Pounds ($70M) in its second weekend by 33%.

Alcon’s Point Break via Warner Bros. is sliding to ninth place with an industry estimate of $6.75M to $7.3M at 2,910, down 35% to 30% for a 10-day total that’s between $22.3M and $23M.

Warner Bros.’ Creed, the Rocky spinoff with Michael B. Jordan as the son of Rocky Balboa’s trainer Apollo Creed, crossed the $100M milestone Friday as the day’s tally of $1.48M pushed the picture’s gross to $101M. Its Friday-Saturday-Sunday estimate is $4M which would bring writer-director Ryan Coogler’s movie to a cume of $103.57M.

Why do people keep going back to Force Awakens? As we pointed out in Rentrak PostTrak polls, the film is meeting and exceeding expectations by leaps and bounds. RelishMix analyzed from the social chatter that fans are debating the cliffhanger ending, specifically whether the leading female protagonist Rey is related to the Skywalkers, the Solos…or the Kenobis. Articles out there by fans deconstruct these theories left and right. Since its opening, the Star Wars social media universe has exploded from 667M to 755M. Mark Hamill has added 38K Twitter followers since last Saturday, now counting 793K. Daisy Ridley is adding 20K likes a day on her Facebook page, up to 259K.

During the summer, some rival distribs thought Disney was daring in dating Force Awakens for the holiday play period. At four weekends, it’s a finite time. However, what this frame has going for it over May-August is that not just kids, but adults are on vacation, fueling lucrative moviegoing over the Christmas and New Year’s span. Given the fact that it’s winter, post-Christmas arguably offers fewer distractions than summer. The only out for many remains going to the movies, and a film like Force Awakens, as we saw with Jurassic World this summer, has a multi-generational appeal. Currently from 25 titles, we’re counting the New Year’s weekend total ticket sales at $221M+, which would beat 2010’s all-time New Year’s record of $220M when Avatar was in its third sesh.

Weekend industry box office estimates for Jan. 1-3, 2016 as of 11:30PM:

1). Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS), 4,134 theaters (0) / $34.46M Fri. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $90M-$94M (-39%) / Total cume: $741M-$745M Wk 3

2). Daddy’s Home (PAR), 3,342 theaters (+71) / $11.476M Fri. (-26.9%)/ 3-day cume: $28M-$29M (-25% to -28%)/ Total cume: $92.7M-93.7M / Wk 2

3.) The Hateful Eight (TWC), 2,474 theaters (+2,374) / $6M-$6.3M Fri. (+215% to 232%) / 3-day cume: $16.2M-$17.4M (+251% to +278%)/ Total cume: $30.6M / Wk 2

4/5). Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip (FOX), 3,474 theaters (-231) / $4.5M-$4.6M Fri. (-7%)/ 3-day cume: $12.28M-12.35M (-6%) / Total cume: $68M / Wk 3

Sisters (UNI), 2,978 theaters (+16) / $4.6M-$4.8M Fri. (-1% to +4%) / 3-day cume: $12.1M-$12.5M (-12% to -15%) / Total cume: $61.5M / Wk 3

6). Joy (FOX), 2,924 theaters (+28) / $4M-$4.1M Fri.(-40% to -42%) / 3-day cume: $10.4M-$11.1M ( -35% to -39%) / Total cume: $39M / Wk 2

7). The Big Short (PAR), 1,588 theaters (+3) / $3.36M Fri.(-11%) / 3-day cume: $8.8M-$9.3M (-11% to -16%) / Total cume: $32.7M-$33.3M / Wk 4

8). Concussion (SONY), 2,841 theaters / $3M-$3.2M Fri. (-25% to -29%) / 3-day cume: $7.9M-$8.4M (-20% to -25%) / Total cume: $25.8M / Wk 2

9). Point Break (WB), 2,910 theaters / $2.68M-$2.75M Fri. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $6.75M-$7.4M (-25% to -31%) / Total cume: $22.3M-$23M / Wk 2

10). The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (LGF), 1,485 theaters (-328) /  $1.79M Fri. (+19%) /3-day cume: $4.7M (-11%)/ Total cume: $274.3M / Wk 7

11). Good Dinosaur (Disney), 1,735 theaters (-252) / $1.57M Fri. (+62%) / 3-day cume: $4.3M (+15%)/ Total cume: $115.1M / Wk 6

12). Creed (MGM/New Line/WB), 1,518 theaters (0) / $1.4M Fri. (-10%) / 3-day cume: $4M (-9.6%) / Total cume: $103.57M / Wk 6

Noteworthy:

The Revenant (FOX), 4 theaters (0) / $148K Fri. (-14%) / 3-day cume: $424K (-10.7%)/ Per screen: $106K / Total cume: $1.29M / Wk 2

Anomalisa (PAR), 4 theaters / $60K Fri. / 3-day cume: $167K / Per screen: $42K/5-day cume: $240K / Wk 1