This Christmas is headed to the record books thanks to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a plethora of new films coming into play. For the first time in its history, Christmas weekend could haul in a three-day gross of more than $300M. Last weekend, it was around $315 million, but that included a whopping Thursday preview from Star Wars. Without that, it was a three-day of about $265M. Friday sales, according to Fandango, are on track to far outpace all other Christmas Days before it. The best previous was in 2012, when Les Miserables and Django Unchained were both packing in moviegoers, according to Fandango. Over at MovieTickets.com, sales for Star Wars account for 83% of all sales on its site over the past 24 hours.
The third biggest day in pre-sales for Star Wars already was known to be Christmas Day, but we hear that The Hateful Eight is also going great guns for its limited release.
The success of Christmas Day usually depends on three demographic groups: Non Christians, older males, and African Americans. The last time Christmas was on Friday was in 2009 and with titles like Avatar, Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Sherlock Holmes and It’s Complicated in the mix, it pulled in $280M for the three-day.
This year with Star Wars, Sisters, Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip and a bevy of new pictures (Daddy’s Home, Joy, Concussion, Point Break) and limited titles expected to perform well (Hateful Eight, The Revenant, The Big Short and Carol) we should be able to get over $300M weekend for the first time in the history of the business.
Generally, PG titles do very well over the family holiday, so that is welcome news for the Will Ferrell-Mark Walhberg comedy Daddy’s Home, a PG-13 play from Paramount; Joy from 20th Century Fox; and Point Break from Warner Bros. as well as holdover title Alvin.
“There’s a bounty of new movies in theaters this weekend, including the latest releases from megastars like Will Smith, Will Ferrell and Jennifer Lawrence,” Fandango chief correspondent Dave Karger said in a statement. “But Star Wars: The Force Awakens will see record repeat business and top the box office for the second weekend in a row. The grand total should amount to Fandango’s biggest Christmas weekend ever.”