Box Office Sleigh Ride: ‘Star Wars’ Soaring, ‘Daddy’s’ Bringing It Home, ‘Hateful Eight’ Selling Out

4th Update, 6:50 PM: We are seeing how the new pictures are lining up right now this Christmas Day and the NBA game did have a bit of an impact, but it appears that tonight’s business is robust. Star Wars: The Force Awakens could make $47.5M to $50M today and is heading towards a $150M to $160M three-day. Of the new performers, the comedy Daddy’s Home is on course now for a $12.5M Friday (that includes the $1.2M from Thursday night previews) and, at this rate, it is heading towards a high $30M three day, which is great news for Paramount. It’s on 3,271 runs.

Next in line for the newcomers is Joy from Fox which, on 2,896 locales, will sweep away about $7.5M today for an early estimated three-day gross of $20M to $22M.

After that, there’s quite a bit of gap in grosses as Sony’s Concussion in 2,841 theaters looks to rush in with around $4M to $5M Christmas Day for a three day of maybe $12M.

Point Break from Warner Bros. is next with perhaps $4M and a three-day of between $10M and $11M+.

In moderate release (it is now in 1,585 theaters up from 8 last week), Paramount’s The Big Short  – is hovering around $3.75M in estimates now for a three-day gross of $11M to $12M and a five-day between $14M and $16M.

Of those titles in limited release, The Weinstein Co. is doing really well with Hateful Eight as it’s selling out in the 100 runs it’s in. So far, it has logged in $1.14M so far with only 87 theaters reporting for a location average of $13,145. It’s only going to go up from there. Also doing excpetionally well is Fox’s The Revenant with a raw gross of $141,031 with its 4 theaters reporting for a location average of $35,258.

Oscar buzzed about film Carol looks very solid also in its 180 runs, while we hear the other Best Picture hopeful The Danish Girl may have gone a little too wide too fast (Danish Girl grosses will be reported later tonight). In 180 runs, Carol has a raw gross of $186,126 with only 129 theaters, which, also will rise as the night progresses. There will be another update later this evening.

2nd and 3rd Updates, Christmas Day, 1:12 and 5:14PM: Christmas 2015 is shaping up to be a massive weekend already and Star Wars:  The Force Awakens is every bit as big as everyone expected it to be, dropping only a slight percentage from its debut weekend. Right now — and it’s early in matinees — the film could take in anywhere around $150M to help fuel what is likely to be a historic weekend — this could be the first true three-day Christmas and weekend in history that crosses $300M. In fact, there is a good chance it could be a $100M day. Last weekend was calculated at $313M but that included that whopping Disney preview number of $57M for Star Wars. The NBA game ate into business a bit today, but now that it’s over, expect a big night.

With an outstanding start last night driving in $1.2M previews on Christmas Eve, the Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg comedy Daddy’s Home is packing them in this afternoon and we could see Paramount lining its pockets with somewhere in the high $20M to $30M for the three-day. After the one-two punch of Star Wars and Daddy’s Home, many are also are finding Joy this Christmas day, which should make Fox very happy. The David O. Russell film that reunites his Silver Linings Playbook trio Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper could surprise with a box office take in the $20Ms.

Concussion, the Will Smith NFL film about the ramifications of repeated head injuries, right now is falling behind Joy and may run into the end zone with a low-to-mid-teen score. The last of the new wide releases is Alcon/Warner Bros.’ remake Point Break which is starting with the lightest of moviegoing right now. Estimates run from 12M to low teens. It’s still early.

Now for the bevy of limited pictures which are going great guns: The Hateful Eight, The Weinstein Co.’s latest from director Quentin Tarantino is selling out in its 100 runs and other limited titles are performing very strong as well. Those grosses will be reported later tonight. We hear Fox’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s period western drama The Revenant is selling out in its only four locales while Paramount’s The Big Short (New Regency, Plan B) is enjoying big audiences, and may end up with a final call of $9M to $10M in its moderate run — which would be outstanding. Stay tuned.

PREVIOUSLY, 7:47 AM: This will be a two-tiered Christmas holiday weekend with Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens leading and then a swarm of titles below it trying to elbow each other out of the way for their bit of box office glory. While the unstoppable  Force Awakens racked up another $27.5M Christmas Eve Thursday, dropping 27% in what is traditionally a soft night across the country, Disney’s The Good Dinosaur becomes the 6th film for this this year to cross the $100M mark. Meanwhile, Daddy’s Home just pulled in a strong $1.2M to start its holiday three-day weekend (see story here). Star Wars, in one week’s time has pulled in $391.1M (see chart below) which, again, knocks summer monster Jurassic World off its feet as the biggest first week ever at $296.2M. To put things in perspective, Star Wars made more last night than No. 2 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip made in its entire week of play.

Today and tonight moviegoers receive the gift of choice — Paramount’s Daddy’s Home, Sony/Village Roadshow/LStar’s Concussion, 20th Century Fox’s Joy, and Alcon/Warner Bros.’ Point BreakPlus, a number of titles also merge into limited playWeinstein Co.’s The Hateful Eight 70 MM version at 100 sites (before pushing wider on 12/31 with 1,800) and Fox’s The Revenant.

Yes, this will be a crowded weekend, but the number of new entries is a welcome one for the industry as it could see its first true $300M three-day weekend in history. The last time Christmas was on Friday was in 2009 and it pulled in $280M for the three-day from Avatar, Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Sherlock Holmes and It’s Complicated all playing or opening.

Paramount’s Daddy’s Home and The Hateful Eight previewed last night. Hateful Eight from The Weinstein Company will not report today because Christmas Eve on a limited title is marginal money.

Of the pack, we expect Daddy’s Home (which previewed last night to a fantastic $1.2M) to lead the newbie charge. Meanwhile, Paramount changed up its distribution plan for its other film, The Big Short, opening on fewer screens than planned with 1,585. Last night it came up the rankings to No. 3 (behind kiddie film Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip) after adding an estimated $1.7M. Its cume now stands at $5.4M. That, too, is on track to pull in around $10M.

And, interesting to note that Jennifer Lawrence has the No. 6 film in the marketplace right now with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 which will get pushed out today after five weeks in release and over $259M in the bank, and make way for yet another Jennifer Lawrence film in the Top Ten — Joy. And, can’t forget to mention that audiences will be seeing actor Édgar Ramírez is in both Joy and Point Break today.

1). Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS), 4,134 theaters / $27.59M Thurs. (-27%) / Total cume: $391M / Wk 1

2). Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (FOX), 3,653 theaters / $2M Thurs. (-40%) / Total cume: $26.69M / Wk 1

3). The Big Short (PAR), 1,585 theaters (+1,577) / $1.69M Thurs. (-26%) / Total cume: $5.4M / Wk 2

4). Sisters (UNI), 2,962 theaters / $1.4M Thurs. (-42%) / Total cume: $23.2M / Wk 1

5). The Good Dinosaur (DIS), 2,755 theaters (-851) / $910K / Total cume: $101.5M / Wk 4



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