The 12 Days of Box Office - Day Three
By David Mumpower
December 24, 2015

They sure do get captured a lot.

I casually mentioned the following of Star Wars: The Force Awakens yesterday: “On the other hand, if it gains some, it’s poised to do something special this weekend.” You can guess by my mention of this quote what I’m about to say.

Welcome to day three of the Twelve Days of Box Office! And the only thing you care about continues to be that movie with the glow-in-the-dark phallic symbols. Obviously, I’m not talking about Sisters. Yes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues its reign of terror as the number one movie in North America on Wednesday. Technically, that was only its sixth day in first place, but it earned $57 million last Thursday. The “Number One” film in North America on that day was The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2; it earned less than a million dollars. In other words, there’s only been one topic of conversation for the past seven days.

The situation is unlikely to change any time soon. Star Wars 7 earned an estimated $38.1 million yesterday. I’m going to emphasize the “estimated” portion. Over the holidays, the studios don’t deal with precise numbers as much, as we oftentimes don’t discover actuals until the second week of the New Year. Studio execs get holiday vacations, too. Speaking of which, hello to the ones who read BOP! Thank you for all the kindness you’ve displayed to us over the past year. If you’re reading this, please put down your smart device and go hug your family. It’s time to leave the office behind for a few days. You’ve earned it.

Yes, I’m all over the place today. If you knew, you’d understand how much personal satisfaction and joy I receive from Christmas each year. My tree has been decorated since November 1st. But I digress. You don’t care about holiday decorations unless they’ve got Yoda on them. You do, however, want to know more about Star Wars, the not-so-little film that could. Yesterday’s $38.1 million represents an estimated increase from Tuesday, when the film grossed $37.4 million. I don’t want to read too much into a minor gain, but the fact that The Force Awakens at least held steady from its already historic Tuesday performance is remarkable.

After only “six” days in theaters, the Star Wars reboot has grossed $363.5 million. To put that another way, it has only passed Furious 7, Inside Out, and Minions in the domestic box office battle. Those films were the 29th, 30th, and 36th most popular films of all-time prior to last Friday. The Force Awakens crushed them all in less than a week. If that’s not impressive enough, I’ll also point out that it’s already earned more than Attack of the Clones, and it’ll pass Revenge of the Sith as early as today or no later than Christmas Day matinees. In simplest terms, if this were a race, Star Wars is making Olympic athletes look like they’re running in slow motion.

That’s the good (well, amazing) news. The “bad” news is that The Force Awakens will fall tomorrow, or at least it should. Very few films in the history of Christmas Eve box office have overcome the negative impact of the anti-holiday. By all reason, Star Wars 7 should fall as much as 50 percent tomorrow. I’m going to have to hedge my bets, though. It’s not demonstrated any respect with regards to other box office trends thus far, which means it might pull off another surprise when today’s numbers post tomorrow.

Even if The Force Awakens does drop, it’ll immediately recover on Christmas, at which point, James Cameron should start to quake in his boots. He’s held a death grip on the title of domestic box office champion since 1998. By this time next week, we’ll have an idea of whether that record can withstand yet another challenge. At this point, the answer is tilting toward no. Avatar’s time as champion appears likely to end after six years.

Merry Christmas, my friends. Whether you’re religious or agnostic, it’s my sincerest hope that you spend the next 48 hours blanketed in love.