Weekend Wrap-Up

An Irresistible Force Awakens the Box Office

By John Hamann

December 20, 2015

You've seen the movie - now buy the merchandise!

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The Tina Fey/Amy Poehler release Sisters is third. From Universal, this fem-centric comedy got out the gate with an okay score - $13.4 million from 2,962 venues - which should be enough to carry it through the holidays. Next weekend, both Daddy's Home and Joy will to try to push this to the sidelines, but it has earned decent reviews (62% fresh) and serves an audience that is often under-appreciated. Made for $30 million, Sisters is going to be just fine.

With a top three that is this strong, holdovers were in real trouble, as the pie only expands so far, and this pie is really stretched. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 drops to fourth after living at #1 for the last month. This weekend it earned $5.6 million and fell 51%. Mockingjay Part 2 has now hit $254.4 million domestically and has over $340 million earned overseas.

Creed is fifth, earning $5.1 million. It fell 50% compared to last weekend, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if we saw a 10-20% increase next weekend if the studio promotes it. So far, the Rocky offshoot has earned $87.9 million against a $35 million budget.

The Good Dinosaur suffered with both Star Wars and Alvin and the Chipmunks stealing audience, but still tallied $4.2 million this weekend. It dropped 59% and has a cumulative total of $96.5 million. Krampus is seventh, earning $3.8 million. It was down 55%, but remember that it cost $15 million to make and has now pulled in $34.8 million.


Eighth is the Ron Howard misfire In the Heart of the Sea. After opening to $11.1 million last weekend, the Chris Hemsworth film dropped a searing 69%, earning only $3.5 million. It now has a total of $18.6 million.

Two Indian films are ninth and tenth as Star Wars creates a window. Dilwale earned $1.9 million from 268 venues and Bajirao Mastani earned $1.7 million from 304 locations.

The overall box office also hits a record this weekend thanks to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The top 12 films combined earned an amazing $294.8 million, handily beating the weekend that Jurassic World led the top 12 to $266 million. The biggest December weekend had been Christmas weekend in 2009, when Christmas fell on a Friday (as will happen this year). That weekend delivered $259.9 million.

Next weekend brings a massive five new releases, all of which have no chance of finishing first. New films include Daddy's Home with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, Joy with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, Concussion with Will Smith, the Point Break remake, and The Big Short, with Christan Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. In limited release, the Hateful Eight roadshow begins and is joined by The Revenant, which debuts on four screens. That's a lot of releases for a single weekend, but its Christmas, so anything can happen. It certainly happened for The Force Awakens this weekend.

Top Weekend Box Office for 12/18/15-12/20/15 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Star Wars: the Force Awakens Disney $238,000,000 New $238,000,000
2 Alvin And the Chipmunks: Road Chip Fox $14,400,000 New $14,400,000
3 Sisters Universal $13,400,000 New $13,400,000
4 Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 2 Lionsgate $5,650,000 - 50% $254,438,774
5 Creed WARNER BROS. $5,085,000 - 50% $87,900,000
6 The Good Dinosaur Disney $4,232,000 - 59% $96,546,000
7 Krampus Universal $4,000,000 - 53% $35,000,000
8 In the Heart of the Sea WARNER BROS. $3,465,000 - 69% $18,600,000
9 Dilwale Utv $1,950,000 New $1,950,000
10 Bajirao Mastani Eros $1,750,000 New $1,750,000
11 Spotlight Open Road Films $1,483,167 - 41% $22,861,193
12 Spectre Sony $1,400,000 - 65% $193,900,000
  Also Opening/Notables
  Son of Saul Sony Classics $38,891 New $38,891
  The Big Short Paramount $350,000 - 50% $1,292,000
  Chi0raq Roadside Attractions $120,000 - 79% $2,450,000
  Youth FOX SEARCHLIGHT $247,000 + 131% $516,000
  Macbeth $136,300 - 47% $653,672
  The Danish Girl Focus Features $538,000 + 104% $1,325,633
  The Night Before Sony $1,150,000 - 72% $41,500,000
  Carol Weinstein Co. $229,893 - 32% $1,626,721
  Legend Universal $125,000 - 62% $1,725,000
  Brooklyn FOX SEARCHLIGHT $1,200,000 - 40% $16,518,000
  The Peanuts Movie Fox $535,000 - 80% $126,319,000
  Trumbo Bleecker Street $385,240 - 52% $6,252,060
  Room A24 $173,052 - 35% $4,534,916
  The Martian Fox $465,000 - 68% $223,894,000
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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