The 12 Days of Box Office - Day Four

By David Mumpower

December 25, 2015

Stormtroopers be sweatin'.

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Merry Christmas! You should be celebrating with family rather than reading this, so BOP assumes you’re catching up after the holidays. Hopefully, you got all the presents you wanted and are handling the egg nog hangover with aplomb.

Just in case you’re cheating and reading today, I’ll be brief. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was dominant on Christmas Eve. You can stop at that unless you want specifics. It really does give you the gist. Yes, it was the number one film in North America yesterday. That was never in question. The shock was the way it maintained its dominance over the entirety of pop culture.

On Christmas Eve, films drop from December 23rd. That’s just the rule of the land, and it happens regardless of holiday calendar configuration. Every film in the top ten dropped at least 16 percent. Some of them fell as much as 45.5 percent. As the film earning the largest amount of box office revenue, The Force Awakens should have fallen on the largest percentage drop side of the spectrum. That’s just common sense.

It didn’t.

Yesterday, Star Wars 7 grossed $27.6 million, which is down 27.4 percent from Wednesday’s $38 million. That’s basically the median drop of the top ten films in release, slotting in fifth in terms of percent declines. The latest Disney blockbuster had an eerily similar drop to a film we haven’t discussed yet, The Big Short. That Paramount title dropped 25.6 percent, which sounds great in comparison to Star Wars right up until we discuss actual numbers.


The Big Short fell back from $2.3 million December 23rd to $1.7 million on Christmas Eve, a change in box office of $600,000. The Force Awakens declined $10.4 million, yet its rate of decline was equivalent to a film that’s not even a blip on its radar. Putting this another way, I mentioned the Avatar model on day one of The Twelve Days of Box Office. I noted that if it followed that blueprint, we’re discussing something historic.

Pay attention here since we’re getting to the heart of the matter.

Avatar fell 32 percent on Christmas Eve from December 23, 2009. It grossed $16.4 million on its Wednesday then dropped to $11.15 million on the anti-holiday of box office. Despite dealing with much larger numbers, The Force Awakens held better. That’s kind of a big deal.

You see, Avatar spiked on Christmas Day, just like every other film does. It more than doubled to $23.1 million. If Star Wars 7 performs similarly, we’re talking about another Friday in the upper $50s or lower $60s. As a polite reminder, The Force Awakens earned $62.2 million on its actual Friday once we remove the $57 million in Thursday sneaks. Barring something unforeseen, a film that’s already at $391 million after seven days in theaters should be over $550 million by the next time I post an update on Monday.

Hey Avatar, objects in your rear view morning are closer than they appear.

There’s a real chance The Force Awakens is within $50 million of Avatar by the start of 2016.

Continue having a wonderful holiday, friends. The BOP staff adores you and sincerely appreciates your loyalty.



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