The 12 Days of Box Office - Day Six

Weekend Wrap-Up: Star Wars, Overall Box Office Sizzle and

By John Hamann

December 27, 2015

Born to be bad. Well, not really. He's going through some stuff.

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Like last weekend, the interesting day was going to be Saturday. We've known for a long time that Christmas Day was one of the four big advanced tickets sale days for The Force Awakens, so the question was whether it could climb beyond that $49.3 million Friday. Remarkably, it did, earning $56.6 million Saturday - an 15% increase over Friday. Sunday was estimated at $47.6 million, which means the weekend tally for The Force Awakens finished at a simply astounding $153.5 million. Domestically, it has now earned a staggering $544.6 million.

Compared to that awesome $248 million opening weekend, Star Wars: The Force Awakens fell 38%. However, if we strip the $57 million in Thursday preview amounts out of that opening take, the number comes down to $191 million. This weekend's drop compared to that amount is a tiny 21%, especially relative to the incredibly high numbers we are talking about here. Had the $153.5 million gross this weekend been its opening weekend, it would have finished 10th amongst the biggest weekend of all time, just ahead of the original Hunger Games, which earned $152.5.

Also, after crossing $400 million on Friday, The Force Awakens also crosses the $500 million mark on Sunday, in only 10 days. Jurassic World hit that mark in 17 days, Avengers in 23 days, Avatar in 32 days, The Dark Knight in 45 days, and Titanic in 98 days. Those are the only films ever to cross the $500 million plateau, and The Force Awakens did it in only 10 days. Inconceivable.


The question that is left now is where The Force Awakens finishes. It's likely going to earn another $100 million before next weekend begins, and will likely earn another $100 million next weekend. That means that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be the second biggest domestic earner ever by the end of next weekend (17 days - or less), if these patterns hold. Avatar finished with a domestic total of $760.5 million ($749 million from its initial release), a record that should fall by Martin Luther King Jr. day. The much harder number to catch will be Avatar's awesome overseas totals. It earned over $2 billion from overseas theatres alone. Currently, The Force Awakens has earned $546 million overseas, making it the fastest to one billion worldwide. The Star Wars versus Avatar race to watch is going to be the global cume, where Avatar earned $2.8 billion. Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned a billion in 10 days, *easily* the fastest any film has reached that mark.

Finishing a very decent second is Daddy's Home, the new comedy with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. While an extremely distant second, the comedy also over-performed significantly, which really shows how a super-blockbuster like The Force Awakens can lift the overall box office. After getting started on Friday with a $15.7 million Christmas Day (the third biggest Christmas Day opening gross ever), the Paramount comedy went on to have a huge weekend. It pulled in $38.8 million over three days, which puts it in the top 20 December openers of all time (Ocean's Eleven is #20 with $38.1 million). Out to 3,271 venues, Daddy's Home had a strong venue average of $11,862. Will Ferrell, who was constantly on TV in Elf over the lead up to Christmas, scores his second biggest debut of his career, his best since Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby hit $47 million in August of 2006. For Mark Wahlberg, this is his second biggest comedy opening behind Ted, which opened to $54.4 million in June 2012.

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