The 12 Days of Box Office - Day Six
Weekend Wrap-Up: Star Wars, Overall Box Office Sizzle and
By John Hamann
December 27, 2015
Daddy's Home cost Paramount, Nickelodeon, Red Granite and Gary Sanchez Productions about $50 million to make, which means it is going to make a fortune for the companies involved. Remember the season, as Daddy's Home is going to finish second for the next week, likely making $5 million a day. It should hold extremely well next weekend, and has little comedy competition until Ride Along 2 opens on the 15th. There is a reasonable expectation that Daddy's Home could get to $200 million, which will make producer Adam McKay the second biggest flavor of the month at the box office. McKay also directs The Big Short, which also had a big weekend, and could vie for Oscar in the months to come.
Third spot goes to Joy, which is directed by David O. Russell and stars his team - Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. These four have now done Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle (De Niro was in it, but uncredited) and now Joy. This is not your mother's Hunger Games - this is a straight drama, a rags to riches story, where governments do not fall and nothing blows up. Forgetting Serena, which nobody saw, Lawrence hasn't done straight drama since 2013's American Hustle, which made Sony a quarter of a billion worldwide, against a $40 million budget. In my mind, Joy is a tougher sell, a story about a woman who stormed QVC with the Miracle Mop. Still, it's Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, so anything goes. American Hustle earned $19.1 million when it wide in December 2013, so the line had been drawn.
On Friday, Joy got started with $6.9 million, a few hundred thousand ahead of where America Hustle started ($6.5 million). This was a better debut than expected, as reviews were decidedly mixed (58% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes). The Cinemascore landed at a B+, though, which was the same score earned by American Hustle. Audiences responded to Joy, and the result was a weekend haul estimated at $17.5 million, as JLaw turns what could be trouble into a minor hit. Joy cost Fox $60 million, so the distributor will have to turn a good start into a strong run for this one to see a profit.
Sisters had a strong follow-up to its debut frame, as several former Saturday Night Live stars have big weekends. The second weekend for the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler came in at a strong $13.9 million, even with last weekend. The small $30 million comedy from Universal has now pulled in $37.1 million and will continue to roll for another week.
Alvin and The Chipmunks also had a strong second weekend, as The Road Chip dropped just slightly from last weekend's opening take. The fourth Alvin film earned $12.7 million this frame, after opening last weekend to $14.3 million. It dropped only 11%, and the $90 million film now has a domestic take of $39.4 million.
Will Smith pushes Concussion, the straightest drama in the bunch, above $10 million over the holiday weekend. Concussion earned $11 million this weekend from 2,841 venues, and despite the lower score for Will Smith, this feels like his first win in a very long time. This one is 60% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, but managed an A Cinemascore, the best score amongst new releases this weekend. This one cost $35 million to make, and appears to be a good bet at this point for Sony.