‘Star Wars’ crosses $1 billion globally at record pace
LOS ANGELES: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has reached $1 billion at the box office, reaching the milestone with record-setting hyper speed.
The Walt Disney Co. said Sunday that “The Force Awakens” crossed the mark over the holiday weekend. The film accomplished the feat in just 12 days.
The previous movie to reach $1 billion the fastest was Universal's “Jurassic World,” which did it in 13 days in June. “Jurassic World” also had the benefit of record grosses in China. “The Force Awakens” doesn't open in the world's second-largest movie market until Jan. 9.
Domestically, “The Force Awakens” has grossed a mammoth $544.6 million.
The three-day holiday should also rank as biggest Christmas weekend overall in history beating the $269.8 million in 2009, which saw the launch of “Sherlock Holmes” and the second weekend of “Avatar,” the box office titan that “The Force Awakens” hopes to surpass as the highest-grossing film in history.
Despite the furor surrounding the return of the Jedi, a few films managed to score with yuletide ticket buyers.
Paramount reunited “The Other Guys” stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in the comedy “Daddy’s Home” with strong results. The look at a stepfather’s attempts to outshine his wife’s stud of a first husband, came in second with a healthy $38.8 million from 3,271 theaters. That was far above projections which had the picture opening in the $20 million range. “Daddy’s Home” carries a $50 million budget.
Paramount Vice-Chairman Rob Moore said that some on his team questioned whether or not it was wise to debut the film so soon after “The Force Awakens,” but he noted that films such as “Sherlock Holmes” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” still managed to do hefty business in 2009 despite bowing in the wake of “Avatar.”
“What brings people to the movies is a good experience,” said Moore. “If they go to a movie and they like it, they’re more likely to go again.”
Fox also scored with “Joy,” a rag-tag biopic about the creator of the Miracle Mop,’ that earned $17.5 million from 2,896 theaters. The $60 million film reunites the “Silver Linings Playbook” team of Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Bradley Cooper with director David O. Russell. It is expected to be a leading Oscar contender.
But “Point Break,” a remake of the 1991 Kathryn Bigelow cult favorite, wiped out. The $105 million action flick eked out $10.2 million from 2,910 venues. The Chinese-American co-production will look abroad for salvation. It has earned a solid $40 million in China, where it opened on Dec. 3. Warner Bros., which has had a horrific year at the box office, can at least content itself with the fact that it’s only a gun for hire on this one. Alcon Entertainment and DMG Entertainment financed “Point Break.”
Sony’s Will Smith NFL drama “Concussion” nabbed $11 million across 2,841 locations. L Star Capital and Village Roadshow co-financed “Concussion,” which has a $35 million budget.
In its second weekend of release, Universal’s “Sisters” barely dropped from its debut, picking up $13.9 million to drive the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler comedy’s North American haul to $37.2 million. Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” also showed some endurance, adding $12.7 million to its $39.4 million domestic gross.
Paramount’s “The Big Short” expanded from eight theaters to 1,585 locations on Wednesday, picking up $14.5 million for the five day period. Its gross stands at just over $16 million and a further expansion is planned for Jan. 8, at which point the comedy about the financial collapse will be in roughly 2,500 theaters.
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In limited release, the Weinstein Company’s 70 MM “road show” version of “The Hateful Eight” racked up a sturdy $4.6 million from 100 locations for a $45,365 per-screen average.
Fox’s “The Revenant” also did well in a handful of theaters. The blood-drenched revenge epic picked up $471,000 from four locations, for a per-screen average of $117,750. That’s the second best average of the year, behind only “Steve Jobs” with $130,381.
But “The Revenant” will need to resonate with mainstream crowds if it hopes to recoup its $135 million budget — something “Steve Jobs” failed to do. Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the film as a wilderness guide abandoned by his colleagues after a savage bear attack.