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Weekend Box Office: Star Wars on Top for Fourth Straight Weekend, The Revenant Powers Into Second

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By Chris Kavan - 01/10/16 at 08:30 PM CT

The weekend might have once again belonged to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but the four-time champion had a close call with Leonardo DiCaprio and the strength of The Revenant. Meanwhile, it was another good showing for January horror as The Forest opened solidly in fourth place. Next weekend will likely see Star Wars finally being knocked from its perch - but from here on out it will only continue to add to its record domestic total. Meanwhile, it had a healthy debut in China and is still chasing Titanic to become second on the worldwide total list.


Mark it four, dude - The Force Awakens yet again topped the weekend with a $41.6 million weekend. As for records, it couldn't top the fourth weekend of Avatar ($50 million) nor will it top that film's fifth weekend ($42 million). But even after dipping 54%, the film stands at $812 million - the only domestic release to hit that mark. Even if it plays more like a standard blockbuster at this point, $900 million is all but a lock, with $950 million a distinct possibility (and maybe even more depending on how long Disney keeps it in theaters). On the worldwide front, the film opened to a massive $53 million in China, including a the second-best opening of all time in that market at a $33 opening day. With that opening, Star Wars passed Jurassic World to become the third-highest worldwide release of all time with $1.73 billion. It next sets its sights on Titanic at $2.186 billion. That total is likely to be toppled but it is looking like Avatar will remain the champion at $2.78 billion. Still, the film is currently at 9th place all time in pure international numbers and the 15th-highest grossing movie of all time (adjusted for inflation). It will likely move up the charts on both those lists in short order.


It was a very good weekend for director Alejandro González Iñárritu and Leonardo DiCaprio as The Revenant nearly toppled Star Wars with an impressive $38 million opening (and representing a eye-popping 8,385.4% from its two-week limited run. That opening pretty much blew away almost every prediction out there - and with some awards-season love very likely, The Revenant is looking at a long and prosperous run through the month. Hey, The Revenant also managed to beat Star Wars out on Friday - so at least it can say it topped the top movie in America for one day. The opening represents the fourth-best opening for DiCaprio (coming in behind Shutter Island at $42m, The Great Gatsby at $51m and Inception at $62m). It is also just a day or so away from topping Birdman ($42 million) and should the film top $105.1 million (which is most likely will) it will have made more than all of Iñárritu's films combined up to this point. If it plays similar to Lone Survivor - its looking at around a $125 million run but if it performs as well as Gran Torino, it could be looking at closer to $200 million. It really all comes down to how audiences support this one going in to awards season.


The comedic dynamic duo of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg continues to bring down the house. With $15 million (off about 49%) the film raised its total to $116.3 million in its third weekend. By next weekend it should have at least $125 million - which will put it on the same level as Anchorman 2 and Lone Survivor. Daddy's Home should approach the $150 million mark. That total would look very good on both actors' all time list and isn't shabby at all going up against the biggest domestic release of all time.


It has been said (maybe just by me - but I'm sure other people are thinking it) that January is the new October because it's become the best time to release horror films. Now, there films aren't often very well reviewed (by critics or audiences) yet they often manage to make more than enough to make up for their budgets. So it is with The Forest. Based on a real location in Japan that is home to a staggering number of suicides, Natalie Dormer stars as a woman looking for her missing sister and finding something much more sinister. The $10-million-budged film opened in fourth with $13.1 million. Now, it should be noted critics savaged this and audiences awarded it a ho-hum "C" Cinemascore (about on par with many other horror films) so likely it will drop fast and hard (probably a 65% to near 70% drop) but even if it does, it has already proven its point. If it only winds up with $25-$30 million, so what, it's already in the black and will continue this trend of horror in winter (in fact, several more are coming up).


Who knew opening up against Star Wars would be a good idea? Tina Fey and Amy Poehler continue to hold strong, with Sisters dropping about 44% but still managing to place in the top five with $7.1 million and a new total of $74.8 million. It will top $75 million - and should still have a shot at $100 million, though likely it will probably top out at closer to $90 million. Still, for two comedies competing for attention - it's a very good result and, once again, shows there is plenty of room with Star Wars taking up most of the space.

Outside the top five: Opening in a handful of theaters (482 to be exact) The Masked Saint was a no-show with a paltry $133,000 (and a terrible $275-per-theaters average) and will likely be a one-and-done weekend for the faith-based wrestling drama.

The Hateful Eight was the big loser, dropping from third to sixth place in the fact of The Revenant, and shedding nearly 60% of its audience in the process. With $6.35 million, the film now stands at $41.4 million and while it will match its $44 million budget, it probably isn't going to reach much above $60 million.

Down in 8th place, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip crossed $75 million with a $5.5 million weekend, likely its last major milestone.

Next week we're likely going to see a new box office champion - most likely the Keven Hart sequel Ride Along 2. We're also getting Michael Bay's attempt to get serious with 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi along with the animated film Norm of the North.


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