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Weekend Box Office: The Revenant Freezes Competition. Dirty Grandpa Tops New Releases

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By Chris Kavan - 01/24/16 at 08:22 PM CT

While the Eastern United States weathered a brutal storm, the box office was graced by a film that featured likewise brutal conditions (albeit, 1800s brutal - no ice melt or snow plows to be seen). In fact, all three of the top films were holdovers and you have to go down to the fourth spot to find one of the new releases. So despite having comedy, horror and teen-centric post-apocalyptic antics, most moviegoers chose to stick with safe bets - and multiple-Oscar nominee, the highest-grossing domestic release of all time and a feel-good sequel.


It took three weeks but Alejandro González Iñárritu award-winning and highly-regarded frontier drama The Revenant finally rose to the top of the box office chart. And I actually got to finally watch it too - and was thoroughly impressed. With $16 million more in the bank (adding 152 theaters, but dipping about 50%), The Revenant now stands at $119.1 million - the third-highest grossing film out of the Best Picture Nominees (trailing Mad Max: Fury Road's $153.6 million and The Martian's $227.6 million) and it has a good chance of topping Mad Max before it ends its run. For Leonardo DiCaprio, it continues to rise among his highest-grossing films - it just passed The Wolf of Wall Street ($116 million) and should be able to top Shutter Island ($128 million) by next week and shortly catch up to The Departed ($132 million). I expect this one to play well through the Academy Awards at the end of February - with a total around $175 million still expected. If you're a fan of amazing cinematography, you don't want to miss this one - some of the best I have seen in a long time.


Creeping up a spot from third to second, Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues to play strong. Though it dropped 46%, there is a good chance it would have topped this weekend if not for the overwhelming support of The Revenant. Still, even in the face of three new wide releases and the second week of a comedy sequel, it managed to top them all in its sixth weekend. Standing at $879.3 million, The Force Awakens looks to be the only film to top $900 million domestically in the next two weeks. Worldwide, it closes ever closer to $2 billion - sitting at $1.94 billion and counting. Though it will likely lose a good chunk of its IMAX and 3D screens in the next two weeks, the film still shows little sign of slowing down too much. I still think it will top the worldwide total of Titanic, but we'll see where it finally winds up. This will be one that it also going to play well in to February.


After topping the box office last weekend, the Kevin Hart, Ice Cube sequel Ride Along 2 took a pretty big 63.2% hit and dropped down to third place with $12.9 million. That drop is much worse than the original Ride Along (only 48.7%) and more in line with Think Like a Man Too (which dipped 64% in its second weekend). Its $59.1 million 10-day total is also much lower than Ride Along's $75 million through the same period. If there is one save, it is that Ride Along 2 is rocking a still-modest $40 million budget and even with marketing, it should wind up making money. Still, it's a bit disheartening and considering Fifty Shades of Black is going to target much of the same audience, it's looking like this sequel is going to run out of gas around the $80 million total.


Though more than a few critics have lambasted Dirty Grandpa and audiences responded with a tepid "B" Cinemascore... it still managed to be the best of the latest wide releases to grace theaters. Starring Zac Efron and Robert De Niro, the film opened to $11.5 million. While that isn't a terrible opening itself (especially with a movie with so many withering reviews), it isn't likely to hold up all that well. Luckily the movie is on the cheap side - but even so, a total around $40 million is probably about the best this one can hope for. Efron has Neighbors 2 on tap - a comedy that might be worth watching.


Rounding out the top five was another newcomer, the low-budget horror film, The Boy. Starring The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan as a nanny tasked with taking care of a charge who just happens to be a doll (and eeeeevil doll!), the film opened to $11.26 million. Not too bad for a film with a $10 million budget. It's another good result for STX Entertainment (following the excellent result for The Gift) and if it plays like Sinister 2 (which opened to similar numbers) the film should make at least $25 million. The "B-" Cinemascore is typical for a horror and I expect it to have a pretty steep drop off (as horror films are wont to do).

Outside the top five: The Fifth Wave couldn't weather the storm, as the teen-centric apocalyptic drama/romance/sci-fi whatever only managed a $10.7 million, sixth-place opening. The audience also gave this a none-too-encouraging "B-" Cinemascore and the $38-million franchise starter looks to fall into the same category as The Golden Compass and His Dark Materials and stall before it can even get started. Unless is can pull off a major surprise overseas, I think this is a one-and-done deal. Don't worry, Chloë Grace Moretz, you get to hang out with Zac Efron in Neighbors 2 as well.

Quentin Tarantion's The Hateful Eight just managed to cross the $50 million mark, with a $1.4 million weekend and a new $51 million total. The film is clinging to theaters in 14th place but will likely drop off the radar quickly.

In limited release, Ip Man 3 managed a nice $762,400 in 103 theaters for a decent $7,402 per-theater average. We'll see if the result will push it into more theaters.

Next week sees the release of the dramatic rescue film The Finest Hours, the animated Kung Fu Panda 3 and the comedy Fifty Shades of Black. We'll see if these three have better luck on their respective openings.


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