After reaching $686.4 million, the new “Star Wars” movie exceeded “Titanic” ($658.7 million) this weekend to become the second highest-grossing film of all time in the U.S., behind “Avatar.”
This first weekend of 2016 is the second largest January weekend of all-time. The top twelve grossed an estimated $204.6 million, $4.5 million shy of the current record, set in 2009 when Avatar was king of the world. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, however, has its eye on Avatar‘s crown as it now sits in second place, just $20 million behind Avatar‘s all-time domestic record, and over $1.5 billion worldwide. Also making headlines this weekend Quentin Tarantino‘s The Hateful Eight expanded nationwide, Daddy’s Home and Sisters prove people want comedy and Charlie Kaufman‘s stop-motion animated feature hit limited theaters.
Beginning with Star Wars, Disney is estimating an $88.3 million weekend, which brings the film up to $740.2 million after only 17 days in theaters. It’s the fastest film to cross $700 million domestically, doing in 16 days what took Avatar 72. The film has broken 40 box office records (and those are just the records BoxOfficeMojo officially tracks at this time) and is currently the sixth highest grossing release worldwide with an estimated $1.51 billion. It will be in fourth place by the close of business tomorrow night.
As for the weekend itself, don’t be surprised to see Star Wars jump up a few million. Rival studios project the weekend to be around $91 million, which would give it the largest January weekend of all-time. Disney is most likely being conservative with their numbers, estimating a rather steep 43.6% Sunday drop.
Coming up second for the second weekend in a row was the Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg comedy Daddy’s Home, dropping only 25% for an estimated $29 million weekend. The film’s cume is now up to an outstanding $93.6 million in just ten days on a reported $50 million budget. Impressive numbers and great timing on Paramount’s part.
In third place we find Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, which most were expecting would top $20 million, but managed an estimated $16.2 million in its expansion from 100 theaters over Christmas weekend into 2,474 theaters this weekend. In all fairness, it did get a jumpstart on the weekend, expanding to 1,958 theaters on Wednesday, which most likely accounts for at least a portion of the smaller number. The R-rated, adult-targeted feature was up against college football bowl games all weekend, which is most likely the reason the Weinstein Co.got out in front a bit, knowing they’d be losing some eyeballs to football. The story here will be told next weekend and whether or not this one can hold on or if it will struggle to finish around $50-55 million.