LOS ANGELES, Calif. – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” marched confidently into the new year, raking in an additional $88.3 million over the New Year’s weekend and topping the box office for a third week, according to studio estimates Sunday.
In addition to setting a new high mark in New Year’s box office history, the record-busting film blew past the domestic grosses of both “Jurassic World” ($652.3 million) and “Titanic” ($658.7 million) to become the second-highest earner of all time with $740.3 million in just 19 days of release.
The top domestic film is “Avatar” with a $760.5 million lifetime domestic gross, but “Star Wars” is barrelling in to surpass it soon. For context, it took “Avatar” 72 days to reach $700 million. “Star Wars” did that in 16 days.
Internationally, “Star Wars” earned $96.3 million this weekend, boosting its global total to $184.6 million. The film opens in China on Jan. 9.
While “Star Wars” might not give up its throne any time soon, films like “Daddy’s Home” and “Sisters” have proven to be incredibly strong performers.
“Daddy’s Home,” the comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, came in second with an estimated $29 million, bringing its total to $93.7 million in just two weeks. The film fell only 25 per cent from its first weekend in theatres. Even more formidable is the mere 11 per cent drop from the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler comedy “Sisters,” which brought in $12.6 million in its third weekend for a fourth-place spot. The film has earned $61.7 million so far.
“When you look at the holding power of ‘Daddy’s Home’ and ‘Sisters,’ it shows you that those films are for many people the antidote to ‘Star Wars,'” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for box office tracker Rentrak. “The diversity of the slate that the studios created by not retreating from ‘Star Wars’ is helping.”
Quentin Tarantino’s bloody Western “The Hateful Eight,” meanwhile, took third with $16.2 million in its first weekend in wide release after a strong limited debut. The three-hour epic, which cost a reported $44 million to produce, has made $29.6 million to date — just shy of what “Django Unchained” made in its first weekend.
“There is still a big audience out there for auteur-driven cinema,” Dergarabedian said. “Tarantino, no matter what, is an interesting filmmaker. Film fans want to see what he’s up to. It’s not as big as some of his other films, but it’s still doing well as it expands.”
“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” took fifth place with $11.8 million, dropping only 10 per cent from last weekend.
The year is off to a strong start overall, up 24.5 per cent from last year. This New Year’s weekend could even set a record if it tops the $220 million total of 2009/2010, when both “Avatar” and “Sherlock Holmes” were in theatres.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1.”Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” $88.3 million ($96.3 million international).
2.”Daddy’s Home,” $29 million ($9.2 million international).
3.”The Hateful Eight,” $16.2 million.
4.”Sisters,” $12.6 million ($650,000 international).
5.”Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” $11.8 million ($10.3 million international).
6.”Joy,” $10.4 million ($9.3 million international).
7.”The Big Short,” $9 million ($2.2 million international).
8.”Concussion,” $8 million ($1.4 million international).
9.”Point Break,” $6.8 million ($6.8 million international).
10.”The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2,” $4.6 million ($4.4 million international).
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Rentrak:
1. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” $96.3 million.
2. “Detective Chinatown,” $45 million.
3. “Mr. Six,” ”$38 million.
4. “Mojin: The Los Legend,” $32 million.
5. “Nuovo progetto Di Checco Zalone,” $20 million.
6. “The Peanuts Movie,” $16.8 million.
7. “The Himalayas,” $11 million.
8. “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” $10.3 million.
9. “Little Door Gods,” $10 million.
10. “The Good Dinosaur,” $9.5 million.
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.
Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ldbahr