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Weekend Box Office Report: December 18-20, 2015

12.20.2015

Star Wars blasts box office records!

The ultimate fan favorite franchise finally returned theaters this weekend with astronomical results as STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS soared to a record-obliterating opening of $238 million!

There was never much doubt that the most-anticipated sequel in history would be a success, it was a just question of how big it could be. The answer is: big enough to break records for highest Thursday preview ($57 million), biggest Friday ($120 million), biggest December debut, biggest IMAX weekend, highest per-screen average for a wide release ($57k per-screen), and the highest domestic opening weekend that squashes the previous record set by this summer's JURASSIC WORLD with $208 million.

Director J.J. Abrams' continuation of George Lucas' galactic adventure series is also at a worldwide total of $517 million, which falls just short of JURASSIC WORLD's $524 million global opening. (Of course, THE FORCE AWAKENS has probably also made that much already just in merchandising... and the movie has yet to open in China, which would have unquestionably pushed its worldwide total past the dinosaurs.)

Its opening weekend alone has zoomed past the full domestic totals of some of 2015's biggest hits including THE MARTIAN ($223 million), CINDERELLA ($201 million), MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION ($195 million) and SPECTRE ($193 million).

It remains to be seen if the latest STAR WARS (which reportedly cost around $200 million) can reach the phenomenal $760 million finish set by AVATAR in 2009, but the positive (if not entirely effusive) reaction from moviegoers who've waited a decade for more big-screen lightsabers and blasters could help move it into the neighborhood. THE FORCE AWAKENS is currently at a 95% critical average on Rotten Tomatoes.

Despite the colossal competition, the weekend's other new wide releases managed to attract some viewers. The fourth (!!!) entry in the CG/live-action family franchise ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP opened in second with $14.4 million (although it's quite possible that a significant chunk of that was from moviegoers who couldn't get STAR WARS tickets).

The previous release in the series ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED started out with $23.2 million in 2011 when opening against SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS, and went on to a domestic finish of $133 million.

Opening in third place was the new R-rated comedy SISTERS with $13.4 million. The latest Tina Fey/Amy Poehler collaboration (which cost a reported $30 million) came in lower than their BABY MAMA's $17.4 million debut back in 2008, and has a 62% Rotten Tomatoes score.

After retaining the top spot for a month, THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2 slipped down to fourth place with $5.6 million as the series conclusion passed $250 million domestic and nears $600 million worldwide. CREED was in fifth with another $5 million, still standing strong in the top half of the chart after four weeks in release with a domestic total of $87.9 million.

Pixar's THE GOOD DINOSAUR was in sixth with $4.2 million and still hasn't lumbered to the $100 million mark yet. The holiday horror movie KRAMPUS followed in seventh with $3.7 million and now has a $34.8 million total on a reported $15 million cost.

Director Ron Howard's IN THE HEART OF THE SEA had a whale of a drop from second place to eighth with $3.4 million, down 68% from its opening last weekend. The bottom of the chart had Hindi films DILWALE and BAJIRAO MASTANI (currently battling for box office bucks in India) jumping into the Top 10 despite only being released on a couple hundred screens each.

Outside the chart, we waved goodbye to SPECTRE, THE NIGHT BEFORE, THE PEANUTS MOVIE and the acclaimed dramas SPOTLIGHT and BROOKLYN. The Holocaust drama SON OF SAUL opened in limited release with a $12k per-screen average.

Next weekend presents a number of challengers to the Resistance and First Order, including Will Smith's football drama CONCUSSION, the Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy DADDY'S HOME, filmmaker David O. Russell's latest team-up with Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro in JOY, the superfluous remake of POINT BREAK, the nationwide expansion of the financial meltdown drama THE BIG SHORT, the 70mm roadshow of Quentin Tarantino's THE HATEFUL EIGHT in 100 locations, and the limited release of Alejandro González Iñárritu's THE REVENANT. Merry Christmas!

What is your favorite STAR WARS movie? VOTE HERE!

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens $238 M
NEW
2. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip $14.4 M
NEW
3. Sisters $13.4 M
NEW
4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Pt 2 $5.6 M $254.4 M
5. Creed $5 M $87.9 M
6. The Good Dinosaur $4.3 M $96.6 M
7. Krampus $3.7 M $34.8 M
8. In the Heart of the Sea $3.4 M $18.6 M
9. Dilwale $1.8 M
NEW
10. Bajirao Mastani $1.6 M
NEW

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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11:50PM on 12/24/2015
Finally got to see it tonight, I can return to the world of the internet. What a great time to be around for a movie of this magnitude to actually deliver the goods. Never thought I'd get to see these characters return but they did and it was a real joy. My hat goes off to the cast and crew.
Finally got to see it tonight, I can return to the world of the internet. What a great time to be around for a movie of this magnitude to actually deliver the goods. Never thought I'd get to see these characters return but they did and it was a real joy. My hat goes off to the cast and crew.
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+0
12:36AM on 12/23/2015
Amazing! Loved the movie.
Amazing! Loved the movie.
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5:32PM on 12/21/2015

Weekend Actuals

Looks like the estimate for the weekend was a little low, by 10 million. The latest reported numbers show that The Force Awakens made close to 248 million ($247,966,675 to be exact).
Looks like the estimate for the weekend was a little low, by 10 million. The latest reported numbers show that The Force Awakens made close to 248 million ($247,966,675 to be exact).
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11:14PM on 12/20/2015
Considering I could not get to any showtime because every single one was sold out at my huge local theater, I can only imagine the continued revenue this will bring in as people continue to try to get a seat if they did not buy a ticket in advanced.
My buddy saw it because he got tickets 2 months ago for it and said he loved every minute of it. The audience clapped and cheered every entry of a character/iconic moment he said. I'm looking forward to having a crowd in my viewing, but I hope
Considering I could not get to any showtime because every single one was sold out at my huge local theater, I can only imagine the continued revenue this will bring in as people continue to try to get a seat if they did not buy a ticket in advanced.
My buddy saw it because he got tickets 2 months ago for it and said he loved every minute of it. The audience clapped and cheered every entry of a character/iconic moment he said. I'm looking forward to having a crowd in my viewing, but I hope I can get in soon!
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11:52PM on 12/20/2015
We saw it in Indianapolis on Saturday. Every IMAX within 30 miles was sold out of every show but we found an IMAX ripoff screen that was pretty huge with great sound. I was surprised that it was only 3/4 full for the 7:00PM show, but if they're selling out that kind of percentage, then it's going to stay hot for weeks (at least).
We saw it in Indianapolis on Saturday. Every IMAX within 30 miles was sold out of every show but we found an IMAX ripoff screen that was pretty huge with great sound. I was surprised that it was only 3/4 full for the 7:00PM show, but if they're selling out that kind of percentage, then it's going to stay hot for weeks (at least).
8:48PM on 12/20/2015

Awesome!!!!

More reason for Hollywood to keep its remake machine!
More reason for Hollywood to keep its remake machine!
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1:19AM on 12/21/2015
let me educate you real quick boy.

There are more movies now being made every year than there ever has been.

Unique and ORIGINAL movies are being made all the time and there are ton of AMAZING GROUNDBREAKING movies b eing made every single year.

However unique and risque projects wont get 250 million dollar budgets.

So as long as there are great movies being released every year. Some you may or may not have heard of, I have no problems with established GOOD franchises getting
let me educate you real quick boy.

There are more movies now being made every year than there ever has been.

Unique and ORIGINAL movies are being made all the time and there are ton of AMAZING GROUNDBREAKING movies b eing made every single year.

However unique and risque projects wont get 250 million dollar budgets.

So as long as there are great movies being released every year. Some you may or may not have heard of, I have no problems with established GOOD franchises getting sequels or remakes or what not as long as they are good.

I say goodday.
3:52PM on 12/21/2015
thank you! I am tired of people bitching about the lack of original movies, or too many remakes/sequels. Just take a look at this week alone. "Hateful 8", "Joy", "The Revenant", and "Concussuon" all come out. Although a couple are limited releases. Point is...they release plenty of original, independent movies every year. Just because the big budget ones make all the money, doesn't mean they don't make other movies. 20 years ago..ok. But, we need to give it a rest with all tired "Hollywood is
thank you! I am tired of people bitching about the lack of original movies, or too many remakes/sequels. Just take a look at this week alone. "Hateful 8", "Joy", "The Revenant", and "Concussuon" all come out. Although a couple are limited releases. Point is...they release plenty of original, independent movies every year. Just because the big budget ones make all the money, doesn't mean they don't make other movies. 20 years ago..ok. But, we need to give it a rest with all tired "Hollywood is unoriginal" complaints.
8:45PM on 12/20/2015

Well deserved

Saw it three times this weekend and enjoyed it each and every time. Looking forward to future episodes to come. Thanks, JJ for making Star Wars cool again.
Saw it three times this weekend and enjoyed it each and every time. Looking forward to future episodes to come. Thanks, JJ for making Star Wars cool again.
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8:32PM on 12/20/2015
Really enjoyed it... glad J.J and his team has brought this franchise back to its glory
Really enjoyed it... glad J.J and his team has brought this franchise back to its glory
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+1
7:56PM on 12/20/2015
I work at a movie theater and most of the people who came to see said they loved and are coming back to see again .
I work at a movie theater and most of the people who came to see said they loved and are coming back to see again .
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-2
7:37PM on 12/20/2015

It won't last.

Sorry, folks...it's just not that great. Good, yes. Great, no. Sure, everybody's going to see it, but you need multiple viewings if you want to top Avatar and reach number one, and once was enough for me. My second viewing will be on Blu Ray. I won't drop any spoilers, but there are some glaring (ie: ridiculous) plot holes that I can't believe were allowed to stand. Anyway, I'm not hating, but I sure as heck was hoping for better. We'll see...
Sorry, folks...it's just not that great. Good, yes. Great, no. Sure, everybody's going to see it, but you need multiple viewings if you want to top Avatar and reach number one, and once was enough for me. My second viewing will be on Blu Ray. I won't drop any spoilers, but there are some glaring (ie: ridiculous) plot holes that I can't believe were allowed to stand. Anyway, I'm not hating, but I sure as heck was hoping for better. We'll see...
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7:55PM on 12/20/2015
I don't see why it wouldn't be able to beat Avatar. It's shorter meaning more showing a day. Better reviewed. Better brand recognition.
I don't see why it wouldn't be able to beat Avatar. It's shorter meaning more showing a day. Better reviewed. Better brand recognition.
10:07PM on 12/20/2015
Avatar wasn't that great. This is a better movie than Avatar. This could beat it.
Avatar wasn't that great. This is a better movie than Avatar. This could beat it.
10:31PM on 12/20/2015
Well, considering Avatar was a complete piece of shit and still earned a couple billion, I'd say Force Awakens has a pretty good shot. It'll be tough to beat that terrifying 83% and 7.4 average critic score, but I think 95% and 8.2 might be higher.
Well, considering Avatar was a complete piece of shit and still earned a couple billion, I'd say Force Awakens has a pretty good shot. It'll be tough to beat that terrifying 83% and 7.4 average critic score, but I think 95% and 8.2 might be higher.
7:00PM on 12/20/2015

It is only going to grow

I know a lot of people who are still holding out because they didn't want to go with the crowds. It is going to stay number 1 for probably a good month of so. Also, you have to remember that after Wednesday, all the kids are going to start to see it in mass amounts because school is out. All the Jewish families will make an impressive X-mas Eve/Day number too.
I know a lot of people who are still holding out because they didn't want to go with the crowds. It is going to stay number 1 for probably a good month of so. Also, you have to remember that after Wednesday, all the kids are going to start to see it in mass amounts because school is out. All the Jewish families will make an impressive X-mas Eve/Day number too.
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6:56PM on 12/20/2015
Amazing movie! Well deserved!
Amazing movie! Well deserved!
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6:51PM on 12/20/2015

records

dont forget the record for tickets bought ahead of time was also broken
dont forget the record for tickets bought ahead of time was also broken
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6:31PM on 12/20/2015
The Force is strong with Star Wars!
The Force is strong with Star Wars!
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6:23PM on 12/20/2015
No surprise, yet still some surprises.
Everyone knew Star Wars would be huge, yet a lot of predictions were for $300-400 million so some may say slight disappointment.
I figured Sisters might get some business as counter programming but Alvin surprised me and likely others who predicted empty theaters for it..
Long run hurdles as it goes for Avatar's record is the end of school vacation and also weather like we had last January & Febuary. Avatar played in the summer which gave it access to
No surprise, yet still some surprises.
Everyone knew Star Wars would be huge, yet a lot of predictions were for $300-400 million so some may say slight disappointment.
I figured Sisters might get some business as counter programming but Alvin surprised me and likely others who predicted empty theaters for it..
Long run hurdles as it goes for Avatar's record is the end of school vacation and also weather like we had last January & Febuary. Avatar played in the summer which gave it access to a huge audience for months.
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6:37PM on 12/20/2015
Avatar was released the week before Christmas.
Avatar was released the week before Christmas.
9:40PM on 12/20/2015
My error, always think of it as a summer film for some reason.
My error, always think of it as a summer film for some reason.
10:15PM on 12/20/2015
Not sure where you saw anyone, let alone a lot of predictions for $300 or $400 million. Everything I saw, had it challenging "Jurassic World". Anyone predicting double that is a lunatic. You've either misinterpreted something, or moved some numbers around. This weekends numbers are amazing enough. But then you factor in that Friday was a school/work day. And the last weekend before Christmas. Unreal. I wouldn't be surprised if when the actual totals come out, it's even more than the estimates.
Not sure where you saw anyone, let alone a lot of predictions for $300 or $400 million. Everything I saw, had it challenging "Jurassic World". Anyone predicting double that is a lunatic. You've either misinterpreted something, or moved some numbers around. This weekends numbers are amazing enough. But then you factor in that Friday was a school/work day. And the last weekend before Christmas. Unreal. I wouldn't be surprised if when the actual totals come out, it's even more than the estimates.
3:52PM on 12/20/2015
What I've been trying to figure out every Sunday is that how do they already have the Opening weekend numbers by 12PM PST on Sunday?! The damn weekend isn't over yet for the Domestic Side of things.
What I've been trying to figure out every Sunday is that how do they already have the Opening weekend numbers by 12PM PST on Sunday?! The damn weekend isn't over yet for the Domestic Side of things.
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3:59PM on 12/20/2015
It's an estimate. The actual results come later.
It's an estimate. The actual results come later.
4:00PM on 12/20/2015
It's an average using how many tickets were sold the previous days. The real numbers usually only come out late on Mondays/early Tuesdays
It's an average using how many tickets were sold the previous days. The real numbers usually only come out late on Mondays/early Tuesdays
6:52PM on 12/20/2015
i saw an explanation on box office mojo, but i do wonder as well
i saw an explanation on box office mojo, but i do wonder as well
1:26AM on 12/21/2015
itll probably be a bit higher. Remember jurassic world? sunday numbers had it at 204.6 Million Domestic and 511 Million world wide.

(source) [link]

but in reality when all tallied up it was

Domestic: 208 Million (4 million difference)
Worldwide: 524 Million (13 Million difference)

sooooo its quite likely that Star Wars will jump past Jurassic World
itll probably be a bit higher. Remember jurassic world? sunday numbers had it at 204.6 Million Domestic and 511 Million world wide.

(source) [link]

but in reality when all tallied up it was

Domestic: 208 Million (4 million difference)
Worldwide: 524 Million (13 Million difference)

sooooo its quite likely that Star Wars will jump past Jurassic World
3:19PM on 12/20/2015
The force is still strong wit this franchise. I enjoyed the shit out of this movie despite the weak villains, hopefully they fix that problem with the next episode.
The force is still strong wit this franchise. I enjoyed the shit out of this movie despite the weak villains, hopefully they fix that problem with the next episode.
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2:45PM on 12/20/2015
It's a good sign for the film industry when the opening weekend record is shattered twice in the same year.
It's a good sign for the film industry when the opening weekend record is shattered twice in the same year.
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4:02PM on 12/20/2015
And then they'll say they don't make money at all because of piracy.
And then they'll say they don't make money at all because of piracy.
4:54PM on 12/20/2015
Chinese piracy is the worst but that'll never stop them from shipping as many films over there as possible. Especially because of only select US films are granted distribution in China.
Chinese piracy is the worst but that'll never stop them from shipping as many films over there as possible. Especially because of only select US films are granted distribution in China.
2:43PM on 12/20/2015
Next weekend will be interesting. Star Wars doesn't have an easy follow up weekend against Hateful 8 and the Revenant. I'm sure it will win the weekend but when I look at Avatar and Jurassic Worlds paths, they didn't have any stiff competition for at least a month. Although being Christmas weekend, I'm sure Star Wars will be the go to for family theater outings.
Next weekend will be interesting. Star Wars doesn't have an easy follow up weekend against Hateful 8 and the Revenant. I'm sure it will win the weekend but when I look at Avatar and Jurassic Worlds paths, they didn't have any stiff competition for at least a month. Although being Christmas weekend, I'm sure Star Wars will be the go to for family theater outings.
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4:03PM on 12/20/2015
Interesting point, but I think Star Wars will still own b/c The Revenant and Hateful 8 are limited releases.
Interesting point, but I think Star Wars will still own b/c The Revenant and Hateful 8 are limited releases.
4:04PM on 12/20/2015
I wouldn't call Hateful Eight as strong competition. QT movies are never monsters at the box offices (with only Django passing the 150$ mark).
I wouldn't call Hateful Eight as strong competition. QT movies are never monsters at the box offices (with only Django passing the 150$ mark).
5:14PM on 12/20/2015
I didn't realize they were only limited. There goes my point then.
I didn't realize they were only limited. There goes my point then.
10:36PM on 12/20/2015
Yeah, they're already predicting Revenant will be a modest success at best and I don't know anyone interested in Tarantino's latest. It doesn't help that he's an insufferable ignorant douche and pissed off half the country with his idiocy, but even if he hadn't, an R rated movie by a guy with a career track record of underperforming films that geeks flip out for isn't exactly scaring Disney.
Yeah, they're already predicting Revenant will be a modest success at best and I don't know anyone interested in Tarantino's latest. It doesn't help that he's an insufferable ignorant douche and pissed off half the country with his idiocy, but even if he hadn't, an R rated movie by a guy with a career track record of underperforming films that geeks flip out for isn't exactly scaring Disney.
2:40PM on 12/20/2015
It's going to be an excruciating wait for Episode 8.
It's going to be an excruciating wait for Episode 8.
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1:16AM on 12/21/2015
not really, only 522 days or so. not the usual 3 years.
not really, only 522 days or so. not the usual 3 years.
2:18PM on 12/20/2015
It should be noted that Jurassic World opened in China it's opening weekend and Stars Wars did not.
It should be noted that Jurassic World opened in China it's opening weekend and Stars Wars did not.
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2:44PM on 12/20/2015
Yes that's an important anecdote. Star Wars would have crushed Jurrassic's global opening had it opened in China
Yes that's an important anecdote. Star Wars would have crushed Jurrassic's global opening had it opened in China
4:01PM on 12/20/2015
That is a great point. It would've destroyed it.
That is a great point. It would've destroyed it.
1:15AM on 12/21/2015
also don't forget world wide results are often off by 5-15 million dollars. Even Jurassic World was off by 8 million and made that extra 8 million once it was talied up.
also don't forget world wide results are often off by 5-15 million dollars. Even Jurassic World was off by 8 million and made that extra 8 million once it was talied up.
1:44AM on 12/21/2015
I think this was the right move. People in China are now going to want to see Star Wars: TFA. China is into robots and dinosaurs but space ships are a tougher sell, especially if you tell them that this is a continuation of the saga that begins with The Phantom Menace.
I think this was the right move. People in China are now going to want to see Star Wars: TFA. China is into robots and dinosaurs but space ships are a tougher sell, especially if you tell them that this is a continuation of the saga that begins with The Phantom Menace.
2:13PM on 12/20/2015

Congrats Star Wars

Please beat Titanic and Avatar and become the highest grossing movie of all time!
Please beat Titanic and Avatar and become the highest grossing movie of all time!
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2:48PM on 12/20/2015
It's up to us, guys! Let's do it!
It's up to us, guys! Let's do it!
10:37PM on 12/20/2015
Just imagine a world where Dances With Smurfs wasn't the all-time highest grossing film......
Just imagine a world where Dances With Smurfs wasn't the all-time highest grossing film......
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