Box Office: 'The Revenant' Survives Storm Jonas to Win Weekend With $16M
Hundreds of theaters on the East Coast were forced to close because of the massive storm, including in New York City; 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' hits $1.94 billion globally, while 'Revenant' crosses $200 million.
Snowzilla couldn't stop Leonardo DiCaprio.
Alejandro G. Inarritu's awards frontrunner The Revenant rode to the top of the box-office chart in its third weekend in wide release — the first time the movie has come in No. 1. The frontier epic, starring DiCaprio, grossed $16 million from 3,711 theaters for a domestic total of $119.2 million for Fox and New Regency.
The Revenant and other films faced a formidable foe this weekend in winter storm Jonas, which buried a large swath of the Northeast corridor in two feet of snow or more. Three hundred to 400 theaters on the East Coast and in North Carolina were forced to close, including in New York City, a pivotal market that contributes as much as 7 percent of the overall box-office gross.
Analysts project that weekend revenue could be down as much as 12 percent because of Jonas. Theaters in Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia remain dark on Sunday as clean-up efforts begin; it's unclear whether New York City cinemas will be able to reopen.
"This is about as bad as I can remember. I don't ever recall such widespread theater closures," Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson said. "Honestly, I expected Revenant to be No. 1, but I had it doing $19 million, not $16 million."
The Revenant also topped the overseas chart for the first time, earning $33.8 million from 48 markets for a foreign total of $104.5 million. The movie galloped past the $200 million mark globally, finishing Sunday with an estimated $223.7 million.
Even without snowzilla, none of the weekend's three new films in the U.S. — Lionsgate's raunchy, R-rated comedy Dirty Grandpa, supernatural horror film The Boy and Sony's The 5th Wave — were expected to do big business, although all three came in on the high end of expectations.
That being said, they all placed behind The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($14.5 million) and Ride Along 2 ($12.9 million). Zac Efron and Robert De Niro's Dirty Grandpa fared the best with $11.5 million from 3,192 theaters. The movie, coming in No. 4, was decimated by critics but fared somewhat better with audiences, who gave it a B CinemaScore.
In the film, De Niro plays a grandfather who tricks his grandson (Efron) into driving him to Florida just days before the young, uptight lawyer's wedding. "We did very well despite the storm. Plus, grosses in middle America were very strong," said Lionsgate distribution chief Richie Fay.
The Boy, fueled by younger females and Hispanics (41 percent), grossed $11.2 million from 2,671 theaters. Directed by William Brent Bell, the movie is the third release from STX Entertainment, which partnered with Lakeshore on the $10 million movie. Females made up 75 percent of ticket buyers.
Previously titled The Inhabitant, The Boy revolves around a young American (Lauren Cohan) who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village. Her charge, however, turns out to be a life-size doll that the parents treat as a real boy, while the whereabouts of their son is unclear.
STX distribution executive Kevin Grayson said Sunday will be a key day if theaters start opening in New York City and the surrounding suburbs. "I think younger girls who have been cooped up at home will be eager to get out of the house," he said.
Sony's 5th Wave, starring Chloe Grace Moretz, came in No. 6 with an estimated $10.3 million from 2,908 locations. That's a disappointing start, considering the $38 million movie was intended to launch a new YA film franchise. However, the film is faring better overseas, earning $15.9 million over the weekend from 55 territories for a foreign total of $27 million and global tally of roughly $38.1 million. In some parts of Latin America, Europe and Eastern Europe, it's outpacing fellow YA properties Maze Runner and the Divergent series.
5th Wave, based on the best-selling book series, follows a young girl on the run after four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks leave much of Earth decimated. As she prepares for the fifth attack, she meets a young man (Nick Robinson). The film had to compete with The Boy for younger females; 62 percent of 5th Wave's audience was under the age of 25, while 55 percent of the audience was female.
"Jonas was certainly not a friend of the movie business," said Sony distribution chief Rory Bruer. "But it was a great weekend for us on the world stage. We are in great shape on this film."
Both 5th Wave and The Boy earned a B- CinemaScore.
In its sixth weekend, Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit $1.94 billion globally. It placed No. 2 in the U.S. with $14.3 million from 3,365 theaters for a domestic total of $879.3 million; overseas, it took in $23.3 million for a foreign tally of $1.06 billion.
Among holdovers, Universal's Ride Along 2 appeared to be hit hardest by Jonas. The sequel, reuniting Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, tumbled 63 percent in its second weekend to $12.9 million from 3,192 theaters. The Revenant and Star Wars declined 50 percent and 46 percent, respectively. That's the biggest dip for Revenant to date.
Overseas, Ride Along 2 took in $6.5 million from 19 territories for an early foreign total of $10.4 million and global cume of $69.5 million.
Jan. 24, 11:15 a.m. Updated with foreign numbers.