Box Office: 'Star Wars' Nabs Historic $88.3M New Year's, Hits $1.51B Worldwide
Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight' rides to No. 3 in its nationwide expansion; overall revenue for New Year's weekend is up a staggering 44 percent from a year ago and 58 percent from 2014.
The Force remains wide-awake at the worldwide box office.
J.J. Abrams' record-shattering Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed a record-breaking $88.3 million in North America over New Year's weekend to close out the holidays with $740.3 million domestically and $1.51 billion globally for Disney and Lucasfilm. Domestically, it's the biggest third weekend in history for any film.
Thanks to the movie's massive showing, North American box-office revenue for 2015 hit a record $11 billion at the last minute, while global revenue crossed $38 billion for the first time in history, according to Rentrak. The holiday corridor also saw record revenue levels.
Force Awakens is days away from overtaking Avatar ($760.8 million) to become the the top-grossing film of all time in North America, not accounting for inflation. It should achieve the milestone sometime on Tuesday or Wednesday after becoming the fastest title in history to hit $700 million, a feat accomplished in 16 days. It took Avatar, the previous champ, 72 days.
Internationally, Abrams' blockbuster earned $96.3 million over the weekend for a foreign total of $770.5 million. On Saturday, it leapt past Avengers: Age of Ultron ($1.41 billion) to claim the No. 6 spot on the list of all-time top-grossing films. Offshore, the movie is performing strongest in Europe and Australia. Conversely, it's not breaking records in some parts of Asia, such as South Korea, but expects to be a huge player in China when landing there Jan. 9.
The U.K. leads overseas with $145 million, where it's passed up Spectre ($138.3 million) to score the second-best showing of all time behind Skyfall ($161 million). Next up is Germany ($81.4 million), followed by France ($67.4 million), Japan ($52.9 million), Australia ($50.7 million), Spain ($27.4 million), Italy ($24.9million), Mexico ($24.5 million), South Korea ($23.1 million), Russia ($22.9 million) and Brazil ($21.2 million).
Force Awakens remains a big draw in premium formats; Imax theaters have racked up $152 million worldwide, the second best showing of all time behind Avatar ($243.3 million)
Revenue for New Year's weekend in North America clocked in at nearly $220 million, the biggest of all time and up 44 percent from a year ago and 58 percent from 2014, thanks to Force Awakens and a handful of Christmas movies finding their Yuletide stride with audiences, led by broad comedy Daddy's Home, starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
The big disappointment from a financial perspective is Alcon Entertainment' big-budget Point Break, an extreme sports extravaganza and loose remake of the 1991 cult classic. The movie, costing at least $100 million to make, placed No. 9 for the weekend with $6.8 million from 2,910 screens for a domestic total of $22.4 million. Warner Bros. is releasing the movie.
Daddy's Home stayed safely parked at No. 2 throughout the holidays, closing out New Year's weekend with $29 million from 3,342 locations for a domestic cume of $93.7 million for partners Paramount and Red Granite Pictures. Overseas, Daddy's Home is also making strides, grossing $9.2 million from 15 markets for an early foreign cume of $21.9 million and global total of $115.6 million.
Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight rode to No. 3 after expanding nationwide midweek, earning $16.2 million for the weekend from 2,474 locations for an early domestic total of $29.6 million. From The Weinstein Co., Hateful Eight, earning a B CinemaScore, first debuted Christmas Day in an exclusive 70mm run.
Like Daddy's Home, Universal's R-rated comedy Sisters thrived. The movie, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, placed No. 4 with $15.6 million from 2,978 theaters for a domestic total of $61.7 million. Internationally, the comedy has earned $4.4 million from its first few markets for a total $66.1 million worldwide.
Targeting younger tots, Fox's Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip rounded out the top five with $11.8 million from 3,474 locations for a domestic total of $67.4 million. (Both Road Chip and Sisters opened opposite Force Awakens over the Dec. 18-20 weekend.)
Overseas, Road Chip has grossed $91.7 million after earning $10.3 million overseas this weekend from 16 markets. Fellow Fox family entry The Peanuts Movie continued to make a solid showing offshore, earning $16.8 million from 44 markets for a foreign total of $77.1 million and global cume of $205.9 million.
Elsewhere, a number of awards contenders used the Christmas corridor to launch, including Hateful Eight, Joy, The Big Short and Concussion.
Fox's Joy, directed by David O. Russell and starring Jennifer Lawrence, has done solid business, grossing $10.4 million from 2,924 theaters over New Year's weekend for a domestic total of $38.7 million. The dramedy placed No. 6. Joy is off to an impressive start overseas, earning $9.3 million from 28 markets for a global tally of $51.8 million. The U.K. led with a $2.4 million debut, 134 percent ahead of Silver Linings Playbook.
The Big Short, the financial dramedy directed by Adam McKay, followed with an estimated $9 million from 1,585 locations, a modest footprint, for a total of $33 million. Starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt, The Big Short will expand nationwide on Jan. 8, timed to the Golden Globes ceremony. Paramount, New Regency and Pitt's Plan B teamed on the movie.
Internationally, The Big Short has earned a promising $4.4 million so far from nine territories for a worldwide total of $37.4 million.
Will Smith-starrer Concussion, from Sony and Village Roadshow Pictures, came in No. 8 with an estimated $8 million from 2,841 theaters for a domestic total of $25.4 million. The NFL drama has lagged behind its competition, but hopes to have strong legs thanks to an A CinemaScore. Concussion debuted in Mexico, its first foreign market, to $1.3 million for a total $26.7 million.
There was also plenty of action at the specialty box office among awards players.
Alejandro G. Inarritu's The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, continued to soar in its second weekend, grossing $450,000 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for an outstanding location average of $112,500. Fox and New Regency will expand the movie nationwide on Jan. 8.
In its third weekend, Laszlo Nemes' Son of Saul grossed $36,801 from four screens for a location average of $9,200 and cume of $162,574 for Sony Pictures Classics.
New players included Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's stop-motion Anomalisa, which debuted Wednesday in four theaters in L.A. and New York. For the weekend, the Paramount release earned $140,000 for a location average of $35,000. The movie's five-day cume is $215,000.