With the global phenomenon that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens continuing to dominate, this year’s New Year’s box office weekend should end up as the highest grossing of all time. Friday added an estimated $34.4 million to Star Wars 7’s domestic total, down just 30% from last Friday (Christmas Day). The film is expected to bring in at least $90 million this weekend, it’s third in theatres. That would be more than enough to shatter the all-time domestic box office record, and a day or two ahead of schedule at that.
In case you’ve forgotten, Avatar is the current domestic box office champ with $760.5 million. Of course, that total was built over nine months and includes $10.7 million from a “Special Edition” re-release. By contrast, The Force Awakens has been in theatres just 15 days and has earned $686.4 million. So if you’ve done the math you know that the Avatar record is set to fall by tomorrow night.
The Force Awakens will also go in the record books as 2015’s highest-grossing movie. Through December 31 the film’s estimate stands at $651.9 million – just $300,000 behind Jurassic World. But because yearly records are based on release date and final gross instead of the actual calendar, Star Wars gets the win. This is also how American Sniper wound up as 2014’s highest-grossing movie despite the fact that the film earned almost all of its $350 million in 2015.
The weekend’s only new wide release was The Hateful Eight, the R-rated Western from director Quentin Tarantino. Following an extended version of the film that opened in 100 theatres last weekend, The Hateful Eight (cut down to 167 minutes) expanded to 2,474 locations on Friday. The film earned an estimated $6.4 million, which indicates a weekend total of about $17 million. That’s well below the $30.1 million that Tarantino’s last movie, Django Unchained, made in its opening weekend back in December 2012. Perhaps more importantly, $17 million is also well below initial projections for The Hateful Eight, which was expected to open closer to $25 million. We’ll have weekend box office results tomorrow. Here’s Friday’s top five films:
|1.||Star Wars: The Force Awakens||$34,460,000||$686.4|
|3.||The Hateful Eight||$6,429,000||$19.76|
|5.||Alvin & the Chipmunks 4||$4,375,000||$59.95|