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Box Office: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ On The Heels Of ‘Avatar’ To Become Highest Grossing Domestic Movie Ever

Box Office: 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' On The Heels Of 'Avatar' To Become Highest Grossing Domestic Movie Ever

Another weekend, and  “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” broke even more records. Disney hasn’t dropped J.J. Abrams‘ movie from a single screen of the 4,134 it’s playing on, and why should they if it continues to perform like this?

READ MORE: 2015: The Hits, The Flops, And The Year In Box Office

The seventh chapter in the ‘Star Wars‘ saga has broken the record for third weekend gross with $88.3 million, with $34.5 million coming on New Year’s Day (another record). It also became the fastest movie to cross $700 million domestically, now with a grand total of $740.2 million at home. That figure pushes it right up against “Avatar” to become the highest grossing movie domestically of all time, with only a couple million dollars now separating them. And here’s a rather bracing statistic for just how well it’s doing: it took “Avatar” 72 days to reach $700 million domestic — ‘The Force Awakens’ did it in 16. Damn. And while next week will see some competition arrive in the form of “The Revenant” going wide on 3,000 screens, the R-rated vengeance movie doesn’t have the four-quadrant pull of ‘The Force Awakens,’ or the unparalleled momentum. It’s going to continue to be the major box office story for a while.

That’s not to say there aren’t some other interesting stories developing below the radar. Remarkably, “Daddy’s Home,” starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, has gathered $93 million in two weekends, dropping only 25% from its Christmas opening. That’s a tremendous performance for the picture, with the movie poised to be one of Ferrell’s most successful. It looks poised to pass “Step Brothers,” “Blades Of Glory,” and “The Other Guys” domestically, with “Anchorman 2: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy” in its sights. It has proven to be a good counter-programming move by Paramount, while Universal is also seeing “Sisters” hold remarkably well since Christmas, with only an 11% drop, taking in $12.5 million this weekend.

Fighting a leak of the film from an awards screener, Quentin Tarantino‘s “The Hateful Eight” did strong business in its first weekend in wide release. The mystery/western pulled in $16.2 million on just under 2,500 screens putting it a bit behind the $22 million debut of “Kill Bill Vol. 1.” That film went on to earn $70 million domestic, and $180 million worldwide. Essentially, it looks unlikely that Tarantino’s latest will be the kind of box office smash that “Django Unchained” or “Inglourious Basterds” turned out to be, but if it makes a good showing in the Oscar nominations in a couple of weeks, it could see a bump. 

Still punching strong is “Creed,” which didn’t make the top ten this week, but passed $100 million domestically, making it the first film in the “Rocky” franchise to do so in three decades. Meanwhile in limited release, Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson‘s “Anomalisa” debuted with $140,000 on four screens, for a per-screen average of $35,000.

1. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — $88 million ($740 mil.)
2. “Daddy’s Home” — $29 million ($93.6 mil.)
3. “The Hateful Eight” — $16.2 million (($29.5 mil.)
4. “Sisters” — $12.5 million ($61.7 mil.)
5. “Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip” — $11.8 million ($67.3 mil.)
6. “Joy” — $10.4 million ($38.7 mil.)
7. “The Big Short” — $9 million ($32.9 mil.)
8. “Concussion” — $8 million ($25.3 mil.)
9. “Point Break” — $6.8 million ($22.4 mil.)
10. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” — $4.6 million ($274.2 mil.)

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