This year, Christmas falls on a Friday and there are five new presents to potentially unwrap at the theater: Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy Daddy’s Home, David O. Russell/Jennifer Lawrence collaboration Joy, Oscar hopeful The Big Short with Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt, action remake Point Break, and Will Smith NFL centered drama Concussion. You can read my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
As I see it, all five are likely to gross somewhere from the high single digits to mid to high teens. I have Daddy’s Home managing to come in first among the newbies, but it could be a close competition for sure.
As for holdovers, both Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip and Sisters will be entering their sophomore frames after sturdy debuts (especially considering the competition). The Christmas weekend usually means that holdovers often increase their gross from the previous weekend and I believe this will hold true for Alvin (and Hunger Games and The Good Dinosaur and Creed for that matter). Sisters should experience a fairly small decline.
And that, of course, brings us to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which will be entering weekend #2 after its historic opening (more on that below). Audiences and critics have taken to it and it has quickly become a cultural phenomenon. Its next record could be highest second weekend total of all time and in order to do so, it would need to top the six month long record of Jurassic World‘s $106.6 million. As I see it, Force shouldn’t have much of a problem accomplishing that feat and I envision a drop of around 40% for the holiday weekend.
And with that, I’ll expand beyond my usual number and do a Top 11 predictions for an extraordinarily packed Christmas weekend:
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Predicted Gross: $151.6 million (representing a drop of 38%)
2. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip
Predicted Gross: $16.7 million (representing an increase of 17%)
3. Daddy’s Home
Predicted Gross: $16.5 million
Predicted Gross: $14.9 million
Predicted Gross: $13.8 million
6. Point Break
Predicted Gross: $11 million
Predicted Gross: $10.4 million (representing a drop of 25%)
8. The Big Short
Predicted Gross: $8.1 million (Friday to Sunday prediction), $10.6 million (Wednesday to Sunday prediction)
9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Predicted Gross: $6.5 million (representing an increase of 11%)
Predicted Gross: $5.8 million (representing an increase of 14%)
11. The Good Dinosaur
Predicted Gross: $4.9 million (representing an increase of 14%)
Box Office Results (December 18-20)
Slip in any cliche you like. The Force was with it. It moved at warp speed past the record. Star Wars: The Force Awakens easily set the high for largest domestic opening of all time with an otherworldly $247.9 million, topping my projection of $234.7M. This blasted past the record of Jurassic World, which made $208.8M this summer by nearly $40M. With universal acclaim, Awakens has given Disney a mega franchise to work with for years and crowds were clearly clamoring for a return to that galaxy far, far away.
Two titles dared to open against this juggernaut and both fared decently. Alvin and the Chipmunks took the runner-up spot with $14.2 million, right on par with my $14.3M estimate. While this fourth entry in the series easily had the smallest debut of the bunch, it’s still not bad considering it was up against Luke and company. I’m predicting it’ll see a bounce and stay #2 next weekend.
The Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters was third with $13.9 million for a commendable beginning. My prediction? $13.9M… boom!
Holdovers fell a bit further than my predictions. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 fell to fourth after four weeks at #1 with $5.8 million (I said $7M). Its total stands at $254M.
Creed rounded out the top five with $5 million compared to my $6.3M estimate for an overall gross of $87M.
Pixar disappointment The Good Dinosaur was sixth with $4.3 million, under my $6.8M projection. It has yet to reach $100M after 4 weeks at $96M.
I incorrectly had Krampus outside my top seven and it took that number with $4.1 million for a tidy gross of $35M. That’s because I had the Ron Howard/Chris Hemsworth dud In the Heart of the Sea in seventh. It plummeted to 8th in weekend #2 with a gross of just $3.4 million (compared to my $5.6M estimate) and ten days earnings of just $18M. Ouch.
And that’ll do it for now, ladies and gents! Be sure to check back next week for all the Merry results…