‘Star Wars’ crosses $1 billion globally at record pace

LOS ANGELES: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” showed few signs of flagging over Christmas weekend, barrelling past the $1 billion mark globally at a faster clip than any film in history.


It´s becoming old hat to recount the various ways that the seventh film in the science-fiction fantasy is vaporizing records, but, familiar or not, “The Force Awakens” once again ground down high-water marks over the holidays, racking up $153.5 million domestically.

That represents both the biggest Christmas holiday result and the best second weekend for a film in history. Domestically, “The Force Awakens” has grossed a mammoth $544.6 million.

Worldwide that figure is nearly $1.1 billion.

The “Star Wars” sequel crossed $1 billion in twelve days, something it took the previous record-holder, “Jurassic World,” thirteen days to accomplish.

The three-day holiday should also rank as biggest Christmas weekend overall in history beating the $269.8 million in 2009, which saw the launch of “Sherlock Holmes” and the second weekend of “Avatar,” the box office titan that “The Force Awakens” hopes to surpass as the highest-grossing film in history.

Despite the furor surrounding the return of the Jedi, a few films managed to score with yuletide ticket buyers.

Paramount reunited “The Other Guys” stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in the comedy “Daddy´s Home” with strong results.

The look at a stepfather´s attempts to outshine his wife´s stud of a first husband, came in second with a strong $38.8 million from 3,271 theatres. That was far above projections which had the picture opening in the $20 million range.

“Daddy´s Home” carries a $50 million budget.

Fox also scored with “Joy,” a rag-tag biopic about the creator of the Miracle Mop,´ that earned $17.5 million from 2,896 theatres.

The $60 million film reunites the “Silver Linings Playbook” team of Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Bradley Cooper with director David O Russell. It is expected to be a leading Oscar contender.

But “Point Break,” a remake of the 1991 Kathryn Bigelow cult favorite, wiped out.

The $105 million action flick eked out $10.2 million from 2,910 venues. The Chinese-American co-production will look abroad for salvation. It has earned a solid $40 million in China, where it opened on Dec 3.

Warner Bros, which has had a horrific year at the box office, can at least content itself with the fact that it´s only a gun for hire on this one.

Alcon Entertainment and DMG Entertainment financed “Point Break.”

Sony´s Will Smith NFL drama “Concussion” nabbed $11 million across 2,841 locations.

Star Capital and Village Roadshow co-financed “Concussion,” which has a $35 million budget. In its second weekend of release, Universal´s “Sisters” barely dropped from its debut, picking up $13.9 million to drive the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler comedy´s North American haul to $37.2 million.

Fox´s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” also showed some endurance, adding $12.7 million to its $39.4 million domestic gross.

Paramount´s “The Big Short” expanded from eight theatres to 1,585 locations on Wednesday, picking up $14.5 million for the five day period.

Its gross stands at just over $16 million and a further expansion is planned for Jan 8, at which point the comedy about the financial collapse will be in roughly 2,500 theatres.

In limited release, the Weinstein Company´s 70 MM “road show” version of “The Hateful Eight” racked up a sturdy $4.6 million from 100 locations for a $45,365 per-screen average.

Fox´s “The Revenant” also did well in a handful of theatres.

The blood-drenched revenge epic picked up $471,000 from four locations, for a per-screen average of $117,750. That´s the second best average of the year, behind only “Steve Jobs” with $130,381.

But “The Revenant” will need to resonate with mainstream crowds if it hopes to recoup its $135 million budget — something “Steve Jobs” failed to do.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the film as a wilderness guide abandoned by his colleagues after a savage bear attack.