'Star Wars' crosses $1 billion globally at record pace

Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:54pm EST
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By Brent Lang

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" showed few signs of flagging over Christmas weekend, barreling 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 theaters. 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 theaters. 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."   Continued...

Cast members Daisy Ridley and John Boyega (2nd R) pose for pictures with Star Wars characters BB-8 (R) and R2-D2 (L) at the China Premiere of the film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Shanghai, China, December 27, 2015. REUTERS/Aly Song