Los Angeles — Star Wars: The Force Awakens marched confidently into the new year, raking in an additional $88.3m over the New Year's weekend and topping the box office for a third week, according to studio estimates Sunday.In addition to setting a new high mark in New Year's box office history, the record-busting film blew past the domestic grosses of both Jurassic World ($652.3m) and Titanic ($658.7m) to become the second-highest earner of all time with $740.3m in just 19 days of release.
The top domestic film is Avatar with a $760.5m lifetime domestic gross, but Star Wars is barreling in to surpass it soon. For context, it took Avatar 72 days to reach $700m. Star Wars did that in 16 days.Internationally, Star Wars earned $96.3m this weekend, boosting its global total to $184.6m. The film opens in China on 9 January.While Star Wars might not give up its throne any time soon, films like Daddy's Home and Sisters have proven to be incredibly strong performers.Daddy's Home, the comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, came in second with an estimated $29m, bringing its total to $93.7m in just two weeks. The film fell only 25% from its first weekend in theaters.
Even more formidable is the mere 11% drop from the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler comedy Sisters, which brought in $12.6m in its third weekend for a fourth-place spot. The film has earned $61.7m so far."When you look at the holding power of Daddy's Home and Sisters, it shows you that those films are for many people the antidote to Star Wars," said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for box office tracker Rentrak. "The diversity of the slate that the studios created by not retreating from Star Wars is helping."Quentin Tarantino's bloody Western The Hateful Eight, meanwhile, took third with $16.2m in its first weekend in wide release after a strong limited debut. The three-hour epic, which cost a reported $44m to produce, has made $29.6m to date — just shy of what Django Unchained made in its first weekend.
"There is still a big audience out there for auteur-driven cinema," Dergarabedian said. "Tarantino, no matter what, is an interesting filmmaker. Film fans want to see what he's up to. It's not as big as some of his other films, but it's still doing well as it expands."Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip took fifth place with $11.8m, dropping only 10% from last weekend.The year is off to a strong start overall, up 24.5% from last year. This New Year's weekend could even set a record if it tops the $220m total of 2009/2010, when both Avatar and Sherlock Holmes were in theatres.
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