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The Force Awakens Surpasses $1 Billion Mark in Record Time

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The Force Awakens Surpasses $1 Billion Mark in Record Time
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" showed few signs of flagging over Christmas weekend, barreling past the $1 billion (roughly Rs. 6,614 crores) 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 (roughly Rs. 1,015 crores) 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 (roughly Rs. 3,602 crores). Worldwide that figure is nearly $1.1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,276 crores). 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 (roughly Rs. 1,784 crores) 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 (roughly Rs. 256 crores) from 3,271 theaters. That was far above projections which had the picture opening in the $20 million (roughly Rs. 132 crores) range. "Daddy's Home" carries a $50 million (roughly Rs. 330 crores) budget.

Fox also scored with "Joy," a rag-tag biopic about the creator of the Miracle Mop,' that earned $17.5 million (roughly Rs. 115 crores) from 2,896 theaters. The $60 million (roughly Rs. 396 crores) 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 (roughly Rs. 694 crores) action flick eked out $10.2 million (roughly Rs. 67 crores) from 2,910 venues. The Chinese-American co-production will look abroad for salvation. It has earned a solid $40 million (roughly Rs. 264 crores) in China, where it opened on December 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 (roughly Rs. 72 crores) across 2,841 locations. L Star Capital and Village Roadshow co-financed "Concussion," which has a $35 million (roughly Rs. 231 crores) 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 theaters 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 theaters.

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 theaters. 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.

© Thomson Reuters 2015

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