After nearly a month in first place, The Revenant finally dethroned Star Wars: The Force Awakens from first place on Friday, and even has a good shot at taking first for the weekend. Meanwhile, The Forest did solid business, while The Hateful Eight plummeted from last weekend.
The Revenant took in a fantastic $14.4M on first place, which was enough to bump it into first place. That start is right on par with 2013’s Lone Survivor, another man-vs-nature thriller that was released limited on Christmas and went wide on the first weekend of January. Originally, the film was set to open in the $20M to $30M range, but given this Friday it will likely wind up with around $36M, possibly even closer to $40M.
So what can this success be attributed to? Well, the two major aspects have to be the marketing and the star power and Oscar buzz of Leonardo DiCaprio. His lack of an Oscar and the incredible hype around this films chances were very apparent in the mainstream audience, and the very intense trailer got a very rare reaction from audiences nearly every time it is shown (speaking as someone who has seen the trailer run in front of more than half a dozen crowded films in the last few months) which likely raised interest among the mainstream crowd.
Star Wars plummeted 69% on Friday down to $10.7M, giving it a weekend of around $35-$40M. That brings its domestic total to a whopping $780M, and it should be able to top $800M by Sunday. That’s a fairly steep drop, but now that Christmas break is over, it isn’t overly surprising. From here, a domestic total of around $850M-$900M seems likely.
In third place, low budget horror film The Forest took in a solid $5M. Among recent January horror films, that’s lower than The Woman in Black 2‘s $7.75M, but higher than last years The Lazarus Effect $3.8M. If it follows a similar trend, it can likely wind up with around $12M-$13M. Unfortunately, it received a poor C Cinemascore, which is slightly below average for a supernatural horror film. Despite the awful reviews and weak marketing, PG-13 supernatural horror films are practically guaranteed to turn a profit, and with a small $10M budget, it should have no problem turning a small profit.
After a so-so start last weekend, The Hateful Eight plummeted 70% to an awful $1.9M on its second Friday of wide release. Even after it was decently below expectations last weekend, it seemed like it could balance out and hold well throughout awards season. However, that obviously won’t be the case. The film will have a tough time getting past the $50M mark, something that The Revenant will likely be able to top by the end of the week.
More from Bombs and Blockbusters
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Weekend Forecast: Can Massive-Budget ‘Revenant’ Find Mainstream Success?