Oscar box office report: ‘The Revenant’ rivals ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’; ‘The Big Short’ stays strong

While Disney’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” continues to shatter box office records making a staggering $41.6 million in its fourth weekend, “The Revenant” raked in $38 million in its first weekend of wide release. In its first two frames, this epic Western from Fox had only played at four locations in New York and Los Angeles but rolled out to 3,375 locations and had an impressive per-screen-average of $11,250. By comparison “Star Wars” was on 4,134 screens and did a PSA of $10K.

Expect “The Revenant” to capitalize on Sunday’s three Golden Globe wins and the upcoming Oscar nominations in its next round of advertising. All but one of our 25 Oscar experts (journalists who cover this beat year-round) are predicting that it will be nominated for Best Picture on Thursday.

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The Hateful Eight” expanded once more from 2,474 to 2,938 screens and took in $6.3 million for a per-screen-average of $2,100. That was a drastic drop of $10 million from last week for this Weinstein Company release and puts it in sixth on the overall box office chart. The three-hour plus running time meant a reduced number of screenings for this Quentin Tarantino revisionist Western.  

Paramount’s “The Big Short” was down 30% in its third week of going wide, but still had a healthy haul of $6.3 million from 2,529 locations (up by almost a thousand from the previous week). That was good enough for a per-screen-average of $2,500 and seventh place on the overall chart. 

Among other Christmas releases, David O. Russell‘s “Joy,” inspired by the story of entrepreneur Joy Magano, slipped to ninth (from sixth), earned $4.5 million at 2,924 locations (PSA: $1,800) thus bringing its total tally to $46.5 million. This heartwarmer from Fox 2000 just won Jennifer Lawrence, her third Golden Globe in four years following victories for “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012) and “American Hustle” (2013).

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Concussion,” a Columbia biopic starring Will Smith as Bennet Omalu, the doctor who discovers the brain diseasechronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) that affects NFL players, dropped two spots to tenth with earnings of $3.1 million on 2841 screens (PSA: $1,500) and a three-week gross of $31 million.

Disney is still doing well with the Pixar pic “The Good Dinosaur,” which took in $1.6 million (much of that at reduced kiddie admissions) and has made $117 million in seven weeks.

While Warner’s “Creed” — the seventh film in the “Rocky” franchise — shed another 374 screens, it still added another $1.6 million for a total gross of just under $106 million in six weeks. Expect it to get renewed attention after Sylvester Stallone‘s Golden Globes win. 

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Among the limited releases, Paramount expanded Charlie Kaufman‘s stop-motion animated feature “Anomalisa” from four to 17 screens. This hot prospect for Best Animated Feature made $220,000 (PSA: $13,000).

Fox Searchlight’s “Youth” grossed $190K (down 46%) at 95 locations in its sixth weekend. 

Carol” packed them in once again, raking in $1.5 million in its eighth weekend (up 1%) as it expanded from 189 to 525 locations. The Weinstein Company release is expected to go evem wide after Oscar nominations are announced. 

“Brooklyn” added another $1.1 million (down just 16%) in 294 theaters (up from 285) nationwide in its tenth week. With a PSA of $3,600 this weekend (and total gross of $22.5 million), Fox Searchlight is doing well with this period charmer that stars Saoirse Ronana strong Best Actress contender and NYFFC champ, as an Irish emigrant to America in the early 1950s. 

Our leading contender for Best Picture Spotlight” made just under $1 million in its tenth weekend as it dropped to 368 screens from 385. That haul brings the cumulative take for this Open Roads release to just over $28 million as awards season heats up. 

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As of this writing, all 25 of our Oscar experts (journalists who cover this beat for major media including Variety, Yahoo, USA Today, and Huffington Post) are predicting that “Carol” and “Spotlight” will reap Best Picture bids. Twenty-four say the same about “The Big Short,” “Brooklyn” and “The Revenant.”

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“Star Wars” logo: Disney
“The Revenant”: Fox 

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