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Star Wars: The Force Awakens scores highest ever Christmas Day gross in US

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Story by Jack Foley

STAR Wars: The Force Awakens has secured the highest ever gross for a Christmas Day in the US with somewhere between $35 million and $47 million.

Whatever the figure turns out to be, it comfortably beats the $24.6 million opening of Sherlock Holmes in 2009. It could even ensure that a new record is set for the total earned on a Christmas Day at US cinemas.

For the festive weekend as a whole, estimates now place The Force Awakens on target to earn $120 million to $150 million, meaning it will finish Sunday with a US haul in excess of $500 million, the second-best showing of the year to date behind Jurassic World ($652.3 million).

And if that is proven right, the figure would mark the biggest second weekend in history, beating its main rival for box office supremacy, Jurassic World, which is the current record-holder with $106 million.

Elsewhere at the Christmas Day box office in the US, there were more new releases for cinema-goers to choose from, thereby offering some alternatives and variety to Star Wars‘ domination.

Primary among those was Mark Wahlberg-Will Ferrell reunion Daddy’s Home as well as Jennifer Lawrence’s Joy and Will Smith’s NFL drama Concussion. There was also the remake of Point Break.

And in limited release, Quentin Tarantino’s Western The Hateful Eight and Alejandro G. Inarritu’s survival thriller The Revenant also started to roll out – the former debuting exclusively in 70mm film in 100 cinemas, while The Revenant opens in four venues in New York and Los Angeles.

Of those, Daddy’s Home and Joy look to be the biggest winners. The former is on course to land second place on Christmas Day with $10 million-$13 million, including $1.2 million from Thursday night previews.

While miracle mop drama Joy, directed by David O. Russell and co-starring Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper, looks to be on course for $7 million-plus.

Concussion, on the other hand, is off to a slower start than anticipated, with an estimated $4 million-$5 million for Christmas Day and a $10 million-$12 opening million weekend.

While Point Break could well become the one big flop. Early figures suggest a $4 million Christmas Day debut and an opening weekend haul of $11 million, some way short of the $100 million it cost to make.

The film, a loose remake of the 1991 classic starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, has already opened in China, where it has grossed $40 million to date. But even with that figure in mind, the film is facing a massive write-off.

Overall, however, the US box office has performed robustly over the festive period, thanks in no small part to the success of Star Wars. It remains to be seen whether it will help to post a record year for Hollywood in 2015.

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