The box office has been dominated by Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 over the past four weekends, with newcomers like Krampus and last weekend's In the Heart of the Sea failing to take down this franchise finale. This weekend, there are three new movies hitting theaters, but all eyes will be on just one, Disney's highly-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is expected to break box office records. Universal's Sisters and 20th Century Fox's Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip are sharing their debut with this behemoth, but according to the box office projections from Pro.BoxOffice.com, they naturally won't come close to this new Star Wars adventure.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which held its world premiere in Hollywood last night, is projected to take in a whopping $223 million in its first weekend. If this projection is accurate, it will be more than enough to break the all time record for largest opening weekend, set earlier this year by Jurassic World with $208.8 million. Earlier projections put Star Wars: The Force Awakens at $300 million for its first weekend in theaters, and it has already set a record for highest advance ticket sales, with over $50 million in tickets sold. That record was set last month, breaking The Dark Knight Rises' record of $25 million. That $50 million tally has surely gotten bigger since then, but we don't have any updated figures as of yet. Pro.BoxOffice.com is also projecting that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will earn $790 million during its domestic box office run, which is more than enough to break Avatar's all time record of $760.5 million. It's also completely possible that Star Wars: The Force Awakens breaks Avatar's global record of $2.7 billion as well, but we'll have to wait and see.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will introduce three new heroes into the Star Wars universe, John Boyega's Finn, Daisy Ridley's Rey and Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron, along with Adam Driver's villainous Kylo Ren. Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo) and Carrie Fisher are also reprising their iconic roles from the original trilogy, although very little is known about their characters. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens supporting cast includes Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke and Max von Sydow as an unidentified character.
Universal's Sisters and 20th Century Fox's Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip will take a distant second and third place this weekend, with $13.5 million and $10.5 million, respectively. While official theater counts haven't been determined yet, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is expected to open in more than 3,900 theaters, with Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip debuting in 3,600 theaters and Sisters arriving in roughly 2,900 theaters. Sisters currently sits at a healthy 87% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although no reviews are in yet for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip. Rounding out the top 5 will be The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 with an estimated $7.5 million and The Good Dinosaur with a projected $6.1 million.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler reunite for Sisters about two disconnected sisters summoned home to clean out their childhood bedroom before their parents sell the family house. Looking to recapture their glory days, they throw one final high-school-style party for their classmates, which turns into the cathartic rager that a bunch of ground-down adults really need. The supporting cast includes Maya Rudolph, John Leguizamo, Madison Davenport, Heather Matarazzo, John Cena, James Brolin and Dianne Wiest. Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip centers on Alvin (Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Theodore (Jesse McCartney) coming to believe that Dave (Jason Lee) is going to propose to his new girlfriend in New York City...and dump them. They have three days to get to him and stop the proposal, saving themselves not only from losing Dave but possibly from gaining a terrible stepbrother. The supporting cast includes Bella Thorne and Tony Hale.
Rounding out the top 10 will be Creed ($6 million), In the Heart of the Sea ($5.3 million), Krampus ($4.9 million), Spectre ($2.8 million) and The Night Before ($2.1 million). Also opening in limited release is Lionsgate's Extraction, Magnolia's The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun, Well Go USA's Mojin: The Lost Legend and Sony Pictures Classics Son of Saul, which is one of the top contenders for the Best Foreign Language Picture at the Oscars this year. No specific theater counts were given for any of these platform releases, and it isn't known if there are plans to expand them nationwide.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Christmas Day falls on Friday this year, bringing four new movies in wide release, Sony's Concussion starring Will Smith, Paramount's Daddy's Home starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, 20th Century Fox's Joy starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, and Warner Bros.' Point Break, starring Luke Bracey and Edgar Ramirez. Paramount's The Big Short will also expand nationwide on Wednesday, December 23. Opening in limited release is The Weinstein Company's The Hateful Eight, which opens with a unique roadshow event before expanding nationwide on December 31, 20th Century Fox's The Revenant, set to expand on January 8, and Sundance Selects' 45 Years. Take a look at the projected top 10 for the weekend of December 18, and check back on Sunday for the box office estimates.
PREDICTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: