UK Box Office January 1-3: STAR WARS Becomes Biggest Film of 2015, JOY Tops THE DANISH GIRL

9:44 AM

Star Wars: The Force Awakens kept its place at number 1 this weekend for the 3rd week in a row with a remarkably strong hold. The film took in $15.09 million. The highest debut came from Jennifer Lawrence's Joy (3rd - $2.23) which narrowly beat Eddie Redmayne's The Danish Girl (4th - $2.02). This weekend's theme was extremely strong holds - only one film saw a drop of over 60%.

The only other feature to crack the top 10 was the broadcast of The Winter's Tale - the film wasn't a new release but was shown again over the festive period. The broadcast took in $335,000.

Here are the top 10 films this week:

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens - $15.09 million - Week 3 - Up 0.2% - Total: $142.63 million
2. Daddy's Home - $4.26 million - Week 2 - Up 77% - Total: $11.93 million
3. Joy - $2.23 million - Week 1 - NEW - Total: $2.23 million
4. The Danish Girl - $2.02 million - Week 1 - NEW - Total: $2.02 million
5. The Peanuts Movie - $1.90 million - Week 2 - Down 65% - Total: $10.46 million
6. The Good Dinosaur - $1.24 million - Week 6 - Up 111% - Total: $18.30 million
7. In The Heart of the Sea - $639,338 - Week 2 - Down 24% - Total: $2.79 million
8. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 - $516,843 - Week 7 - Up 53% - Total: $41.7 million
9. Spectre - $408,030 - Week 10 - Up 30% - Total: $138.11 million
10. The Winter's Tale - $337,062 - RE-ENTRY - Total: $2.41 million

The top 10 made approximately $28.64 million million this weekend (53% being Star Wars) which is up 10.3% on last weekend but is down 5.8% on the first weekend of 2015 - lets hope this isn't a reflection of 2016s box office! It is important to note that in 2015, The Theory of Everything opened with a strong $5.7 million - something The Danish Girl could not match.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens ruled the box office galaxy for a third week in a row - taking in $15.09 million. The film managed to see a 0.2% increase in its third weekend of release. This is a very strong hold - considering that the film saw a 70% drop last week. The Force Awakens has had very strong word of mouth and I believe that the film will consider to see exceptionally strong holds for the weeks to come. On top of this, big congratulations are in order for everyone who worked on the film and to Disney as Star Wars: The Force Awakens has officially became the highest grossing film ever in the UK after just 3 weekends of release. The film has now made $142.6 million (some even say $152 million) toppling Skyfall. The Force Awakens has also became the highest grossing film of all times in many other countries such as the US - it has now made over $1.7 billion worldwide and has about $1 billion more to make before it would become the highest grossing film of all time in the entire world. The Force Awakens still has a lot of life left in it at the UK box office - could $200 million be a realistic closing point?

Also doing remarkably well this weekend is Daddy's Home - the Will Ferrell comedy took in $4.26 million which is up a huge 77% on last weekend. This means the film has now made $11.93 million in the UK already. Daddy's Home was definitely the light-hearted choice for families over the festive period - however, now life is back to normal, how will Daddy's Home hold up? The weak reviews aren't promising. Daddy's Home should definitely hit $15 million - it could even earn $20 million if it holds up well.

The highest debut this weekend comes from Joy - the third team up of David O Russell, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. The film took in a solid $2.23 million. The film has received mixed to positive reviews (around 60% on Rotten Tomatoes) and similar word of mouth - this suggests that it will have quite steady drops. Oscar nominations will be released soon and the Golden Globe winners will be announced on the 10th January so if Joy gets some more buzz, it could end up holding very well. Joy's debut is down on the debuts of American Hustle ($5.69 million) but is slightly up on the debut of Silver Linings Playbook ($2.02 million). It is important to note that American Hustle had a much bigger cast so it would have appealed to more people. The film also received incredibly strong reviews. Silver Linings Playbook was also a 15 which means that the audience was limited - Joy is a 12A which means that anyone can see it as long as they are accompanied by a responsible adult. Silver Linings Playbook went on to earn around $8 million in the UK - Joy should aspire to reach around $8 million too. However, it could earn around $6 million if it doesn't hold too well.

Opening in 4th place this weekend is The Danish Girl which took in $2.02 million. Eddie Redmayne is the UK's darling and he really should have took in a higher number this weekend. The Theory of Everything debuted with $5.75 million and took the top spot on the first weekend of 2015. This suggests that The Danish Girl has underperformed - the studio obviously chose this release date as The Theory of Everything performed so well on it last year. The Danish Girl has received solid reviews (around 70% on Rotten Tomatoes) but slightly weaker word of mouth. The film's subject matter is also quite topical. However, it may also be a film that people may find a bit uneasy to watch as the matter is so current. Redmayne is also coming off of his first big Oscar win. The Danish Girl's performance from now will also depend on Golden Globe wins and Oscar nominations. It is also important to note that the film just received a handful of BAFTA nominations which should help it out financially. The Danish Girl should be able to reach $6 million - $8-10 million may even be a realistic closing point if it holds well.

Out of all the films in this weeks top 10, the one that faired the worst is The Peanuts Movie - the film dropped a steep 65% in its second weekend - this is another example of previews not doing the film any good when it comes to headlines and articles. The Peanuts Movie will likely hold well in weeks to come but this is definitely not a good start - the film took in $1.9 million and has so far made $10.46 million in the UK. Peanuts should be able to close with above $15 million - it has solid reviews and strong word of mouth. There is also no animated competition until The Road Chip in February so this and The Good Dinosaur should be able to thrive on the uncompetitive market.

6. The Good Dinosaur - A massive 111% increase may help the Pixar flop to be back on track! Prediction: $21-24 million.

7. In The Heart of the Sea - The only other film to see a drop this weekend. Who would have thought a 20% drop would be a bad thing? Prediction: $3.5-4 million.

8. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 - After a few weeks of steep drops, the film finally sees a nice 50% increase. Prediction: $43-45 million.

9. Spectre - The box office giant sees a nice 30% increase. Prediction: $140-145 million.

10. The Winter's Tale - This broadcast has been a solid hit. Prediction: N/A

Source: Rentrak

Look out for THE HATEFUL EIGHT Next Weekend!

See You Soon!

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