‘Revenant’ Climbs to Box-Office Lead After Oscar Nominations

  • Blizzard hurts weekend totals for theaters on U.S. East Coast
  • `Star Wars' latest movie continues to show strength at No. 2

“The Revenant,” the Oscar-nominated frontier drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio, climbed to the top of the domestic box office in its fifth weekend, beating out several new releases as a blizzard on the East Coast kept people away from theaters.

The 20th Century Fox movie, which garnered a dozen nominations, including for lead actor and best picture, collected $16 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters, Rentrak Corp. said in an e-mailed statement Sunday. “Dirty Grandpa,” “The Boy,” and “The 5th Wave,” landed in fourth, fifth, and sixth place respectively.

The jump to No. 1 underscored the ticket-selling power of Oscar nominations, which “The Revenant” leads this year. That’s especially helpful for the artsy, less-commercial films that vie for awards and often struggle to attract fans. “The Revenant,” while critically acclaimed, cost $135 million to make yet lacks the wide appeal of a Hollywood blockbuster. The film had taken in $160.5 million in worldwide ticket sales through Jan. 20. BoxOffice.com was predicting $20.5 million for the weekend.

“For ‘The Revenant’ it was a fantastic weekend,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, said on Sunday. Its ascent to No. 1 shows DiCaprio’s “star power and the momentum of the awards season.”

Storm Effect

Weekend sales for the top 10 films fell 27 percent to $99.3 million from a year earlier, Rentrak said. Sales for the year to date are up 2.3 percent to $853.5 million, Rentrak said.

The storm that dumped more than two feet of snow on the Mid-Atlantic region probably knocked about 10 percent off the weekend’s total, Dergarabedian said.

“The three newcomers probably got hurt a little bit.” the analyst said. “Things will get back on track next weekend.”

“The Boy” is a horror thriller from startup studio STX Entertainment and was one of three new wide releases this weekend. The film opened with sales of $11.3 million, missing BoxOffice.com’s forecast of $11.8 million.

Lauren Cohan (from “The Walking Dead”) plays Greta Evans, a young American who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village, only to discover that the family’s 8-year-old is a life-size doll. Disturbing events lead Evans to believe that the doll is alive.

Bereaved De Niro

“Dirty Grandpa,” with Robert De Niro, opened with weekend sales of $11.5 million, according to Rentrak. That beat a forecast of $10.8 million from BoxOffice.com. De Niro plays Dick, a bereaved grandfather on spring break with his grandson Jason, played by Zack Efron.

The film, produced and distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., was slammed by critics, with just 6 percent giving it a thumbs up at Rottentomatoes.com, a website that aggregates reviews.

Sony Corp.’s “The 5th Wave,” the third new release of the week, collected $10.7 million on its weekend debut, matching BoxOffice.com’s forecast.

Chloë Grace Moretz plays Cassie Sullivan in this dystopian thriller based on the novels of Rick Yancey. Sullivan is trying to save her younger brother after four waves of deadly alien attacks on Earth. As she prepares for the fifth wave, she teams up with a young man who may become her final hope.

The movie received only 19 percent positive reviews, according to Rottentomatoes.com.
Among returning films, “Ride Along 2,” the Universal Pictures comedy, placed third with $13 million in ticket sales. It was anticipated to add another $16.5 million on its return, BoxOffice.com said.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” placed second with $14.3 million at the box office for Walt Disney Co. It missed estimates for $16 million.

The following table has U.S. box-office figures provided by studios to Rentrak. The amounts are based on actual ticket sales for Jan. 22 to Jan. 23, and estimates for Sunday.

1Revenant, The$16.0-50%3,711$4,312$119.25
2Star Wars14.3-463,3654,237879.36
3Ride Along 213.0-633,1924,06059.12
4Dirty Grandpa11.5n.a.2,9123,95811.51
5Boy, The11.3n.a.2,6714,21611.31
65th Wave, The10.7n.a.2,9083,68010.71
713 Hours9.8-402,9173,34233.52
8Daddy’s Home5.3-452,7891,890138.85
9Norm Of The North4.1-402,4111,70114.32
10Big Short, The3.5-341,3512,59156.77
Top 10 Films Grosses
This week
Year Ago
All films Year-to-Date
Source: Rentrak Corp.
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