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Monday Mixer: Happy New Year, it's Oscar time

Posted Monday, January 4, 2016 at 12:00 PM Central
Last updated Monday, January 4, 2016 at 12:03 PM Central

by John Couture

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?

What does that even mean? We all sing it every year around this time, but we rarely take a moment to truly dig into the meaning. It's tradition. It's what you do when the ball drops and you finally give up in trying to find a willing partner to lock lips with.

So, in many ways the song represents regret and lost opportunities, and yet, it's still the first thing we sing as we embrace the clean slate and unknown ups and downs of a new year. So too, we say goodbye to the films of the past year and look forward eagerly to all of the new and shiny films that lie ahead.

The last year was a great one in film and one for the record books thanks to The Force Awakens, but 2016 also offers many chances to create lasting cinematic memories. There is a little bit of everything coming down the pike that should interest even the most discernible film aficionado.

But, that's a discussion for another day. For now, let's put a bow on the year that was 2015 at the box office so that we can face whatever 2016 has in store for us head on. The unknown is a wonderful thing, the potential is limitless.

Box Office 411

And then, there was only one. The Force Awakens earned an estimated $88 million in its third weekend to bring its total domestic box office up to $740 million. Sometime this week, The Force Awakens will officially overtake Avatar as the highest grossing film of all time, but how high can it go?

I have to admit, despite setting a new record for the top third weekend weekend of release, I was expecting The Force Awakens to earn over $100 million for the third consecutive week. Perhaps this is a sign that the Force is weakening.

It makes sense after all, vacation is over and it's time to go back to work. Perhaps as we ease back into the same old routines that we'll come to realize that this Star Wars installment is completely derivative and its box office earnings will drop off a cliff. Tim is certainly hoping this to be true as our gentlemen's bet of $800 million is a very real possibility.

I think we are still in for a few more weeks of gaudy numbers before the weekends start to plummet. I think the first billion dollar domestic grosser is still in play. Unfortunately, I think it will fall short and end with $950 million, which would be amazing, but will being so close to a cool, round billion dollars be maddening for Disney?

If it is, I'm sure they'll be able to dry their tears with all their millions in box office receipts.

Daddy's Home did a very respectable $29 million in its second weekend to bring its total up to almost $100 million. That's pretty amazing considering that the film was a longshot to make $100 million total just a few short weeks ago. I think it signals that the box office truly is capable of supporting multiple massive films, studios simply need to bring better movies to market.

That's not to say that Daddy's Home is a great film, far from it, but it shows just how well comedies can do opposite of Star Wars. Speaking of comedic counter-programming, Sisters held on to fourth place with an impressive $12.6 million. So far, the film has earned $61.7 million and looks to end its run on the good side of $100 million.

Quentin Tarantino's new western opus The Hateful Eight expanded this weekend and rose to third place on the wave of $16.2 million. That number is a bit on the soft side to be honest and it remains to be seen what this weekend will bring, but it's a real possibility that The Hateful Eight could only double its current box office tally and end with $60 million.

I know that The Weinstein Company is hoping that the film holds on well and makes it to the lofty reaches of $100 million, but that might be out of reach for this film. If it fails to reach that goal, The Hateful Eight will be Tarantino's first film that fails to do so since Kill Bill: Vol. 2 in 2004.

Quick Hitters

  • As if to formerly mark the end of The Force Awakens' reign at the box office, the Academy released their first Oscars ad that features host Chris Rock. He makes a timely New Years joke. I could get behind him again as host.

Well, that's what happens when you're off for a few days. You tend to run out of time to catch up. I'll make up for it next week.

I want my Mixer!