The Force continues to be strong with Episode Seven.

For its fourth week in a row, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, remains at the top of the box office. This past week it became the highest grossing film domestically, with no other film grossing over $800 million. Ever. Even more spectacularly, it has done so in just 20 days! This past weekend also marked its opening debut in China, which brought in over $53 million, and it has actually been the first film to open on a Saturday in China! With $1.73 billion, Star Wars has become the third highest grossing film in the galaxy.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in our number two spot this weekend in the thriller, The Revenant. Upping its release from 4 theatres to over 3,000 this last weekend, it has grown a whopping 8,793% on Box Office Mojo’s. While the film has gathered a lot of acclaim from critics and fans alike, it still has a ways to grow since it has yet to make half its budget back, in what was its third week being released in theatres. Sitting at just over 41 million in total gross, there is hope of closing the gap with its 135 million dollar budget price as just this weekend it won the Best Motion Picture Drama award at the Golden Globes on Sunday, as well as awards best actor (DiCaprio) and best director (Alejandro Inarritu).

We’ll have to wait and see if it will receive any Oscar nominations Thursday morning this week, which if so is sure to help boost its numbers this coming weekend. Afterall, Oscar season always bodes well for nominees at the box office. And while a film’s gross is not necessarily a good predictor of what films will win Oscars, there’s some legitimate talk that DiCaprio could just maybe take home some gold - FINALLY

But while it was a pretty good weekend for movies in general, it seems people are hating on Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, as it dropped back to the 6th spot, taking a 59% hit to its weekend gross numbers. Above it remains Daddy’s Home, but now also Sisters and The Forest. The Forest, a low-budget ($10 million) PG-13 supernatural horror film starring Natalie Dormer, is new to this competition and particularly caught our eye this weekend. It made it CLEAR OUT of the woods having grossed well over its budget with $12.7 million in the opening week. Although a significant accomplishment, this is obviously not uncommon for horror films as they are the easiest genre to pull of on a low budget, and have a really predictable demographic that will eat up these concepts.

Now, diverting away from some of the more noticeable results from this weekend's box office, there was a huge, albeit odd, jump from the film Entertainment. Going from spot #80 last weekend, it moved up to spot 67 and resulted in a 6,587% increase in its weekend gross - the second largest percentage change this weekend (second only to the Revenant). How did it accomplish such a feat you might ask? Did it dominate and kill a bunch of other films? Why then is it still at spot 67? Well, going from making $64 the week before to $4,280 will do that to you. My guess, someone did some really strategic marketing to the patrons of the one theatre it played at. Strange.

All in all, January is often a slow month for the box office, but so far this year studios are killing it! These first two weekends have been the best start to the new year for theatres and films alike since 2010. And January also tends to be a very successful month military/war based films. So with upcoming titles like 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (from director Michael Bay) and The Finest Hours - both of which are based on true events - it’s quite likely that this January will pull through as the most successful start to the new year in year! I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.

...and don’t forget about Oscar nominations on Thursday!

-Alan Warner

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