Can ‘The Revenant’ Dethrone ‘Star Wars’ At The Box Office?

While Star Wars: The Force Awakens may be breaking all kinds of records and dominating the box office weekend after weekend, there’s a possibility that its reign could come to an end soon with the new Leonardo DiCaprio film, The Revenant, expanding to theaters nationwide today.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Revenant is expected to bring in more than $35 million during its first weekend in nationwide release. That’s higher than the $20 million analysts had initially predicted for the DiCaprio-starring epic.

But The Revenant faces a tough challenge from the reigning champion, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The seventh film in the legendary sci-fi franchise has won the last three weekends in a row and is currently predicted to take the top spot for a fourth with roughly $50 million. Already the top-grossing film of all time in North America, the new Star Wars will bring its total to more than $800 million domestically once the weekend ends.

Variety is reporting the same outcome for the two films, but is predicting the competition will be closer than what many are expecting. According to the publication’s estimates, The Revenant could earn as high as $40 million, while Star Wars could bring in around $45 million.

The expansion for The Revenant comes during the same weekend the winners of this year’s Golden Globes ceremony will be announced. DiCaprio is amongst the nominees for his performance in a lead role, going up against Eddie Redmayne, Bryan Cranston, Will Smith, and Michael Fassbender. Alejandro González Iñárritu, who won an Oscar for last year’s Birdman, is nominated in the best director category, and The Revenant is also up for best original score and best picture in the drama category.

[Image credit: 20th Century Fox via Def Pen

The Revenant is expected to, at least, beat Star Wars on Friday. According to Deadline, it is on track to earn nearly $14 million for its first day of wide release, while Star Wars is on track to earn around $13 million. And with the good word of mouth surrounding The Revenant, in addition to this Sunday’s Golden Globes, those two factors could give the film a boost that is just enough to take down J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi adventure.

Good word of mouth is not only needed for it to take out The Force Awakens, but it will also be needed to help it recover its hefty budget. According to Box Office Mojo, The Revenant cost $135 million to make, and is the most expensive film Iñárritu has ever released. A limited run over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday break gave The Revenant just a little bit of assistance, bringing in $1.5 million from the four theaters in which it was released. Special preview showings of the film on Thursday night brought in an additional $2.3 million.

The final numbers won’t be tallied up until Monday, but Star Wars does have The Revenant beat in terms of the amount of theaters in which it is showing. Even after four weeks, the sci-fi epic is holding steady at 4,134 screens. Those include IMAX and other large screen auditoriums, which cost more than general admission. The Revenant does not have that working in its favor, but it is opening to 3,375 theaters this weekend, which is the most for any Iñárritu movie.

[Image credit: 20th Century Fox via YouTube screencap]

One of the most talked about aspects of The Revenant is DiCaprio’s performance. In addition to being nominated for a Golden Globe, the 41-year-old actor is also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award and a BAFTA award for his work. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the Washington Post‘s Kristen Page-Kirby noted that DiCaprio does appear to have a chance to finally win that Oscar this year. His only other competition is, most likely, Redmayne for The Danish Girl. But there was another person in the film that Kirby believes upstaged Redmayne.

“While it might be fun to see him win twice in a row, the film was, frankly, stolen by Alicia Vikander. You don’t get best actor by coming in second place in your own movie.”

The nominees for this year’s Oscars will be announced next week. Do you think DiCaprio has a good chance of being nominated, and possibly winning, for The Revenant?

[Image credit: 20th Century Fox via Mic]