January 19, 2016
‘Star Wars’ Unseated By ‘Ride Along 2’ As Top Weekend Movie

Star Wars has finally been unseated as the top weekend movie last Sunday by the Ice Cube and Kevin Hart-starring sequel, Ride Along 2. The smash hit has broken so many records that many have thought it would eventually move on to the all-time record of most consecutive weekends at No. 1, but those hopes were dashed.

According to Box Office Mojo, Ride Along 2 took in $35.3 million last weekend, which was nearly $9 million more than Star Wars. The Force Awakens still pulled in an impressive $26.3 million, bringing its total domestic haul to $858 million.

But Disney is not crying over that spilled milk. They have brought their brand and the entire film industry to a record-breaking year in 2015, which was achieved in the final two weeks of the year, given that Star Wars: The Force Awakens didn't open until December 17.

Star Wars was not only unseated by Ride Along 2, but it also trailed behind the Leonardo DiCaprio hit The Revenant, which came in second place at $31.8 million, bringing its own total domestic haul to $89 million. Although that is a far cry from the success of Star Wars, it has still outpaced industry estimates for the film and has nearly made its budget back based on the U.S. results alone.

But the real story this weekend was the unique power that the buddy comedy had to have unseated such a powerhouse film like Star Wars. To help put that into perspective, The Force Awakens has already broken the all-time domestic record of $760 million, which was set by Avatar back in 2009. Many industry professionals considered this to be an unbeatable record, given that the only film that has come close to it was Titanic with $658 million.

Star Wars unseated the reigning champion in just over 20 days to make it the highest grossing film of all time within the United States. But on the International stage, that is a different story.

It will take far more than just the tiny amount of $858 million to have officially unseated Avatar. Although that movie did an impressive $760 million on the domestic front, it scored over $2 billion across the world bringing its total haul up to $2.78 billion.

Star Wars currently has $858 million domestic and just over $1 billion international. That brings its worldwide haul to just $1.8 billion, or a full $1 billion short of Avatar. Although there is still momentum from overseas, the pace of the film is slowing down rapidly as indicated in the U.S.

At its current pace of slowing down, there is not much hope that Star Wars will pass the worldwide mark set by Avatar, but it does have a chance of catching the other James Cameron film, Titanic. That film was unseated back in 2009 when Avatar passed $2.1 billion worldwide. Of course, when Cameron broke his own record, he had already had a stranglehold on the industry for well over a decade. That alone led many industry professionals and analysts alike to believe that Avatar held an unbeatable record on both stages.

Although Star Wars has made its mark in the U.S., the window of opportunity for it to unseat the worldwide phenomenon is slowly closing. The film did recently just open in China and has made some impressive progress there, grossing $96 million so far. But it is not likely to add as much box-office power as what is needed to get that extra $1 billion in the bank before it wraps up its run.

One thing that is for sure at this point is that some people should never say never when it comes to Star Wars. The movie continues to impress worldwide, and if the first few weekends are any indicator, Avatar might just end up unseated.

[Image via Aaron Lim/Shutterstock.com]