The latter half of 2015 has been a prosperous time for some, and a depressing patch for others. Audiences are a fickle bunch and not even a movie star and excellent reviews can guarantee you success at the box office. We profile some of the winners and losers of the festive season below.
Stars Wars: The Force Awakens...
Duh. The sequel featuring many of the original cast is not just a box office smash, but on its way to passing Avatar and becoming the highest grossing film of all time. Up until Wednesday, it had made $620 million in the US alone and well over the billion-dollar mark globally.
Somewhat surprisingly the Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy opened very strong on Christmas day and is now gliding past $60 million domestically. It should clear that elusive $100 million mark in the US, while Ferrell and Wahlberg will carry the film globally after a huge press tour.
After opening in the mid to low teens, few expected this Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy to do strong business. But the box office actually went UP the second weekend - an extremely rare occurrence. Everyone's favourite comedy duo now have a sleeper hit on their hands, as it's now passed $50 million in just its second week - a number the studio would've expected to be its domestic lifetime gross after that first weekend.
Sylvester Stallone was, understandably, cautious about handing over his most loved character to a 27-year-old director, who wanted Rocky Balboa to basically be a supporting character. But that gamble has paid off hugely, as Creed is garnering genuine awards notice for Stallone while the box office is $100 million and counting. Ryan Coogler's film starring Michael B. Jordan is in Irish cinemas mid-January.
Oh dear. When Gerard Butler pulls out of a production you know there's going to be issues. The Scotish actor was due to play the Patrick Swayze role of Bodi from the original, but was replaced by Édgar Ramírez. Newcomer Luke Bracey took over from Keanu Reeves as Johnny Utah, and audiences have stayed away in their droves. So far the $100 million production has grossed around $15 million.
The Heart of the Sea
This is the second Chris Hemsworth-led flick, with a big name director, to fail at the box office. After (the actually very good) Blackhat with Michael Mann, he teamed with the versatile Ron Howard for this epic, expected awards season contender. But reviews were average and audiences stayed away. After a delayed release, it's now grossed a tepid $23 million and is still struggling.
To be fair, it's still relatively early days for the Will Smith starring drama, based on the true story of a Nigerian doctor who took on the NFL. But while Smith has gotten stellar reviews and may very well pick up an Oscar nomination, the film has struggled to gain momentum at the box-office. Awards season recognition may boost the takings, but right now it's coined under $20 million.
The biggest surprise of the bunch, because it's an excellent film that got generally superb reviews. But audiences didn't turn up to see Irish actor Michael Fassbender portray one of the most fascinating figures of our time. The film, which was released in October, is also losing some awards buzz - falling off a few industry publications lists. Fassbender and Aaron Sorkin will still get (deserved) nominations, but the $18 million domestic takings will remain a head scratcher for the studio.