Entertainment & Arts

Star Wars force holds US box office

Star Wars Image copyright Film Publicity
Image caption Star Wars is the third most successful movie worldwide to date after Titanic and Avatar

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has stayed top of the North American box office for a fourth week, beating Golden Globe winner The Revenant.

According to weekend studio estimates, Star Wars took $41.6m (£28.5m) in the US and Canada.

Western The Revenant, which won three Golden Globes, came second after taking $38m (£26m) on its opening weekend.

Comedy Daddy's Home, with Will Ferrell's DJ seeking his stepchildren's love, took $15m (£10m) in week three.

The continued success of Star Wars means it has now become the biggest movie to date in the US and Canada.

It has become the first to make more than $800m (£550m), having taken $812m (£558m) so far.

Its global total now stands at $1.73bn (£1.19bn), according to producers Walt Disney, which means it has overtaken Jurassic World, which made $1.67bn (£1.15bn).

Image copyright Film Publicity
Image caption The Revenant has benefited from Oscar buzz and a post-Star Wars release, say its producers

The film is therefore the third most successful movie in the world to date.

Ahead of it stands Titanic at number two, which made $2.2bn (£150m) from 1997-98, and Avatar, still holds the number one spot with $2.8bn (£192m) taken from 2009-10.

A record-breaking opening in China last week has made a huge contribution to the global success of Star Wars, which made $53m (£36m) in its debut weekend, described as "spectacular" by Disney's executive vice-president Dave Hollis.

The Revenant, from Alejandrao Inarritu and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, tells the story of an 1820s frontiersman who gets mauled by a bear. Despite coming in second, it defied expectations as its hard-hitting content was not considered a draw to a large section of the audience. As such, it was on limited release in New York and Los Angeles.

However, the movie had been heavily tipped for success at this year's Academy Awards, even before Sunday's Globes glory, which could have contributed to its strong audience draw.

"It's very graphic, it's very real," said 20th Century Fox's Chris Aronson. `"You watch this and you're going to feel cold."

Having the film open after Star Wars has helped give it a chance to raise its profile, he added.

"Now I think there's a specialness to this film that might have been lost earlier.'"

Of the Top 10 films this weekend, only supernatural horror The Forest was a new release and it managed to come fourth even with all the competition, after taking $13.1m (£9m).

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens - $41.6m
2. The Revenant - $38m
3. Daddy's Home - $15m
4. The Forest - $13.1m
5. Sisters - $7.2m

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