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Weekend Box Office: America would rather watch the bear movie

Five weeks into its release, The Revenant—Alejandro González Iñárritu’s flawed, but impressively realized re-telling of an early 19th century frontiersman’s trek across the Dakota Territory—has hit No. 1, proving that America will watch a moody, occasionally indecipherable art film as long as somebody gets stabbed or strangled every 20 minutes. Not too long ago, the frontier Western—the result of a notoriously difficult and expensive shoot—seemed like it might be this era’s Heaven’s Gate, but its $16 million take this weekend brings its international gross up to $223 million. (That’s almost enough to cover the budget!)

Of course, it didn’t have a lot to compete with, seeing as the movie-going public’s choices for new things to see this weekend were a shirtless Robert De Niro, a horror movie about a creepy doll or something, and some kind of post-apocalyptic thing for teens that was probably based on a book. Faced with those options, a majority of people opted for the bear film with all the frozen boogers or one of those Kevin Hart movies where everything you need to know is in the facial expressions in the promo still, or to just go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens again.

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Already one of the highest grossing films of all time, The Force Awakens landed at No. 2 with $14.3 million, followed by Ride Along 2 with $12.9 million. That left the new wide releases—all of which basically made the same amount of money—to ignominiously file into 4th, 5th, and 6th place: Dirty Grandpa ($11.5 million), The Boy ($11.3 million), and The 5th Wave ($10.7 million). In its second weekend, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi slipped down to No. 7 with $9.75 million. Despite containing some of the best action scenes he’s ever directed, the movie has turned out to be one of the biggest flop of Michael Bay’s career, perhaps because it was expressly marketed to people who, generally, don’t go to movies.

Neither of the week’s Chinese multiplex imports made too much of an impact, though Ip Man 3’s $762,400 did give it the highest per-theater average of the weekend ($7,402), which was stellar compared to $21,000 Monster Hunt made in 45 theaters, figuring out to $467 per screen, the lowest average of the weekend. Somehow, Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip made another $1 million.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.

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