Leonardo DiCaprio tells USA TODAY's Bryan Alexander about surviving the cold weather during the filming of 'The Revenant.'


It’s fitting that a grueling survival movie would endure a weekend box office decimated by winter storm Jonas.

Leonardo DiCaprio and The Revenant pulled through the elements, earning $16 million to take No. 1 after a historic blizzard closed cinemas on the East Coast.

It's the first time in The Revenant's five weekends in theaters (its third nationwide) that the movie has topped the box office, with a haul to date of $119.2 million.

"Studios often blame poor weekends on bad weather, but that was truly the case during Jonas. It was a big deal for a number of movies," says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Rentrak. "But The Revenant did something astonishing this weekend taking the top spot with this intense wilderness epic. It's flourishing."

Director Alejandro González Iñárritu's film focusing on rugged frontiersman Hugh Glass (played by DiCaprio) boasts 12 Academy Award nominations, leading all films.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens landed in second place for the weekend with $14.3 million, bringing its record-breaking domestic total to $879.3 million.

Kevin Hart and Ice Cube's Ride Along 2, which was heavily favored to win the box office for a second consecutive weekend, ended up in third with nearly $13 million ($59.1 million total).

The rest of the Jonas-affected slate included several newcomers, which already had modest expectations typical of January releases.

Zac Efron and Robert De Niro's spring break comedy Dirty Grandpa sputtered into fourth with $11.5 million in its opening weekend.

The R-rated movie did not screen early for critics and was beaten up severely in reviews. It scored a paltry 8% favorable critical rating on aggregate site and a B audience grade on CinemaScore.

Horror film The Boy rounded out the top five with $11.3 million in its opening weekend, pulling a heavily Latino (41%) and female (62%) audience. The Boy, made on a budget of less than $10 million, scored a 29% critical rating on and a B- on CinemaScore.

Chloë Grace Moretz's sci-fi fantasy The 5th Wave opened in sixth with $10.7 million. Moretz told East Coast fans on Twitter not to brave the elements to see the young-adult film, based on the books by Rick Yancey.

The 5th Wave sputtered with a 19% critical rating on and a B- on CinemaScore.

"Jonas had an impact on what would already have been some bland January openings, including Dirty Grandpa," says Jeff Bock, box office analyst for Exhibitor Relations. "The Boy cost $10 million, so it will be fine. The 5th Wave was disappointing; Sony had hoped to start a franchise with this film, and you can't do that with a $10 million opening."

Final numbers are expected Monday.

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