Saturday, December 26, 2015

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' demolishes box office records with record opening weekend, rockets to $391 million in one week

We knew that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was going to be big. The only question going into last weekend was- how big? Well, we now have our answer. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has broken nearly every record in the book, plowing its way through history to become an unprecedented box office juggernaut. And the money train won't be stopping anytime soon- according to Deadline, Force Awakens could fly as high as $1 billion in the United States, which would handily top Avatar's $760.5 million and send Star Wars into the top ten highest grossing films of all time, even when adjusted for inflation. Worldwide numbers are a bit more iffy right now, but Disney has no reason to fret- The Force Awakens will undoubtedly be the highest grossing movie of the year, and by the time it's all over, will likely have toppled Titanic as well. Let's recap a phenomenal week of box office history before the Christmas movie explosion begins.

I saw The Force Awakens on Thursday, and in that immediate moment, I knew that we would be seeing complete mayhem at the box office. Lines to see the film wrapped around my theater and there were sold out auditoriums everywhere. To the surprise of nobody, Star Wars handily destroyed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2's Thursday late show/midnight record of $43.5 million with $57 million in Thursday grosses. While it's important to note that Potter didn't open until midnight whereas Force Awakens opened at 7 PM, this is an incredibly impressive record nonetheless. For many films, $57 million would be a solid opening weekend and J.J. Abrams' space saga destroyed that in one night. Pretty crazy.

Star Wars continued to be on a roll well into Friday, where it broke Potter's record for highest grossing single day of all time with $119.1 million. Now, that does throw in the $57 million in Thursday grosses, but a $62 million pure Friday is nothing to sneer at. The Force Awakens continued its insane run on Saturday with $68.2 million, which is, surprisingly, lower than both Jurassic World and The Avengers. Still, by the end of Saturday, TFA had $187 million in the bank and was set to destroy Jurassic's weekend record. On Sunday, Star Wars kept breaking records with a $60.5 million gross, a good $3 million higher than Jurassic World. By that point, the BIG record was broken- The Force Awakens had easily destroyed Universal's dino epic with a $247.9 million weekend, topping the biggest overall box office weekend of all time (which is a record that will be broken again this weekend). For a film released in December, that is very, very impressive. But it didn't stop there.

On Monday, the film took in $40.1 million, taking down Spider-Man 2's $27.6 million record with ease. Star Wars' total gross at that point was $288 million, and that's when a lot of people started to spread the word that this could end up being the biggest movie of all time. Those whispers died off a bit on Tuesday, when the film made another $37.3 million, enough to once again take the record and raise its total to $325.4 million. However, the film's Monday-to-Tuesday drop was bigger than that of Avatar's which suggested to some analysts that it was going to fall off a bit quicker.

Not to fear. The Force Awakens jumped back up on Wednesday, pulling in $38 million to raise its total to $363.4 million. And finally, TFA snagged another $27.5 million on Thursday, bringing it to a grand weekly total of $391 million. Pretty insane stuff. Along the way, The Force Awakens moved at a completely unprecedented pace, breaking the records for fastest to $100 million, $200 million, $300 million, etc. Its opening weekend per theater average of $59,982 was also a new record and a very impressive one considering that the film did not have the widest opening of all time. Considering all of this success, there's no way in my mind that this film doesn't end up continuing its record run and finishing as the #1 movie of all time. But of course, we'll cross that bridge when it comes. I'll be back with updates on Sunday, once Star Wars breaks more records.

Image Credits: Hollywood Reporter, Joblo

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