Star Wars: The Force Awakens is breaking box office records faster than the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run. J.J. Abrams’ film sold a ridiculous amount of tickets on its first day on sale, breaking The Hunger Games‘ benchmark by eight times, and early estimates have it on track to open at $225 million, “which would make it the biggest opening weekend of all-time, besting previous record holders Jurassic World ($208 million) and The Avengers ($207 million).” Force Awakens is a near-lock to break the $2 billion threshold, but can it become the highest-grossing movie of all-time?
It’s already banked a record-breaking $50 million in pre-sales, or $25 million more than The Dark Knight Rises, and according to the Guardian, “Advance ticket sales in the U.S. have been fueled by IMAX screenings, with the company reporting record-breaking figures of $9 million – again, double its previous best.” But Force Awakens needs to do bonkers overseas, especially in Russia and China, where the original Star Wars JUST screened for the first time.
The studio is requiring that multiplexes that play The Force Awakens on its opening weekend must show the film in their biggest auditorium and play it there for at least four weeks. On any other screen showing Star Wars its first weekend, theaters must play it for at least three weeks, covering the entire period through New Year’s Day—typically the most lucrative time of the year at the box office. (Via)
With that $50 million, Force Awakens is only $2.73 billion behind Avatar. And it’s all thanks to BB-8! What’s working in Star Wars‘ favor is studios not adjusting for inflation (otherwise, the highest-grossing movie of all-time would be Gone with the Wind) and its lack of competition. Avatar was number one at the box office for seven weeks — Force Awakens could top the chart until the end of January when Kung Fu Panda 3 comes out. Maybe the pressure Abrams puts on James Cameron’s worldwide gross stranglehold will inspire him to finally finish the Avatar sequels. And then he’ll add some last-second dinosaurs, and Cameron will have the record again.
(Via the Wall Street Journal)