Steven Spielberg recently told 60 Minutes, “Oh, J.J. [Abrams] is terrified. There’s a lot of pressure on him to start paying Disney back for … the franchise they bought from George Lucas.” Of course there is. Disney paid $4 billion for LucasFilms in 2013. In the years since, there have been plenty of new Disney-branded Star Wars comics books, novels, untold levels of merchandise and an on-going animated series (Star Wars Rebels), but it can so easily fall apart if The Force Awakens fails to not only awaken but also maintain worldwide interest in the brand. The years of marketing and hype have helped turned this into feeling like one of the biggest movies of all-time, but now it has to actually perform like one of the biggest films of all-time.

So far so good because The Force Awakens just set a bunch of box office records (suck it, Jurassic World). In fact, it might have set even more because the actual weekend box office totals don’t come out until tomorrow afternoon. However, according to the weekend estimates these are the new Force Awakens records:

New Records

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Found at jorymon.com

Biggest Thursday-night previews ($57 million)

  • Previous Record Holder: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($43.5 million)

 

Biggest Single Day/Opening Day/Friday ($120.5m)

  • Previous Record Holder: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($91m)

 

Biggest IMAX Opening Weekend (Domestic) – $30.1m

  • Previous Record Holder: Jurassic World (20.9m)

 

Biggest IMAX Opening Weekend (Worldwide) – $48m

  • Previous Record Holder: Jurassic World ($44.1m)

 

Biggest Opening Weekend in December ($238m)

  • Previous Record Holder: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ($84.6m)

 

Biggest All-Time Opening Weekend (Domestic) – $238m

  • Previous Record Holder: Jurassic World ($208.8m)

 

Best Per-Theater Average Among Wide Releases – $57,571 per 4,134 theaters

  • Previous Record Holder: Jurassic World ($48,855 per 4,247 theaters)

 

Fastest to $100m/$150m/$200m

  • Previous Record Holder in All 3 Categories: Jurassic World

A Close Second (or Third or Fourth)

Third Biggest Saturday ($68.7m)

  • Current Record Holders: Jurassic World ($69.6m) & The Avengers ($69.5m)

 

Fourth Biggest Sunday ($48.8m)

  • Current Record Holders: Jurassic World ($57.2m), The Avengers ($57m) & Avengers: Age of Ultron ($50.3m)

 

Second Biggest Opening Weekend in the UK ($48.9m)

  • Current Record Holder: Spectre ($63.7m)

 

Third Biggest Opening Weekend (Combined International) – $279m

  • Current Record Holders – Jurassic World ($316m) and Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ($314m)

 

Second Biggest Opening Weekend (Worldwide) – $517m

  • Current Record Holder: Jurassic World ($524.9m)

To be fair, Jurassic World had the benefit of China during its opening weekend whereas The Force Awakens doesn’t debut there until Jan. 9.

Force Awakens reportedly also set opening day/weekend records in multiple individual countries, such as Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey.

So, J.J. can take a big sigh of relief. At this point, there’s no telling where The Force Awakens will end up, although The Los Angeles Times predicts a worldwide gross as high as $2.6 billion which would put it just behind Avatar for the most all-time.

Somewhat surprisingly, though, Disney’s stock price took a hit over the weekend, even with The Force Awakens clearly entering into uncharted box office territory. It turns out that ESPN’s continually shrinking subscriber base combined with its ever-rising licensing costs to the various professional and collegiate sports leagues has Wall Street pessimistic about the Mouse House. Way to drop the ball, ESPN.

Source: THR (domestic), THR (foreign)

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Posted by Kelly Konda

Grew up obsessing over movies and TV shows. Worked in a video store. Minored in film at college because my college didn't offer a film major. Worked in academia for a while. Have been freelance writing and running this blog since 2013.

4 Comments

  1. What I find the most interesting about these stats is that while it was massive everywhere, It seems the international numbers weren’t as high as with the two big others ie Jurassic World and Deathly Hallows part II. China will surely add a boatload, but it’s interesting to see that difference. However Deathly Hallows also didn’t have China it’s opening weekend so that’s probably the best comparison.

    This year has also shown that if the public wants something they want it and big massive box offices are still possible (speaking about domestic).

    Reply

  2. […] look, but that’s completely illegal.  So, um, don’t do that.  However, if not for the record-shattering box office behemoth that is The Force Awakens maybe there’d be more screens to go around, and The Weinstein Co. […]

    Reply

  3. Hi, I’ve got a question. Do you know where I can find information about- how many tickat lockbusters has sold?
    I’m from Poland and in my country the amount of sold tickets is most importent information( second thing is amount of screenes) I’m asking about that becous I think this is most objective point of view(3D tickets and inflation), If you see how many people went to the theater. For example, at the boxofficemojo they wrote that in Polend – SW VII is the movie with best opening weekend ever. But this year “50 shades..” sold 10% more ticket at their first weekend… So I would like to know how many ticket they’ve realy sold in USA.
    Thnx for replay.

    Reply

  4. […] thinking a lot of people have gotten to see it multiple times by now – given it’s broken so many records and made so much money so […]

    Reply

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