Over the past few days, the talk of the planet has been about Star Wars: The Force Awakens – and there are now box office numbers that truly prove just that.
The seventh instalment of the Star Wars cinematic series is projected to record a US$250 million global opening weekend from Thursday to Saturday, with $220 million coming from the American and Canadian markets. This breaks the previous $209-million domestic record set this summer by Jurassic World.
The Force Awakens also had the largest opening day, single day, and Friday with a $120.5 million haul, eclipsing the $91-million record previously held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
Prior to Friday’s release, over $100 million in advance tickets were already sold, prompting Cineplex in Canada to increase opening weekend screenings by 50 per cent – an additional 160 screenings at 115 theatres across the country. A select number of theatres began screenings on Thursday night, the culmination of 17-hour-long Star Wars marathon events.
With Thursday night previews, the film grossed $57 million in the domestic market, another record that also beats Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2‘s record of $43.5 million.
Industry analysts say The Force Awakens will likely reach and exceed the $1 billion global target, but it remains to be seen whether it will be able to come close or even beat the three highest grossing films of all time: Jurassic World’s $1.67 billion, Titanic‘s $2.2 billion, and Avatar‘s $2.8 billion.
Star Wars does not share the same universal popularity as other films in certain key markets around the world, such as China. At the final count, the Chinese market accounted for $228 million of Jurassic World‘s global total.
In 2015, four films have passed the $1 billion global mark: Minions ($1.157 billion), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($1.4 billion), Furious 7 ($1.514 billion), and Jurassic World.