The highly anticipated continuation of Star Wars finally premiered this week, breaking multiple box-office records and gaining an estimated $120.5 million on its opening night, including $57 million from earlier preview showings. This means the film now holds the record for highest earnings in a single day, a title formerly held by “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2,” which grossed $43.5 million in July of 2011.
Additionally, the space opera’s seventh installment absolutely crushed the previous record for a film premiering in December, which previously belonged to to 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with its $85 million brought in domestically. In fact, the sheer amount of theatres “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opened at this weekend is a December record itself, reports the LA Times, with the film hitting a total of 4,134 across 12 countries on Wednesday and an additional 32 on Thursday.
Initially, J.J. Abrams’ take on the franchise was expected to gross up to $220 million through its domestic opening weekend. However, after the numbers have come in for Thursday and Friday, many analysts believe the movie could make over $250 million through Sunday. This could mean another potential broken record, as the recent “Jurassic World” earned the biggest domestic opening with $208.8 million in tickets last June.
The Force Awakens may even come close to beating James Cameron’s Avatar for the highest grossing film of all time if it meets with experts’ projections of $2.6 billion worldwide.
Comparatively, the original six Star Wars films earned $4.4 billion in worldwide gross, with The Phantom Menace collecting the highest in the franchise – $1.02 billion globally.
Considering the fact that Disney only spent $4 billion to buy the rights to Star Wars in 2012, I’d say the deal worked out in their favour. The studio is set to pump out four more films over the next four years following The Force Awakens, and their revenue could generate up to $25 billion by the time the series wraps up, according to analyst estimates.
If that’s boggling your mind, try not to think about how that doesn’t even cover the revenue brought in by merchandise …