Big Opening For The Force Awakens


“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” became the biggest opening in movie history bringing in an estimated $238 million in the U.S. this weekend. The film flew past the opening weekend record held by Universal’s “Jurassic World,” which made $208.8 million on the weekend it opened in June.

So far the film has made $517 million around the world since opening overseas on Wednesday. This is the second highest global debut of all-time behind only “Jurassic World,” which made $525 million globally in June.

However, “The Force Awakens” has yet to open in China, the world’s second biggest film market. It will open there on January 9.

“The Force Awakens” now holds the box office records for biggest Thursday night opening, biggest one day gross, biggest December debut, and biggest opening weekend of all time.

The Disney (DIS) film opened in 4,134 theaters. It is the seventh in the “Star Wars” saga, and the first film starring beloved characters like Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia since 1983’s “Return of the Jedi.”

Fans of the franchise also came out in record numbers over the weekend to be introduced to new characters like Daisy Ridley’s scavenger Rey, Adam Driver’s villainous Kylo Ren, and John Boyega’s stormtrooper turned good Finn.

“For ‘Star Wars’ fans and Hollywood, this weekend was like the Super Bowl, the World Series and the Kentucky Derby all rolled into one perfectly realized movie event,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak (RENT). “It’s also a great weekend to be a theater owner with an incredible number of satisfied patrons enjoying the majesty of the big screen communal experience.”

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Roughly 58% of the “Force Awakens” audience was male while 63% of the audience was over the age of 25, according to data shared by the studio.

The newest tale from a galaxy far, far away was a critical as well as a financial hit.

“The Force Awakens” garnered a solid “A” CinemaScore and a near perfect 95% score on RottenTomatoes.com.

But this may just be the beginning of the film’s box office empire with movie choices in January and February pretty depleted at the cineplex.

“With incredible reviews and an excited hardcore fan base that will want to go back over and over again, ‘Force Awakens’ will have long-term playability well into 2016 where it should earn the lion’s share of its potentially record breaking worldwide revenue,” Dergarabedian said.

Thanks to the massive debut of “The Force Awakens” the overall box office for all movies this weekend also broke a record, bringing in over $300 million for the first time in history.

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.