It will probably come as a surprise to no one that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the number one movie at the domestic box office this weekend. However, what is staggering is just how huge the movie was at this weekend’s box office. The the film pulled in an estimated $238 million at the domestic box office this weekend. That shatters the previous weekend record holder of Jurassic World from earlier this year, which pulled in $208 million on its opening weekend. In addition, the film pulled in $279 million internationally. In short, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is currently sitting on a worldwide take of over half a billion dollars with $517 million.
This is exactly why Walt Disney Studios shelled out over $4 billion to buy Star Wars and Lucasfilm from franchise creator George Lucas. Speaking on the news, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn stated: “Our sole focus has been creating a film that delivers that one-of-a-kind Star Wars experience, and director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, and the Lucasfilm team have outdone themselves. To all of the fans around the world who not only came out in Force to make this such an exciting and astronomical debut but who treated this film as their own and helped preserve the experience for their fellow fans by not spoiling it – thank you, we do.”
Here’s a complete list of the box office records broken by Star Wars with its opening weekend debut:
- Biggest Thursday preview gross with $57M.
- Biggest Friday and biggest single-day gross with $120.5M.
- First film ever to post a single day over $100M.
- Fastest film to $100M and $200M.
- Biggest December debut (nearly 3 times previous record of $84.6M).
- Biggest IMAX Thursday night preview ($5.7M), single-day ($14M, Friday), and weekend ($30.1M).
- Highest theater average for a wide release ($57,568).
The film had a day-and-date debut internationally in nearly every market, save Greece and India, which open Dec. 24, and China. The sequel will open in those territories on January 9. Nonetheless, the film still scored the biggest opening weekend of all time in the following territories: UK (4-day), Australia, Russia, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Austria, Poland (3-day), Denmark (5-day), Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Ukraine, Iceland, Serbia, New Zealand. Second biggest opening weekend in France, Belgium, Israel, Chile.
On top of that, the film scored the biggest IMAX global debut ever with $48 million. To go along with the financial acclaim, the film has been a big hit with critics as well. The film is sitting on a 95% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. None of the films in the Star Wars prequel trilogy came close to getting such a grade on Rotten Tomatoes. In addition, the film has scored an A rating on CinemaScore.
The news bodes very well for Disney’s future of the Star Wars franchise. The first Star Wars Anthology film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is scheduled for a December 2016 release. Star Wars: Episode VIII, directed by Rian Johnson, is due out in May 2017. Star Wars: Episode IX, directed by Colin Trevorrow, is currently scheduled for a 2019 release.