$247,000,000 in one weekend.
That is how much Star Wars means in the hearts, minds, and wallets of millions across the United States. Add in the rest of the world minus the substantial markets of China and select others (where the film opens in January) and the tally is over $517,000,000 for The Force Awakens. The domestic number is the most ever and had the film opened in China day and date with the rest of the globe it would have surpassed current record holder Jurassic World globally. While not surprising, it makes Disney‘s four billion dollar investment instantly a sound one. This is the truest definition of an event film that there has ever been. A movie people planned their week around and one which dominated watercoolers and will continue to.
Here’s how strong the pull of The Force Awakens is: People swore off social media to avoid spoilers. To go cold turkey on Facebook and Twitter because of a movie is one heck of a commitment in today’s day and age. The big test is the second weekend, and if this film drops less than 60% the future is bright indeed.
The counterprogramming approach for the Tina Fey/Amy Poeller vehicle Sisters and the third Alvin and the Chipmunks movie garnered each film a little under $15,000,000 was a decent one. The per screen average for both was respectable, especially considering how packed theaters and concession stands were because of the latest Star Wars. As our own Matthew Allen revealed, films going up against Star Wars historically have had mixed results. The films that took the largest hit were the holdovers, many of which are on fumes going into 2016.
The Rest of Fandom
The Good Dinosaur should cross $100,000,000 on Christmas but the Pixar release ranks as one of its worst performers, losing nearly 60% from the previous weekend likely hurt by the large amount of families going to see the latest space opera. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 broke $250,000,000 domestically over the weekend which is a testament to the staying power of the brand. Krampus continues to be a surprise sleeper while Creed‘s word of mouth and potential Oscar value has kept it strong. Overall it was a steady week for fare that appealed to fandom.
The holiday season’s last offerings features a few potential contenders in Concussion, Point Break, The Hateful Eight, and Daddy’s Home. None should dethrone The Force Awakens, but a typically huge box office week looks to potentially set a record of its own once the smoke clears.
We’ll be here to tell you next Sunday.