Box Office: 'Star Wars' Beats 'Jurassic World' Record With $529M Global Bow
J.J. Abrams' movie — relaunching the marquee sci-fi franchise — comes in ahead of estimates after scoring the biggest Sunday of all time in North America, where its opening is now pegged at $248 million.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has beaten the dinos after all.
The movie's worldwide opening is now pegged at $529 million, ahead of the historic global launch of Jurassic World this summer. (Jurassic World debuted to $208.8 million domestic and $524 million globally). Now, Disney and Lucasfilm get to claim the top worldwide opening as well.
Thanks to a record Sunday in the U.S. and Canada, Force Awakens' weekend will end up at $248 million domestically. The previous best Sunday belonged to Jurassic World ($57.2 million); Force Awakens easily eclipsed that with $60.5 million.
The movie's international haul is being revised upwards from Sunday's estimate to $281 million, the No. 3 opening of all time behind Jurassic World ($316 million) and the final Harry Potter film ($314 million). Force Awakens shattered records in a number of key territories, including the U.K., where it earned nearly $50 million in its first four days.
Force Awakens, unlike Jurassic World, didn't have the advantage of opening day and date in China, where it doesn't open until Jan. 9.
The performance so far of Force Awakens is a massive victory for Iger and Disney's film studio. “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,” Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement.
Abrams' sequel, set 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi, features a strong female heroine in Rey, a young scavenger played by newcomer Daisy Ridley. Rey and a renegade stormtrooper (John Boyega) band together to challenge a rising evil that includes a new planet-killing laser cannon.
The film also stars Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong'o and Domhnall Gleeson, along with original trilogy stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.
At this rate, there's no telling how high Force Awakens will ultimately fly in terms of box-office revenue, since films over the year-end holidays can see huge multiples. James Cameron's Avatar opened to $77 million on the same weekend in 2009 on its way to becoming the top-grossing film of all time with $2.79 billion in global ticket sales, including $760.5 million domestically. And on the weekend before Christmas in 1996, Cameron's Titanic took in a mere $28.6 million on its way to grossing $2.19 billion worldwide.
Other records broken by Force Awakens in North America include widest December release of all time (4,134 theaters), biggest Thursday-night previews ($57 million), biggest single day and biggest opening day ($120.5 million), fastest film to $100 million and $200 million, top theater average for a wide release ($57,568) and biggest Imax bow ($30.1 million). The pic also came close to taking the record for biggest Saturday from Jurassic World ($68.7. million versus $69.2 million).