Monday Box Office Report – The box office force awakens!

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How’s that famous quote go? I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in joy and it doesn’t look they’re going to be silenced any time soon!”. Well, not quite, but I have a feeling that that’s what it should be as Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened last week (on Wednesday over here and in some European countries, but officially only on Friday in the States) to pretty positive fan response and has just been crushing every record in sight.

Quite frankly, there was just never any way in hell that the highly anticipated seventh Star Wars film would ever not make money, but seeing as how it was opening in early December, when box office receipts were generally nowhere near to what gets pulled in during the mid-year blockbuster season, there were some fears from pundits that the pile of money wouldn’t be that big. Clearly those pundits have the foresight of bantha poodoo, as The Force Awakens, over its 5-day opening, has now opened to an utterly jaw dropping $517 million worldwide! In the US alone it brought in $238 million, breaking the $208 million record set by Jurassic World back in May.

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And the record breaking in the US got off to an early start as The Force Awakens set the highest highest Thursday “preview” gross ever with $57 million, besting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2‘s $43 million. It then made even more history by officially opening to $120.5 million on Friday, which is not only the highest single day gross ever, but also became the first movie in history to gross triple digit figure in a single day. It continued that momentum by eventually pulling in $238 million over the next two days, which is not only the highest domestic opening weekend of all time, but also the biggest December weekend of all time, destroying the records respectively held previously by Jurassic World and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Over in the international markets, it was just as successful, becoming the biggest opening weekend in history in several European countries. Overall though, it’s $279 million international takings could only garner it the third place in box office history with Jurassic World‘s $316 million and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2’s $314 million still edging ahead.

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But – and this is a big deal – Star Wars: The Force Awakens is yet to open in China (where it only debuts on 9 January 2016) which alone is responsible for $97 million of Jurassic World‘s record setting total. Take that out of equation and The Force Awakens is actually ahead on the scoreboard by a gigantic margin. And with the mostly amazing word of mouth buzz, solid reviews, and not much in the form of high profile competition in cineplexes (sorry, Hateful Eight, but you’re going to get creamed) The Force Awakens should have really strong legs over the next weeks and will more than likely go down as one of the biggest films of all time!

That being said though, I feel I have to remind you that there are actually other movies playing at the cinemas at the moment. In fact, four of them – Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s Sisters, and Bollywood productions Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani – actually had the stones to open opposite Star Wars! I guess somebody had to cater for those seven guys who still refuse to watch Star Wars.

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Let’s see what the rest of the US chart looks like.

  • 1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $238 million (*NE)
  • 2. Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Road Chip – $14.4 million (NE)
  • 3. Sisters – $13.4 million (NE)
  • 4. The Hunger Games: MockingJay – Part 2 – $5.65 million (LW: 1st)
  • 5. Creed – $5.08 million (LW: 4th)
  • 6. The Good Dinosaur – $4.23 million (LW: 3rd)
  • 7. Krampus – $3.78 million (LW: 5th)
  • 8. In the Heart of the Sea – $3.86 million (LW: 2nd)
  • 9. Dilwane – $1.87 million (NE)
  • 10. Bajirao Mastani – $1.66 million (NE)

Besides for Star Wars‘ completely lopsided domination, there’s actually another big story happening on the charts this week and unfortunately it doesn’t look like it will have a happy ending. Director Ron Howard’s big budget maritime drama In the Heart of the Sea already had a very soft $11 million opening the weekend before, but in seven days it’s dropped six places and looks like it’s probably going out of the chart completely by next week.

(LW = Last Week, NE = New Entry)

Last Updated: December 21, 2015

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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