Weekend Box Office: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Blasts Off with $238 Million Opening

     December 20, 2015

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In all likelihood, anyone who is reading this article spent part of their weekend – a little over two hours to be exact – taking in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The sole exceptions would be the small contingency of people who do not care (and are, inexplicably, very proud of this) and critics and media types who were invited to press screenings. Almost everyone else ponied up to get a ticket and a decent seat for J.J. Abrams‘ take on the classic franchise and this was clear when it was announced today that the sequel is looking at a $238 million opening weekend, easily surpassing this past summer’s Jurassic World, which tallied up a little under $209 million. That The Force Awakens is also ten times the movie, both in terms of visuals and storytelling, that Colin Trevorrow‘s insipid, mildly entertaining sequel is merely the cherry on all of this.

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Image via Lucasfilm

Globally, on the other hand, The Force Awakens fell short of Jurassic World‘s titanic $525 million bow, bringing in a still hugely impressive $517. There’s a reason for this anomaly, however, as Jurassic World opened in China the same week as it did in the U.S., and considering the growing size of China’s cinema audience, that would almost certainly make up the difference and more. India and Greece also didn’t open the film this weekend, rather pushing the science fiction epic for another week for a Christmas opening  , but their audience sizes don’t hold quite as much sway as China. For the record, the film will be released in China on January 9th, a little less than a month after its initial release.


According to Disney’s press release, Star Wars: The Force Awakens blasted through more than a handful of major records, including:

  • 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).
  • Biggest opening weekend of all time in 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.
  • Biggest IMAX global debut of $48M.

To quote Super Troopers, that’s a lot of dimp, and it predictably left other openers cowering in the corner, most prominently the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler vehicle Sisters, which opened to middling reviews and $13.4 million, and Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip, which opened with a relatively impressive $14.4 million. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, one of the most disappointing films of the year, came in at fourth with $5.4 million, and the fifth place went to Ryan Coogler‘s excellent Rocky sequel, Creed, with $5.1 million; the holdovers have tallied up $254.4 million and $87.9 million, respectively.


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Image via Lucasfilm

For more on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, peruse our recent links below:


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Image via Lucasfilm

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Image via Lucasfilm

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Image via Lucasfilm


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