Friday Box Office: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Launches to Record-Smashing $120.5 Million

     December 19, 2015

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There was little doubt that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would break the opening weekend box office record, set earlier this year by Jurassic World at $208.8 million, but what’s shocking is by how much J.J. Abrams’ sequel looks to surpass that number. This thing is unstoppable, buoyed by positive reviews and more anticipation than any cinematic event in the past decade, and with the first official box office numbers in, we’re looking at an astronomical weekend.

On Friday, The Force Awakens tallied up an estimated $120.5 million (including $57 million in Thursday “previews”), which easily bests Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2‘s previous Friday record of $91 million. For Star Wars, Disney is now forecasting a weekend near the $220 million range. Now, studio projections are always conservative, so when you look at that $220 million number, keep in mind that it will probably be higher. How much higher? Some sources claim it could land as high as $245 million once the weekend is all said and done. That is insane. Remember a time when Spider-Man’s opening weekend of $114 million was considered untouchable? We have reached a new benchmark, and it’s gonna be really, really tough to break this one.


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Image via Lucasfilm

But opening weekend is just the beginning. The Force Awakens received an A CinemaScore from audiences, with 98% giving it an A or B, and A+ scores from women and younger viewers, meaning this film should have very strong legs. Indeed, with a Christmas holiday offering little in the way of entertainment for the entire family (unless your family is super cool and is planning to see The Hateful Eight), repeat business will probably be significant for the picture, spanning all the way into the wasteland of January. By my count, we’ve just met the first film that has the goods to unseat Avatar’s all-time worldwide box office record.

Internationally The Force Awakens is making bank as well, having raked in $129.5 million in just three days—and it hasn’t even opened in China yet. The sky really is the limit here, but Disney stresses that tickets continue to be available as theaters are adding more and more showings over the weekend, so it’s not a logjam like Jurassic World was this summer—if you wanna see the movie, chances are you can.

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Image via Lucasfilm

Elsewhere at the weekend box office (yes, there are other movies that opened too), the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters grossed $4.9 million on Friday and is on track for a respectable $14 million weekend. The kid-skewing Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, meanwhile, hit $4.1 million and is expected to pull in around $14.5 million for the weekend. To anyone forced to take their children to Alvin instead of Star Wars, we offer our condolences.


See Friday’s Top 5 below, and check back this weekend for more box office updates on this unprecedented debut.

Title Friday Total
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens $120,500,000 $120,500,000
2. Sisters $4,920,000 $4,920,000
3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip $4,125,000 $4,125,000
4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 $1,550,000 $250,338,774
5. Creed $1,375,000 $84,190,073

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

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Image via Lucasfilm


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