“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” racked up $517 million globally in its first weekend in theaters, a massive launch that falls just shy of a record opening.
The film debuted on over 30,000 screens internationally, scoring first place finishes in every major market where it debuted with the exception of Korea and Vietnam.
“The Force Awakens” could not trump “Jurassic World’s” record worldwide debut of $524.9 million, but that film also benefited from an opening in China where it made more than $90 million in its first weekend of release. The latest “Star Wars” doesn’t hit the People’s Republic until Jan. 9.
Even without China, it was still a gigantic global launch. “Star Wars” has debuted in nearly 70% of the international market, with Greece and India joining China as the few countries left to see the film. Walt Disney Studios backed the $200 million production and is looking for “The Force Awakens” to reinvigorate the science-fiction franchise as it hopes to create two more sequels and a raft of spinoffs and prequels.
Without “Star Wars,” local Chinese films dominated the world’s second-largest film market. “Mojin: The Lost Legend,” a fantasy film about a group of grave robbers, picked up $85 million in its inaugural weekend, while “Surprise – Journey to the West” earned $24 million in its sophomore weekend, pushing its total to $34 million.
Disney and Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” and South Korean adventure drama “The Himalayas” rounded out the top five highest-grossing films overseas, earning $9.2 million and $8.5 million, respectively. “The Good Dinosaur” has made $189.6 million since opening in November, while “The Himalayas” was able to hold off “Star Wars” on Korean box office charts.