Update: ‘Star Wars’ Orbits Box Office Record with Estimated $220 Million Opening

Star Wars
Courtesy of Disney

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is hyperspeeding to a weekend total as high as of $220 million after setting an opening day box office record with $120.5 million generated on Friday, according to Saturday night estimates.

Should the estimates hold, Disney and Lucasfilm’s seventh installment in the saga will top the opening weekend record currently held by “Jurassic World,” which pulled in $208.4 million in its first three days when it bowed over the summer. “Force Awakens” might also speed past “Jurassic World’s” international opening weekend record of $316.1 million as well as its global opening record of $524.9 million.

Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac star as new key players in the space opera, with Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher reprising their iconic roles. “Force Awakens” takes place 30 years after the conclusion of 1983’s “Return of the Jedi.” J.J. Abrams directs.

The U.S. opening day record was previously held by “Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” which raked in $91 million when it bowed in 2011. “The Force Awakens” kicked off its screenings Thursday night with $57 million, besting “Potter’s” $43.5 million preview total and setting yet another record. The sci-fier is unspooling across 4,134 North American locations.

This historic weekend is partly a result of a galaxy-wide marketing push, stoking fan excitement to new levels. Two diehard fans even tied the knot outside the TCL Chinese Theatre in honor of the film’s release.

Universal’s “Sisters” and Fox’s latest “Alvin and the Chipmunks” installment offer counterprogramming for those moviegoers uninterested in the adventures of the Skywalkers.

“Sisters,” starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, pulled in $5 million on Friday from 2,962 locations, while “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” netted $4 million in 3,653 locations. The pair should finish the weekend with about $14 million apiece.

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  1. Frances Gasparotto says:

    I am a die hard fan who fell asleep during Force Awakens and I will tell you why. Dullsville! When the movie finished, there was polite applause but not the thunderous applause from the other movies. Unfortunately, the director does not understand Star Wars and is playing it too safe. There I said it – kill me now if you wish but I was not impressed! Back to the drawing board, Mr. Abrams – I expect better from you!

  2. Michael says:

    The real question, can Star Wars pass Avatar? My guess, yes.

    • Buddy says:

      No chance.
      Star Wars is US and Europe phenomenon. Not worldwide phenomenon. It will break the opening weekend record but internationally will sink fast after that.
      2 billion dollar tops. No chance it’s will reach 2,7 billion Avatar does.

    • Bill B. says:

      Spoke too soon. World wide figures after adjusted puts Avatar at #2.

    • Bill B. says:

      It’s all kind of meaningless due to inflation. The domestic gross for Avatar after it’s adjusted for inflation puts it at number 14. Can’t find any world wide figures for adjusted for inflation.

  3. Bill B. says:

    I think I heard something somewhere about this film. Is it a war movie?

  4. N says:

    ““The Force Awakens” kicked off its screenings Thursday night with $57 million, besting “Potter’s” $43.5 million preview total and setting yet another record.”

    Apples meet oranges. The Potter movie had midnight screenings only. The Star Wars movie had multiple showing Thursday night beginning at 7:00 PM.

    • Robert says:

      Well, yeah, but it wouldn’t be Hollywood if there weren’t always new ways to manipulate the numbers. The figures from those multiple THURSDAY showings will also added to the numbers from FRIDAY to inflate those day’s totals.

      • Rudy Mario says:

        Not really. It is n9t apples v/s oranges. The Harry Potter movie would have had mudnight, early am, etc screeing if the level of demand was that high. After all this is a business and theater owners would readily oblige to make big bucks. The simple fact is this : The Force had a higher level of demand. So it is defiantly s record………until it is broken.

      • attorneytracey says:

        I read that SW V made a t least $50 million in advance ticket sales due to the hype, so that’s like a head start.

      • Ken says:

        Absolutely right, Robert. It always irritates me when studios include Thursday receipts in their “weekend” grosses. The 57 million SW7 earned on Thursday should be considered exactly that — single day THURSDAY results. The spectacular figures being advertised in the trades today are misleading b.s.

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