There’s a new king in town.
After apparently falling short of “Jurassic World’s” record global launch of $524.9 million, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has overtaken the dinosaur thriller to set a new high-water mark for a worldwide debut.
Final numbers are still being tallied, but in an interview with Bloomberg on Monday morning, Disney chief Bob Iger suggested that receipts for the “Star Wars” sequel had come in higher than initial estimates had suggested. It now appears that the film will have hit a global record of $528 million. Disney originally suggested the film’s global tally would be $517 million, but domestic numbers are higher than anticipated, clocking in at roughly $247 million.
“That’s an incredible weekend,” Iger told Bloomberg. “What this really does is it sets this great franchise up for far more value creation over a longer period of time for the company.”
What’s particularly impressive is that the figure was achieved without the help of China, the world’s second biggest market for film. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” doesn’t debut in the People’s Republic until Jan. 9. “Jurassic World” made more than $90 million from China during its opening weekend.
Iger stressed that “Star Wars” was “more than a movie,” because the film’s characters and stories appear on lunch boxes, toylines and theme park rides. That merchandising potential is part of the reason that Disney spent more than $4 billion buying Lucasfilm in 2012.
“‘Star Wars,’ I’ve said a number of times, I think is probably the most valuable, maybe even the most important mythology created in our time,” the Disney chief said.
Even without China, “Star Wars” enjoyed a massive global rollout. The film debuted on over 30,000 screens internationally, scoring first place finishes in every major market where it debuted with the exception of South Korea and Vietnam.