‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Hits $50 Million-Plus Thursday Night in U.S.

Star Wars Episode VII The Force
Courtesy of Disney/Lucas FIlm

The Force is already setting a U.S. record with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” taking in $50 million to $55  million in opening Thursday-night shows, preliminary estimates showed.

If the estimates hold, “The Force Awakens” will easily beat the previous Thursday-night record of $43.5 million by Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” in July 2011.

The U.S. showings of Disney-Lucasfilm’s “The Force Awakens,” directed by J.J. Abrams, began at 7 p.m.

The cast includes Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o and Domhnall Gleeson along with original “Star Wars” stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.

In a sign of sky-high anticipation, the seventh film in the iconic science-fiction franchise had set a record by selling more than $100 million worth of advance tickets domestically as of Tuesday — raising expectations that “The Force Awakens” will do more than $200 million worth of business on its opening weekend domestically. The current record for a launch weekend was set in June by “Jurassic World” with $208.4 million.

The marketing campaign has triggered plenty of pent-up excitement for the return of Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca and Han Solo, plus the new characters and story line. Disney, which paid more than $4 billion for Lucasfilm in 2009, had been downplaying expectations, but rival studios and industry analysts believe that “The Force Awakens” will open to $210 million or more.

“The Force Awakens” is set 30 years after the events of 1983’s “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” The film will be in a total of 4,134 North American locations on Friday — a record for a December opening.

“The Force Awakens” also debuted in a dozen international markets on Wednesday with a total of $14.1 million at the international box office.

The film, which carries a production cost of at least $200 million, opened in 32 additional foreign markets Thursday will open in most other markets Friday. It could eclipse the international opening weekend record of $316.1 million, set again by “Jurassic World.”


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  1. Defiantly loved the movie but one can see clearly that its obviously made for the 21st century character wise.

  2. omermirza says:

    what a movie!!! iam going to watch it again.. And again.. And again. May the Force be With all of you..

  3. Scott says:

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I plan to this week, when my work schedule slows down. When I was 9 years old , I saw Star Wars for the first time. It was the first movie I ever saw in theaters, and it blew me away. My hope is that another nine year old seeing his or her first movie will be similarly awed. It also turned me on to movies and a love for cinema.

  4. Carl says:

    I’m not sure if Jarassic World opened the same day in China as everywhere else but in China it’s coming January 9th, that’s going to put a dent in the international numbers for sure.

  5. Audrey says:

    Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, not 2009

  6. Nathaniel says:

    I agree to an extent. I was (and still am) very disappointed in the movie. I am a huge star wars nerd and I found the new film hollow and derivative. It just wasn’t star wars. At least the prequels tried to make their own way, and while they are full of cringe-worthy dialogue they still felt like star wars. Force Awakens took fan service to such an extreme that it ruined the whole movie. Also there are many things about some of the characters that was just plain stupid but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

  7. Solid movie but Disney doesn’t care. It just wants to sell more toys and crap

  8. Nick says:

    Don’t listen to Zaniel, the movie is very good :) 95% on Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t just happen magically.

    • irwinator1992 says:

      It is very good. Equal parts familiar and fresh, The Force Awakens is refreshingly energetic and madcap mix of action, comedy, drama and nostalgia, wrapped into a satisfying package that stands tall amongst the original Star wars trilogy while successfully working as a stand-alone film. The screenplay and story are playful and mysterious, the effects are seamless, the quick pacing and fast cuts aren’t obtrusive, and the acting from all involved is stellar. J.J. Abrams is a people’s director and a smart writer with a singular vision and a appetite for cinemativ wonder, joy and mystery. He is the real deal. And can someone please give Daisy Ridley an Oscar??

  9. Zaniel says:

    fter JJ Abrams breathed new life into the Star Trek franchise, I had high hopes for what he could do with Star Wars. After all he could hardly do worst than the ‘Prequels.’


    Spoiler Alert: Star Wars 7 is not worth paying to see in theaters.

    I have not been so disappointed since I found out Santa Claus was not real. This is the 7th movie in the franchise and STILL they can not, will not bother with a interesting plot or dialogue.

    With an entire universe to play in and decades of canon Abrams/Disney has chosen to microwave visuals and plot elements from the first six films.

    A group of cos-players could have made better costumes and put more believable emotion into their acting.

    Recently it seems Scifi/fantasy movies rely so heavily on special effects you know the movie is just a preview for the video game.

    Star War 7 was so tepid I will not bother with the game.

  10. That film’s going to break some records. Really incredible numbers on the way.

  11. Jedi77 says:

    Star Wars is actually behind Harry Potter, not in front.
    Harry Potter did $43.5 million in midnight – MIDNIGHT – previews.
    Star Wars has made $50+ million in 7PM previews.
    A 5 hour extra window should have accounted for way more than a paltry extra $6.5 million.
    So let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
    Besides all these comparisons are apples and watermelons.
    Thursday previews are not Friday BO.
    7PM previews are not comparable to midnight previews.

    When a movie opens at 7PM on Thursday, the opening day is Thursday, not Friday.

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