‘Star Wars’ Possibly a Day Away From Stealing ‘Avatar’s’ Box Office Crown

Star Wars Avatar
Courtesy of Disney/20th Century

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” could break the U.S. box office record held by “Avatar” as early as Tuesday.

The space saga finished the New Year’s weekend with a stunning $90.2 million — or nearly $2 million above Sunday’s estimates — to lift its 17-day domestic total to $742.2 million, including $21.5 million on Sunday. It trails the six-year-old “Avatar” record of $760.5 million by only $18.3 million.

“The Force Awakens” also demolished the domestic record for a third weekend in a row, finishing 46% above the previous record of $68.5 million for “Avatar.”

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, noted that the seventh “Star Wars” movie has been able to set a multitude of records in less than three weeks.

“The truly impressive part of the box office performance of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ really lies more in the speed at which it is crossing all of these box office milestones, not just the numbers themselves,” he said. “With the crown for the top North American box office performer of all-time already about to change hands, the impressiveness of ‘Star Wars” relentless popularity becomes even more apparent.”

Dergarabedian pointed out that “Avatar” needed 48 weeks to reach $760.5 million and 72 days to hit the $700 million threshold.

“‘The Force Awakens’ continues to astonish by setting box office land speed records at a blistering pace and now has its sights set on the elusive $1 billion mark in North America,” he added. “With the North American crown now in its possession, achieving that level in a mere 18 or 19 days, the film is now holding a reservation at the exclusive $2 billion club, which is the next stop on its hit parade with China about to open the film on Saturday.”

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” took in more than $96 million internationally over the weekend to push the international total past $770 million and the worldwide total to $1.51 billion. The movie ranks as the sixth highest-grossing film worldwide and should pass “Furious 7” and “Marvel’s The Avengers” this week to become the fourth-biggest film — trailing only “Avatar” at $2.8 billion, “Titanic” at $2.2 billion and “Jurassic World” at $1.7 billion.

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  1. snake says:

    It will all depend on China, and if it can gross over 1 Billion domestically.So far Domestically it has over 750 Million.
    If its a huge hit in China and does well over 300 Million then yes it has a great shot of getting Avatars record, however Star Wars has never been huge over there as they all love explosion every 5 minutes like Transformers 4 that grossed over 350 Million.

  2. fuku says:

    Force Awakens will be the 1st movie to pass 3 billion worldwide!

  3. Ned Deluxe says:

    Avatar. Was that the cartoon about the blue people flying on the dragons to save the trees? Vaguely remember it…

  4. Jake Null says:

    all those defending avatar and saying it’s so much better writing than star wars… I have one word to say… unobtanium… *drops mic*

    • oscarstegland says:

      Best part about that blatantly horrible name for a nigh-unobtainable substance is… they actually stole it from the film “The Core”. Avatar is a lot of things, but i’d say the writing is the singularly worst part. It’s all style and absolutely zero original story. Hell, even TFA is less of a remake of A New Hope than Avatar is a remake of Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, etc.

    • TheWachowski says:

      unobtanium? Isn’t that the element mediclorians are made of?
      Sorry, I couldn’t resist ;-)

  5. Your old pal, Art Mooney says:

    It’s kind of embarrassing for us as a race when you look at what the highest grossing movies are; recycled CGI garbage. A cornucopia of puerile nonsense for the Idiocracy. Tripe. Titanic aside, the rest were all made after 2011 and every single title is a shining example of everything thats wrong with storytelling these days. Star Wars; the Farce Takes Your Money is an insult to anyone with two brain cells left to rub together. Jar Jar Abrams is rubbing his talentless hands together and laughing at all of you.

    I remember a time when we cared whose a** it was and why it was farting. – Not Sure

  6. Rex says:

    The comparison of Star Wars 7 to Titanic and Avatar is spurious in any number of ways already pointed out in these comments, and in spite of Paul Dergarabedian frothing himself into an orgasm praising Star Wars and its “smashed” records. Despite its flaws (yes, a familiar script being a key one) and its 48-week run to attain over 700 million domestic, Avatar broke box office records WITHOUT being the SEVENTH ENTRY in a hugely popular, DECADES-old franchise, WITHOUT pundits anticipating massive returns in China (which it got anyway) and WITHOUT being a veritable REMAKE of an earlier film in its own canon. Even if Avatar 2 doesn’t break SW7’s record, it will still have to be compared using MORE metrics than just straight up box-office and Paul Dergarabedian blowing a PR load. In fact, ANY film that even comes close to besting SW7’s records absolutely cannot be compared DIRECTLY to SW7 since, unless it’s a Marvel Team-Up movie like Avengers 3 or 4, it simply won’t have a MASSIVE LEGACY to ride in on, making it all the more impressive if such a film (or films) even comes close to SW7 numbers. Period.

    Further commenting on this thread is now closed.

  7. Al says:

    Since Cameran announced that he has developed a new cinematic experience for Avatar 2 I imagine it will easily knock Star Wars the rehash off the top spot. Cameran at least tries to advance the experience & he doesn’t do sequels to other people’s movies (apart from Aliens, which is now a classic).

    • oscarstegland says:

      No, instead he just outright steals the storylines from other movies and calls them his own. Did you not see the similarities between Avatar and a number of other films that were made much earlier? Hell the main character even got to keep John Smith’s (Pocahontas) initials…

    • Rudy Mario says:


      Also the inflation adjusted bo collections for Titanic and Avatar should be posted so that apples can be compared to apples.

  8. Falconsnacks says:

    I have been a Star Wars fan since I was 10 yrs old and watched the franchise break a lot of records over the decades,but I have to admit that the $$$$$ that The Force Awakens is amassing is just mind boggling and the speed it is making all of this cash is just eye watering,people must be repeat viewing the hell of this movie,so it’s no telling how high it is gonna reach. BTW,I really enjoyed The Force Awakens,to me it did not over shadow the previous six Episodes (which i loved) but complements them. The Force Awakens was a great way to launch the next generation of the franchise well into the next decade. MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU,ALL.

    • Clark says:

      Went to see it at the weekend. Cinema was empty. I think the rush is over. Can’t see it topping Avatar worldwide now.

      • Rex says:

        He’ll, I saw it the first Friday it played and the theatre — in a MAJOR metropolitan city, no less — had about 45 people in it, at a 10 pm show. This is NOT to say it’s a bad film — it’s not, but it IS a slavish remake of the Episode 4 — but to prove that folks who think it’s packing ’em in at every theatre around the globe are plainly delusional. Top grossing movie of all time? OF COURSE IT IS, for a while, but good LORD it’s riding the coattails of a nearly FORTY YEAR OLD FRANCHISE so the fact that it’s breaking records should impress no one. Well, except Paul Dergarabedian, whose quotes in this piece don’t even sound like an actual human being speaking.

  9. mightymad says:

    At this point, it’s way more interesting to try to figure out which movie will actually managed to dethroned TFA from the top spot.

    Awhile back, my best bet was “Ride Along 2”, solely because the first one was so damn popular. The thing is, though, back in January 2014, there weren’t any true juggernaut up against it.

    So it’s quite possible TFA will reign supreme throughout January, until “Kung Fu Panda 3” comes out. I can’t even imagine how much money it would have grossed by then…

  10. Mrs X says:

    as someone who likes star wars and doesnt care about avatar, man these updates are still so annoying.

  11. Ken says:

    James Cameron has proven, time and again, an ability to astonish movie-goers. He ups the ante, technology- and storytelling-wise. Now that TITANIC and (by tomorrow) AVATAR fall in STAR WARS 7’s wake, I have no doubt Cameron will re-double his efforts to ensure his upcoming AVATAR features will give STAR WARS a run for its considerable money. Can’t wait for AVATAR 2, 3 and 4!!

    • mightymad says:

      Let’s all hope, this time around, Cameron worked on his screenplay just as hard, if not harder, than he did on the special effects.

      ‘Cause, sorry, but no one wants “Ferngully: Part 2″…

      • Richard says:

        Yes because nobody wanted a direct rip off of the old Flash Gordon serials …characters plot and scrawl included …..until Star Wars rehashed it 30 years later. Nothing is original just rehashed reinterpreted and repackaged.

      • cadavra says:

        If Cameron were genuinely interested in improving the screenplay, he’d give it to someone who can actually write.

      • Brian Martin says:

        The only complaint I keep on hearing from people about Avatar is “it’s story has been told before,” as if that is a bad thing. Everything in art is inherently a remix of other works. Complaining about it is redundant. Originality is very overrated.

    • The Chad says:

      I can’t wait for avatar 2 as well. I hope it’s good!

      Avatar is bigger than SW over seas, but in the USA Star Wars is bigger. That is why SW7 will not beat avatar, because it won’t gross 2 billion over seas. That and the thing none of these so called journalists are talking about-inflation!! Star Wars 7 will have to gross more than 3 billion to beat avatar when adjusted for inflation, worldwide.

      Gone with the winds high numbers don’t count because it’s super racist.

    • John says:

      Do you really think that Star Wars overtaking avatar is some kind of insult? Give me a break.

      • you are one of a very small amount of people actually interested in more Avatar, I was done with the franchise halfway through the first movie. Trust me, the second one is gonna have a hard time doing the kind of business the first one did

    • Jonathan says:

      Hahaha good luck with that! The Force Awakens is going to hold this record for a VERY long time.

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