With excitement building at an increasingly frantic pace, it's perhaps no surprise that expectations for this December's Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens are already sky-high. From fan enthusiasm, by way of critical anticipation, all the way through to financial expectation, it's fair to say that Episode VII is, as things stand, set to debut in a movie-going world that fully assumes it's going to be an astonishing critical and commercial success.
So much so, in fact, that the latest estimates from industry experts are reportedly predicting an astounding - and record-breaking - opening weekend for the movie. The big question, though?
Just How Much Money Will Episode VII Make on Its Opening Weekend?
Well, if Deadline is to be believed, then it'll be a whole, whole lot.
$615 million worldwide, to be exact - with $300 million of that coming from the domestic box office.
Which, if the prediction proves accurate, would blow Jurassic World's record-breaking $524.4 million opening right out of the water.
Why Is It Set to Make So Much Money, Though?
Well, there are a whole lot of factors involved - including the worldwide appeal of the property, the lengthy gap since the last movie in the series, the general effectiveness of the movie's promotion thus far, and the overarching sense that it's a movie that demands to be seen on opening weekend.
One of the most important, though?
Hollywood - and Disney in particular - is really good at making money.
When Episode VII hits theaters in December, it's likely to play in upwards of 10 screens in many multiplexes, meaning a huge potential audience at any given moment - more than 10,000 screens spread across 4,000 theaters. Add in the carefully chosen release window - there's very little being released in the weeks leading up to, or alongside Episode VII - and there's no reason to think that mind-bogglingly high box office takings aren't possible. It's for similar reasons - along with the lack of major competition in January - that many are also predicting that the movie will break $2 billion before too long.
Which, from a budget of around $200 million (possibly doubled if you included marketing and such), ain't half bad...
The biggest question, though?