According to Walt Disney, the film will be opening in (deep breath) 4,100+ theaters, 3,300+ 3D locations, a record 392 IMAX screens (13 of which are glorious 70mm), 451 “premium large format” screens and 146 D-Box options (if it’s anything like Star Tours, those theaters will be filled with “second hand” popcorn, soda and snacks on the floors). But 4,100 theaters is still nowhere near a record theater count (4,468 for Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) and around the fifth or sixth biggest release for 2015 depending on what the final screen count ends up being. That means scoring the opening weekend record (Jurassic World earning $208.8 million in 4,274 theaters) is still somewhat of an uphill battle.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens would have to earn $50,591 per-theater, which would be a record for a wide release, in order to make $208.9 million and take the record. It’s do-able, but it’s not going to be a cake walk.
Prediction: $180m-$220m Opening Weekend!
And I see little reason to go much higher or lower than that at least until the reviews drop in about 15 hours. But this is all, of course, speculation because I like doing the comparisons and so that I can use this math when we get figures starting on Friday morning. Heck, the circumstances of a new Star Wars film dropping in the middle of a blockbuster-drenched environment, in December no less, creates a situation where we might not know for sure how big the weekend is going to be until we get those Sunday morning numbers.
Will Star Wars break the Opening Weekend record?
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