Although some are treating "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" as just another mega-blockbuster, for many reasons I feel it is the most anticipated film so far this decade.
Therefore, for the reasons listed below, I feel the numbers this weekend and beyond are going to shock everyone.
A $300 billion domestic opening weekend, a $1 billion domestic run and a $3 billion global take.
Outrageous? Actually, I may be underestimating numbers. Here's why:
1.) Anticipation - The anticipation for this film is like nothing I've ever seen. This is borne out by the incredible advance ticket sales (more on them later). media, etc. After ten years and what many older fans feel may bring the magic back to a world they love, this is the definition of a "I HAVE to see it NOW film!"
2.) Advance ticket sales have already broken records - "The Force Awakens" has reportedly already sold over $100 million worth of tickets, over $50 million on opening weekend. It has already sold the most tickets at Fandango for a film's ENTIRE RUN!
3.) People are underestimating the number of people who will be showing up at the door! Older fans are more likely to do this - and there are a lot of them!
4.) The secrecy surrounding the film means fans will want to get the full story and surprises before anyone else!
5.) This appeals to 7 year-olds, those who enjoyed the prequels' effects and those who took their kids to see magic happen in 1977. EVERYONE wantes to see it! Especially since...
6.) The diverse cast - led by Daisy Ridley and John Boyega - can't help but bring in people who might otherwise be indifferent.
7.) We are seeing some characters that people have loved for 38 years return - AND what looks like dynamic new characters for the first time!
8.) The reviews are OUTSTANDING! At 94% on Rotten Tomatoes! Which should help assuage fans who were unhappy with the "prequel trilogy"!
9.) If the movie is that good, word of mouth will rein in more people - and those who were apprehensive will want to get in line again, like a roller coaster.
10.) The demand has been so high, that Disney has announced that the number of theaters it is playing at 4,134 theaters!
11.) Part of the reason for that is the films that might compete with it a bit are just about done ("Spectre") or never caught on ("In the Heart of the Sea") or have underperformed a bit ("The Good Dinosaur")
12.) The other studios know what a behemoth this will be. There's a reason "The Hateful Eight" and "The Revenant" have decided to delay their wide openings until after Christmas.
13.) Demand has been so great, some theaters are playing the film on some screens 24 HOURS A DAY this weekend!
14.) Many blockbusters, like "The Avengers" and "Jurassic World", did far better than their impressive tracking and for the reasons above, "The Force Awakens" looks to do the same.
15.) Given the excitement, diverse cast and likely word of mouth, it is sure to crush it's competition for the next few weeks. People are going to be more interested in Daist Ridley than Tina Fey in "Sisters" and John Boyega than Will Smith ("Concussion")..and "Alvin and the Chipmunks? Please.
16.) Also working in the "The Force Awaken"'s favor is the fact it will be playing in over 3,300 3D locations, on a record 392 IMAX screens, on 451 Premium Large Format screens and in 146 D-Box locations. The higher ticket prices for all of these locations along with the swath of positive reviews (again,just in case you were on the fence) only work to the film's benefit, especially when it comes to predicting how much it will make per theater.
17. Disney has succeeded in making this a global event.
18.) Oh, and then there's the simple fact that the last "Star wars" film, which opened with high anticipation after a long break, "The Phantom Menace", grossed $707 million domestically, in today's dollars - and NO ONE EVEN LIKED it!
When you consider that and that "The Force Awakens" seems to deliver the goods, I may be underestimating what this film will do at the box-office!