“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” showed few signs of flagging over Christmas weekend, barreling past the $1 billion mark globally at a faster clip than any film in history.
The blockbuster seventh entry in the beloved sci-fi space franchise achieved the feat in 12 days of global release, beating the 13 days that former record-holder “Jurassic World” took to manage the feat in June.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens continued to shred records at the domestic and worldwide box office in its second weekend of release, earning a colossal $153.5 million weekend.That lifted the global total to $1.09 billion, with $546 million coming from abroad — without China — and $544.5 million from North America. That’s a drop of just 38%, or about on par with the second weekend drop of Spider-Man once upon a time. But while that film had to face Unfaithful in its second weekend (good movie, but an over-performer at $15m), The Force Awakens had four new wide releases, one semi-wide expansion, and two buzzy platform debuts to deal with this weekend.
But the film still scored by-far the biggest non-opening weekend of all time (next closest were the $106 million second weekend of Jurassic World and the $103m second weekend of The Avengers), held better than pretty much every big December release on said weekend save the Lord of the Rings films, Titanic, and Avatar (on much bigger opening weekend numbers of course), and pushed its cumulative to eye-popping levels in record time.
In just ten days of domestic play, J.J. Abrams’s sci-fi sequel has earned $545 million, putting it ahead of The Dark Knight ($534m) to become the fifth-biggest movie of all time in America. Yes, that’s the fastest sprint to $500m domestic. It should have close to $700m domestic by the end of next weekend, meaning Avatar is as good as sunk domestically. Now it’s a matter of how much more it makes than Avatar and how much this inspires James Cameron to kick all of our asses when Avatar 2 drops in 2017.
In terms of worldwide box office, it crossed the $1 billion mark in record time this weekend, with a new twelve day total of $1.090 billion worldwide (Jurassic World needed thirteen days). The film now ranks fifth of all time in America and 15th of all time worldwide. Of that $1.091b thus far, it has earned $106m in IMAX alone. The film has earned $70m in IMAX alone in the first 11 days (counting Thursday), which is more than what Avatar earned in IMAX in its first month.
So yeah, it should presumably have little problem clearing the $1.6 billion total for Jurassic World within the next few weeks, although catching up to Titanic ($2.2b) and Avatar ($2.8b) in terms of global box office is a less surefire prospect even with these numbers. China will be a shot in the arm on January 9th, but now it’s a question of seeing how it holds up once the holiday season ends and we get more “big” movies in January here and abroad. Even Disney will have to shift their marketing focus to its Chris Pine Coast Guard rescue adventure The Finest Hours which opens on January 29th. Although I guess they could just rename it The Finest Hours: A Star Wars Story.
The big domestic riddle is whether Star Wars: The Force Awakens stops at $850 million domestic or flirts with $1 billion domestic. It may well start playing like a “normal” mega blockbuster after New Year’s, but it certainly hasn’t started yet.