Monday, 04 January, 2016

Star Wars crushes opening weekend box office records

Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher has something to say to people who criticise her appearance
Dana Christensen | 01 January, 2016, 10:22

Box Office Mojo predicted yesterday that the film could rake in $231 million in its opening weekend, but analysts there now say that number "may be in jeopardy of being too low".

The latest Star Wars installment easily overtook "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2", which had held the opening-day record at $91 million. Through Friday, worldwide ticket sales reached $129.5 million, setting opening-day records in Britain, Germany, Australia, Brazil and other countries.

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" became the biggest opening in movie history bringing in an estimated $238 million in the USA this weekend.

Realizing that Jurassic World was another huge box office success, it is suggested that it's a profitable time for films. The record is held by "Avatar" with $2.8 billion.

"The Force Awakens" opened this weekend in virtually every major market except Greece, India and China, where it will debut on January 9.

The JJ Abrams-directed seventh instalment in the franchise George Lucas created and launched in 1977 took $27.2 million in Australian cinemas between its first screening to a paying audience at midnight Wednesday to the last sessions beginning before midnight on Sunday.

Critics lavished praise on "Force Awakens", which features newcomers Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac alongside original stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.

The Force Awakens also set North American records for widest December release, biggest Thursday night previews, fastest film to $100 million and $200 million at the box office, biggest IMAX opening and highest per-theater average for a wide release ($58,000). The previous record holder for a December opening was "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", which took in $85 million in 2012. Costumed, lightsaber-wielding fans have lined up around blocks, from Jakarta to Paris, to be among the first to see "The Force Awakens" (and hopefully avoid any spoilers from its intensely guarded plot). Disney, which paid more than $4 billion for Lucasfilm in 2009, had been downplaying expectations, but rival studios and industry analysts believe that "The Force Awakens" will open to $210 million or more.