Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Force Awakens Crosses $1 Billion In Record Time

It looks like Star Wars The Force Awakens is going to have the legs to make a real stab at Avatar's $2.8 billion worldwide box office record. After only 12 days of release, the film crossed the $1 billion worldwide threshold, the fastest movie to reach that point. It crossed the threshold on Sunday thanks to strong weekend with $149.2 million in the US and $$153.3M internationally bringing its grand total to $540M US and $546M international. And this is without the potential $300M to $400 million China could ultimately add to the total when it is released there starting on January 9. In total the film now has 37 box office records with more to aim for.

As for the grand daddy of them all, the all-time record, its relatively small drop of only 40% from one weekend to the next combined with a very week January to February box office schedule means the film will have essentially no competition for the next 30 or so days (which helped Avatar and Titanic land in the tops slots during their runs). 40% may seem high but the average from weekend to the next is usually in the 60% range which is why a high first weekend has become so critical to a film's over all financial success. It's still to early to say if it can pass Avatar and Titanic but I suspect it will not. It will end up in #3 slot passing Jurassic World's $1.6B total but stop shot of Titanic's $2.2B. I based this on the fact that while the die hard fans are seeing the movie repeatedly, general audiences are not and woman in particular are not driving ticket sales (and thus more repeat business), something that both Avatar and Titanic had in droves. Ultimately Disney isn't going to care as the film is a clear success signalling the strong future for their one Star Wars per year film plan and chances are the box office + merchandise (toys, clothes, etc) + home video (DVD, Blu-ray) + streaming sales (Netflix, Amazon, etc) of the first film will more than cover the $4 billion the company paid to buy Lucasfilm and the rights to Star Wars.

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