Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Force Awakens Takes All Time Weekend Crown

As the congratulation pic shows, Star Wars: The Force Awakens had a very good weekend. The first weekend of Force conquered the box office with a US take of $248 million and $281 internationally for a worldwide take of $529 million in a single weekend. This surpassed the previous weekend champ, Jurassic World's $208.8M US, $315.2M international, $524M worldwide. For the weekend the movie also holds a record for most pre-sales ($100 million), highest Sunday in the US ($60.5M vs World's $57.2M), widest release in December (4134 theaters), largest Thursday night preview ($57M), largest single day ($120.5M), biggest opening day ($120.5M), fastest film to $100M and $200M (and probably $300M), and biggest IMAX opening weekend ($30.1M). Basically its a good day to be the folks that approved buying Lucasfilm a few years ago (even though the decision to do it at the "cheap" price of $4 billion was a no brainer). It fell short for international total records mostly because the film doesn't open in China until January 9 while World opened on the same weekend. For Disney, they are hoping this high watermark gives them a chance to surpass Avatar for top grossing film of all time with its $2.79M worldwide sales.

Personally I think the film will fall short simply because the repeat viewings will not be sufficient enough as the story is essentially a remake of the first movie. Nor does Star Wars have the female following that other recent top dogs (Avatar, Titanic) enjoyed. Now if China embraces the movie that could be a different story. For next weekend its highly likely the film will drop at least 50% in sales (so around $120M US, $140M internationally) but that is normal. Things only get interesting if the drop is 40% or less which means its going to have much longer legs than normal (so chasing Avatar is achievable) or drops 60% or higher which means that movie goers didn't quite take to the movie nearly as well as critics or initial weekend fans did.

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