‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Box Office: $248M Opening Weekend, $529M Worldwide
By Forbes.com // December 23, 2015
(Forbes.com) – Star Wars: The Force Awakens made even more money than we thought yesterday.
It’s one thing for the weekend actuals released on Monday to be a little higher than the estimates that drop on Sunday, but Walt Disney is reporting a substantial uptick for Sunday which sends the actual opening weekend total quite a bit higher. While estimates pegged Star Wars at a record-breaking $238 million debut weekend, the Sunday number has been adjusted upwards by about $9m, giving the film a $247.7m opening weekend.
So yes, that breaks the record for Sunday, with a whopping $61m yesterday, and puts that pesky weekend multiplier over the 2.0x mark. Oh, and that extra $9m in America and $2m overseas that Disney found in its couch does indeed put the worldwide total over Jurassic World‘s worldwide debut. The new worldwide total is $528.9m to be exact. And it doesn’t even open in China until next month.
For those new to this, studios always release the weekend box office figures on Sunday morning, and we always report them on Sunday morning. The estimates are usually pretty spot-on to what comes out on Monday, but sometimes there is enough of a difference to merit a new look.
For example, last June, Jurassic World was estimated to have grossed around $204 million on Sunday but then revised upwards to put it just over the $207m debut weekend of The Avengers to take the opening weekend record. And yes, this time there was just enough revision to put Star Wars over Jurassic World on the global stage.
To be fair, when you’re dealing with huge numbers anyway, it pays to under-estimate the Sunday figures so you can have a second day of positive news on Monday. Now Walt Disney gets a “wow, it’s even bigger than we thought!” announcement to go along with yesterday’s news blitz.
The rest of the article will be mostly similar to the one I dropped yesterday, with the appropriate adjustments offered accordingly.
For full Star Wars coverage, go here.
In addition to taking the domestic opening weekend record, the film broke the Thursday preview record ($57 million) and on Friday the single-day record ($119.1m). Star Wars‘s Saturday and Sunday grosses of $68.2m and $60.5m were the third biggest Saturday and the biggest Sunday respectively.
In fact, for what it’s worth, even with that massive Sunday, the driving force of this record-breaking weekend was, like Deathly Hallows part 2, that Thursday/Friday gross. Now The Dark Knight also bested Spider-Man 3‘s opening weekend ($158m vs. $151m) despite not setting a record for Saturday and ended up making a lot more overall than Spider-Man 3 ($533m vs. $336m), but it’s trivia nonetheless.
With the boost on Sunday, the weekend starts to look less like Deathly Hallows part 2 and more like The Dark Knight Rises, which ended up having a somewhat leggier run (2.88x its opening weekend).
And in terms of “pure Friday” grosses, it actually came in number two after all behind Jurassic World‘s $63.4 million “just Friday” total (with $18.5m worth of Thursday previews). Discounting the $57m worth of Thursday previews, The Force Awakened earned a sad, shameful $62.1m on “just Friday,” behind Jurassic World and The Avengers ($62.7m).
Actually, with the new figures it should be noted that the film made $190.8m on straight Fri-Sun business, giving it a solid average of $63.6m per day. If you remove that nutso Thursday number, the overall weekend starts to look a lot less front-loaded. It is going to be fun to watch the first four weekdays on this one, especially since Christmas doesn’t fall until Friday.
The film’s audience was 58% male, 71% adults, 20% families, and 9% teens. Breaking it down by age, it played 8% 12 & under, 9% 13-16, 20% 17-25, 26% 26-34, 24% 35-49, and 13% 50 and over. It played 53% 2D and 47% 3D. It played 28% straight 3D, 12% IMAX, and 7% PLF.
The Daisy Ridley/John Boyega/Harrison Ford/Adam Driver/Oscar Isaac adventure kick-started its weekend with a whopping $57 million in Thursday previews, a number that made up 47% of its opening day total and 23% of its opening weekend total. That’s awfully close to the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 pattern, although the massive Sunday “uptick” brings to mind The Dark Knight and Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace on their respective opening weeekends.