'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' opening night sets box office record

NEW YORK -- "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has set a box office record with an estimated $57 million from Thursday night shows.

See Full Article

The Walt Disney Co.'s estimate on Friday easily surpassed the previous Thursday night record of $43.5 million by 2011's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2."

The movie's international rollout, which began Wednesday, has brought in a total of $72.7 million. That includes the biggest single day ever in the United Kingdom, where it made an estimated $14.4 million. The film cost about $200 million to make, according to industry estimates.

The early figures suggest "The Force Awakens" is on course to exceed the record domestic opening of "Jurassic World," which debuted with $208.8 million in June.

J.J. Abrams' seventh chapter in George Lucas's space saga arrived with the kind of hoopla and anticipation that few films have ever matched. 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).

In North America, the film sold a record $100 million worth of presale tickets before Thursday previews began at approximately 7 p.m. EST. Playing in 4,134 theatres, "The Force Awakens" is the widest December release ever attempted.

3-D and Imax screenings are helping to propel the record gross. Disney said that 47 per cent of the box office came from 3-D showings and $5.7 million from Imax screens.

A lot is riding on the film for Disney, which paid $4.06 billion for Lucasfilm in 2012. Sequels and spinoffs are already in development for years to come, not to mention an entire corner of Disneyland devoted to the franchise.

Strong reviews for the film, which is set 30 years after "Return of the Jedi," have added to the fervour for "The Force Awakens." The American Film Institute listed it among its top 10 films of the year.

That strong word of mouth will help "The Force Awakens" attract the kind of repeat viewings that made James Cameron's "Avatar" and "Titanic" the highest grossing films of all time. Whether "The Force Awakens" can come close to the global hauls of those films ($2.8 billion for "Avatar" and $2.2 billion for "Titanic") won't be clear for weeks.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • How to snag tickets to hit musical Hamilton? You might have to go back to school

    Entertainment CBC News
    More than 2,000 students got into the hottest show in Chicago for free — Hamilton: An American Musical — as part of their acceptance to Northwestern University. It's one of the ways colleges and high schools are using the hugely popular musical to teach students about history, art, drama, culture, and even politics. Source
  • Uma Thurman lashes out at Harvey Weinstein in cryptic post

    Entertainment CTV News
    H A P P Y T H A N K S G I V I N G I am grateful today, to be alive, for all those I love, and for all those who have the courage to stand up for others. Source
  • Bookies halt Prince Harry marriage bets, citing engagement 'to be confirmed imminently'

    Entertainment CBC News
    A major London bookmaker has suspended betting on whether Prince Harry will marry American actress Meghan Markle in 2018 amid rumours an engagement may be announced soon. Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said Friday that it seems an engagement announcement "is to be confirmed imminently. Source
  • Cadbury, Smirnoff pull YouTube ads over clips of scantily clad children

    Entertainment CBC News
    ?Lidl, Cadbury maker Mondelez, Diageo and other big companies have pulled advertising from YouTube after the Times newspaper found the video sharing site was showing clips of scantily clad children alongside the ads of major brands. Comments from hundreds of pedophiles were posted alongside the images, which appeared to have been uploaded by the children themselves, according to a Times investigation. Source
  • Amid royal engagement rumours, prominent bookmaker suspends betting

    Entertainment CTV News
    LONDON - A major London bookmaker has suspended betting on whether Prince Harry will marry American actress Meghan Markle next year amid rumours an engagement may be announced soon. Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes says it seems an engagement announcement “is to be confirmed imminently. Source
  • Lawren Harris pencil sketch fetches record $161,000: Auction house

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- A Toronto auctioneer says a pencil sketch by Lawren Harris sold for $161,000 this week, a record price for a pencil sketch by the Group of Seven Artist. Consignor Canadian Fine Art says the preparatory work for Harris's famous Lake Superior sold for nearly five times its estimated sale value of between $20,000 and $30,000. Source
  • Canadian screen industry wants code of conduct on sexual harassment

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Groups that represent actors, talent agencies, directors and other employees of Canada's film and television industry say a code of conduct will be one of several steps toward tackling sexual harassment in the industry. Source
  • Canadian screen industry wants code of conduct to deal with sexual misconduct

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Groups that represent actors, talent agencies, directors and other employees of Canada's film and television industry say a code of conduct will be one of several steps toward tackling sexual harassment in the industry. Source
  • Movie reviews: 'Coco' celebrates the vibrancy of Day of the Dead

    Entertainment CTV News
    COCO: 4 STARS The Mexican tradition of honouring their deceased loved ones on Day of the Dead forms the backbone, both visually and emotionally, of the new Pixar film “Coco.” Miguel Rivera (Anthony Gonzalez) is a 12-year-old aspiring musician and devoted fan of the “world’s greatest musician,” the late, great Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). Source
  • Canadian screen stars want code of conduct to deal with sexual harassment

    Entertainment CBC News
    Groups representing actors, directors and others in Canada's film and television industry say a code of conduct will be one of several steps toward tackling sexual harassment in the industry. More than a dozen organizations convened a closed-door meeting on Thursday in Toronto to discuss what can be done to curb the problem. Source