'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

  • Moonlight cleans up at Indie Spirit Awards

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Moonlight, Barry Jenkins’ moving chronicle of a black man struggling with his sexual identity from youth to adulthood, cleaned up at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday afternoon, taking home six trophies. Source
  • 'Moonlight' sweeps Spirit Awards; Affleck wins best actor

    Entertainment CTV News
    SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Sunday might be dominated by "La La Land," but Saturday belonged to "Moonlight." Barry Jenkins' luminous coming-of-age tale swept Saturday's Film Independent Spirit Awards, taking home six awards including best feature. Source
  • 'Batman vs Superman' and anti-Clinton doc tie at Razzies

    Entertainment CTV News
    The rivals won four "Razzies" each for their poor acting, writing and directing, although it was "Batman" that walked away with the spray-painted trophy for "worst picture." "It all came down to two decidedly different examples of cinematic sludge: The $250 million comic book oop-us 'Batman v Superman' and the faux right wing 'documentary' 'Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party,'" a statement from the Razzies read. Source
  • Foreign nominees bash Trump's travel ban on eve of Oscars

    Entertainment CTV News
    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- One day after the Oscar-nominated directors of foreign language films issued an unprecedented joint statement decrying what they say is a climate of fascism, five of them gathered Saturday at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to put the focus back on their work. Source
  • 'Arrival' director feeling high hopes but no pressure ahead of Oscar night

    Entertainment CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Denis Villeneuve is certainly crossing his fingers for "Arrival" to become an Oscar winner on Sunday, but the Quebec filmmaker says he won't be disappointed even if he walks away empty-handed. "I would love to win, and I hope we win one or two, that would be fantastic," Villeneuve told The Canadian Press on Saturday. Source
  • Celebrities launch pot brands as California legalizes drug

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- Country singer Willie Nelson, the children of the late reggae icon Bob Marley and comedian Whoopi Goldberg are just a few of the growing number of celebrities publicly jumping into the marijuana industry and eyeing the California pot market, which is expected to explode after voters legalized the recreational use of weed. Source
  • Weed by Whoopi? Celebs launch pot brands as California legalizes drug

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- Country singer Willie Nelson, the children of the late reggae icon Bob Marley and comedian Whoopi Goldberg are just a few of the growing number of celebrities publicly jumping into the marijuana industry and eyeing the California pot market, which is expected to explode after voters legalized the recreational use of weed. Source
  • Batman v Superman, Hillary's America top Razzies as year's worst films

    Entertainment CBC News
    Even the Razzie Awards are getting political. A documentary criticizing U.S. Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton tied on Saturday with superhero ensemble Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on a list of the year's worst achievements in film, winning four Razzies apiece. Source
  • Five facts about Sunday's 89th Annual Academy Awards

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Five facts about Sunday's 89th Annual Academy Awards: IT'S AN HONOUR TO BE NOMINATED: But after 21 nominations, it would be nice for sound mixer Kevin O'Connell to finally win. The most nominated artist without a win, O'Connell has another chance this year for his work in "Hacksaw Ridge. Source
  • Willie Nelson, Whoopi Goldberg, other celebs launch pot brands

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    SAN FRANCISCO — Country singer Willie Nelson, the children of the late reggae icon Bob Marley and comedian Whoopi Goldberg are just a few of the growing number of celebrities publicly jumping into the marijuana industry and eyeing the California pot market, which is expected to explode after voters legalized the recreational use of weed. Source