'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

  • Neon sign from legendary Whisky a Go Go up for auction

    Entertainment CTV News
    BIDDEFORD, Maine -- A bright neon piece of rock 'n' roll history is going up for auction -- a marquee from the legendary Los Angeles club, Whisky a Go Go. The 13-foot sign, with letters alight in bright pink, adorned the West Hollywood club in the '80s and '90s, during the heyday of punk, new wave and grunge. Source
  • No 'Trump' sketch but SNL unleashes 'Putin'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Just how was “Saturday Night Live” going to tackle the pageantry, protests and press conferences that dominated President Trump’s inauguration and first day in office? By unleashing Vladimir Putin. Alec Baldwin, who has been playing Trump since the fall in a parody that Trump himself has repeatedly criticized as mean-spirited and bad, didn’t reprise the impersonation in the first post-inauguration episode. Source
  • Cyberattack on Sundance film fest briefly shuts down box office

    Entertainment CBC News
    Representatives for the Sundance Film Festival say that their network systems were subject to a cyberattack that caused its box offices to shut down briefly Saturday afternoon. The Festival issued updates to attendees via their official account and say that online ticketing for future shows is currently back up and running. Source
  • Celebrities out in full force for Women's Marches

    Entertainment CBC News
    If you wondered where many of Hollywood's A-list celebrities had gone during U.S. President Donald Trump's inauguration, you didn't have to wonder any longer on Saturday, when scores of them showed up at huge women's marches in Washington and other cities to send the new president a pointed message that he was in for a fight. Source
  • Ryan Gosling and Denis Villeneuve make waves ahead of Oscar nominations

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- When this year's Oscar nominations are announced on Tuesday there's a good chance some Canadians will be prominently in the mix, most notably Quebec director Denis Villeneuve and London, Ont.-born actor Ryan Gosling. Source
  • 'Cardinal', 'Mary Kills People', 'Scandal' and 'Suits' top this week's TV must-sees

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Bill Harris' TV must-sees for the week of Jan. 22 1. Cardinal Debut When the body of a missing girl is found in a wintry Northern Canadian town, detectives John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) and Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse) investigate. Source
  • Oliver Hudson pokes fun at sister Kate Hudson and Brad Pitt dating rumours

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Oliver Hudson made fun of rumours his sister Kate Hudson is dating Brad Pitt. On Friday, Oliver came across a Star magazine cover that claimed Brad was moving into Kate’s house, just a few months after his split from wife Angelina Jolie. Source
  • With Oscars in sight, Amazon, Netflix look to Sundance to secure streaming rights

    Entertainment CBC News
    After revolutionizing television with bold, award-winning original content, streaming networks are on the cusp of their first potential Oscar wins, and are back at the Sundance film festival looking for more awards-worthy fare. Amazon.com Inc raised eyebrows when it paid $10 million US for the North American distribution rights to Sundance drama Manchester By the Sea last year. Source
  • From Cher to Madonna, celebs out in force for women's marches

    Entertainment CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- If you wondered where many of Hollywood's A-list celebrities had gone during President Donald Trump's inauguration, you didn't have to wonder any longer on Saturday, when scores of them showed up at women's marches in Washington and other cities to send the new president a pointed message that he was in for a fight -- and that, as so many signs said, women's rights are human rights. Source
  • String theory + a capella = A Montrealer's formula for online fame

    Entertainment CBC News
    This story is part of CBC Homerun's series on Montrealers who have made it big on YouTube. When Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield covered Space Oddity from space, he may have created a new genre of music: science rock. Source