'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

  • Gifts you can smuggle under the tree for every Star Wars fan

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    When I was a but a youngling, my parents searched far and wide to find me a Kenner X-Wing fighter for Christmas. It had wings that would pop open by pressing on R2-D2’s head, it made laser blast sounds at the touch of a button, and my Luke Skywalker action figure fit perfectly in the cockpit. Source
  • Holiday gift guide: The best picks for book lovers [Photos]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    There’s something about the heft of a book in your hand that is celebratory and delicious. You know you’re going to open that book and fall into a different world. Here are some books that would make great Christmas gifts: Source
  • Programmed to thrill: sci-fi hit Westworld's finale 'satisfying,' promises star Jimmi Simpson

    Entertainment CBC News
    For Westworld fans trading wild theories about where the headline-grabbing HBO series is headed, Jimmi Simpson has been in your shoes. "I've seen all of them and they're amazing," the American actor said of the fanciful fan speculation about the cable network's thrilling science-fiction series, concluding its dramatic — and controversial — first season this weekend. Source
  • Madonna raises $7.5M for Malawi, slams Trump in Miami show

    Entertainment CTV News
    MIAMI -- Madonna kissed Ariana Grande, repeatedly criticized President elect Donald Trump and said she was ashamed to be an American in a magnetic performance in Miami on Friday night where she raised more than $7.5 million for the African nation of Malawi. Source
  • Katt Williams pleads no contest to assault, battery charges

    Entertainment CTV News
    GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- Katt Williams has pleaded no contest to assault and battery charges stemming from an incident with a bodyguard in north Georgia. The comedian, whose real name is Micah Sierra Williams, was charged in March after authorities said he threatened the man while an acquaintance beat him with a baseball bat. Source
  • Shawn Barker walks the line as Johnny Cash in ‘The Man in Black’ [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    BRAUN - A simple idea changed Shawn Barker’s career from run-of-the-mill to one in a million. The actor and musician had been making a living as an Elvis impersonator and turned up at a Broadway audition hoping to play the role in the musical, Million Dollar Quartet. Source
  • P.E.I. police service apologizes to Nickelback

    Entertainment CTV News
    KENSINGTON, P.E.I. -- A small-town P.E.I. police department has issued a public apology to Nickelback, and taken down a social media post that threatened to force drunk drivers to listen to the Alberta band's music. Source
  • ’Full House’ home is staying in the Tanner family

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco home featured in television’s “Full House” has sold to the producer who created the show. KGO-TV reports veteran TV producer Jeff Franklin bought the 3-bedroom Victorian in August. It was on the market for more than $4 million. Source
  • Female-led '21 Jump Street' spinoff moving ahead

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Sony Pictures is working on a female-led 21 Jump Street spinoff movie. The studio has tapped 22 Jump Street co-writer Rodney Rothman to script the project, which will focus on a pair of undercover female police officers who are connected to the Jump Street programme, according to Deadline. Source
  • Phil Collins facing libel suit from ex-wife

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Phil Collins is facing libel action from his ex-wife Andrea Bertorelli after slamming him for alleged inaccuracies in his new autobiography. The former Genesis star got candid as he revealed all about the highs and lows in his personal and professional lives in his memoir, Not Dead Yet, which was released in October. Source