The Force Awakens Smashes Previous Record
Walt Disney Studios’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens had a historic debut with a record breaking opening weekend take of $247.96 million. The long awaited seventh installment of the Star Wars franchise had been expected to set a new all-time opening weekend record, and the film made good on those expectations and then some. The Force Awakens smashed the previous opening weekend record, as it opened $39.16 million and 19 percent ahead of the $208.81 million debut of previous record holder Jurassic World earlier this year. The opening weekend performance of The Force Awakens was made even more impressive by the fact that no prior December release had ever even opened above the $100 million domestic mark. The movie opened 193 percent higher than the $84.62 million debut of previous December opening weekend record holder The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey back in 2012.
In serving as a sequel as opposed to a prequel to the original Star Wars film, anticipation for Star Wars: The Force Awakens had been off the charts for what seems like ages. The film’s immense initial anticipation reached a fever pitch as the film’s release date approached thanks in part to a marketing campaign that was seemingly everywhere and very strong critical reviews that were unleashed just days before the film opened.
With the Christmas and New Year’s holidays ahead of it, the domestic run for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is only getting started. In addition to the extra boost it will get from the holidays; repeat viewings and strong word of mouth are sure to help it in a big way going forward. With an overseas debut of $281.0 million, the global launch for Star Wars: The Force Awakens stands at a record breaking $529.0 million. Previous record holder Jurassic World had a global launch of $524.4 million earlier this year.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip opened in a distant second with $14.29 million. The fourth installment of 20th Century Fox’s animated live-action hybrid franchise opened in line with expectations and performed respectably in the shadow of The Force Awakens. The Road Chip opened 38.5 percent below the $23.24 million start of 2011’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, but had been expected to open softer than its predecessor. With no new family films entering theaters until Lionsgate’s Norm of the North does on Jan. 15, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip is highly likely to hold up very well going forward.
Universal Pictures’ Sisters debuted closely behind in third with $13.92 million. Like The Road Chip, the R-rated comedy starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler also opened in line with expectations. It should be noted that Sisters was far less expensive to make than The Road Chip was. Sisters should hold up very well going forward, as the film is positioned nicely to continue serving as counter-programming to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and to many of the new wide releases that will be entering theaters over the next two weeks.
After leading the box office for four consecutive weekends, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 fell to fourth place with $5.69 million. The final chapter of Lionsgate’s young adult blockbuster franchise was down 50 percent from the previous weekend. Holdovers in general were down sharply as a result of the added presence of The Force Awakens. Mockingjay – Part 2 has grossed $254.48 million in 31 days, which places the film 12 percent behind the $289.36 million 31-day take of last year’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.
Warner Bros. Studios’ Creed and Disney’s The Good Dinosaur claimed fifth and sixth place with respective takes of $5.01 million and $4.35 million. Creed was down 50 percent from the previous weekend, while The Good Dinosaur fell 58 percent. Respective 26-day totals stand at a softer than expected $96.66 million for The Good Dinosaur and at a stronger than expected $87.83 million for Creed.
In limited release, Hindi language films Dilwale and Bajirao Mastaniwere both off to nice starts last weekend. UTV’s Dilwale took in $1.92 million from 268 locations and has grossed $2.03 million since opening on Thursday. Eros’ Bajirao Mastani followed closely behind with $1.74 million from 304 locations. Dilwale ranked in ninth place among all films last weekend, while Bajirao Mastani placed in tenth.
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|1||N/A||Star Wars: The Force Awakens||$247.97M||$247.97M||1|
|2||N/A||Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip||$14.29M||$14.29M||1|
|4||1||The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2||$5.69M||$254.48M||5|
|6||3||The Good Dinosaur||$4.35M||$96.66M||4|
|8||2||In the Heart of the Sea||$3.48M||$18.62M||2|