Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Broke Box Office Records, Of Course
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was always going to make enough money to make most blockbusters tremble in fear. That was inevitable. It’s a Star Wars movie. The big question lingering over this opening weekend concerned whether or not it’s surely enormous opening weekend would break the records set by Jurassic World earlier this year. And now, with the early estimates in, we can answer that question: yes and no.
|1||Star Wars: The Force Awakens||$238,000,000||$57,571||$238,000,956|
|2||Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip||$14,400,000||$3,942||$14,400,000|
|4||The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2||$5,650,000 (-50.5%)||$2,130||$254,438,018|
|6||The Good Dinosaur||$4,305,000 (-58.3%)||$1,563||$96,619,660|
|8||In the Heart of the Sea||$3,465,000 (-68.7%)||$1,117||$18,600,585|
With a domestic haul of $238 million, The Force Awakens trampled all over Jurassic World’s $208 million opening. This isn’t Jurassic World barely scraping past The Avengers’ $207 million opening — this is a thorough trouncing. To put this number in perspective, J.J. Abrams’ chapter of the beloved space opera saga has almost made as much as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 has made in a month, and that movie has dominated the box office for the past few weeks. These are powerful numbers that reflect an energized, slightly radical fan base. Barring a disastrous turn of events, The Force Awakens will be the highest grossing Star Wars movie in the history of the franchise within two weeks or so. This is enormous.
And yet, Jurassic World still held onto the record for biggest international opening. Worldwide, The Force Awakens nabbed an incredible $517 million, but Jurassic World has the edge with $524 million. So here’s the big question for the weeks ahead: will the new Star Wars showcase the legs of its box office rival to become the highest grossing movie of 2015? It’s certainly possible, but it may be a close race. Jurassic World ended its run with $1.6 billion worldwide, with $652 million of that coming from domestic markets. The Force Awakens will continue to be huge — $1 billion is a sure thing, a $600 million domestic gross feels assured — but will it be enough? As with any major franchise, it’s difficult to see if all of the online nitpicking from fans is a reflection of actual audiences. If the real people like The Force Awakens, not just the nerds, it could catch up with Jurassic World. It just needs to continue playing to the non-obsessives. Thankfully, just about everyone and their mother (literally) loves Star Wars.
Believe it or not, other movies also opened this weekend. In second place, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip signaled the death knell of this monstrous franchise, opening with only $14 million. Considering that the first two movies in this series opened north of $40 million, with the third still managing a respectable $23 million, expect this to be their final big screen outing for awhile.
In third place, Sisters opened with a mediocre $13 million. That’s not an awful start for a film reportedly budgeted at $13 million, but Star Wars counter-programing like this should have performed a little better. After all, this was supposed to be the movie that everyone who has no interest in space operas was going to see. Still, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have solid box office track records, with their fair share of hits. Like The Night Before, this could quietly fly under the radar and rack up some cash while the bigger movies continue to steal the headlines.
The rest of the top 10 was hit by the Star Wars freight train with pulverizing force. Mockingjay – Part 2 plummeted and $300 million now looks so very far away. The Good Dinosaur continued to be Pixar’s first true box office disappointment. In the Heart of the Sea is as dead on arrival as it was a week ago, but that 68 percent drop must feel especially painful for the accountants at Warner Bros. Krampus managed to make most of its money in the past two weeks, so it was able to bow out the race with some grace. Only Creed, with $5 million in fifth place, continued looking solid. It’ll break $100 million within the next two weeks or so.
And yes, two Indian movies in limited release did crack into the top 10 this weekend. Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani took advantage of the Star Wars whiteout to play to their niche bases, earning $1.8 and $1.6 million apiece. They’ll be out of the top 10 by next weekend, but hey, at least they can say they shared the domestic charts with one of the biggest movies of all time.