In the span of two weeks, Star Wars: The Force Awakens went from the most mysterious and anticipated feature film of the decade to a legitimate phenomenon. J.J. Abrams’ reboot of the Star Wars saga has faced some criticism, but for the most part, the film scored a massive hit with fans both old and new. It’s also on course to become a titan at the box office.
Following a massive opening weekend bolstered by advanced ticket sales exceeding $100 million, The Force Awakens smashed box office records, grossing an astounding $238 million. And, as cool weather and debate-hungry fans fuel sales, Episode 7 is looking to push further into the record books this New Year’s weekend.
The Force Awakens already steamrolled past Titanic and Jurassic World and into second place atop the all-time highest grossing films with $687 million, according to estimates supplied by Deadline. With a long holiday weekend to bolster sales, they predict that by Sunday night, the epic film will only be roughly $15 million from Avatar’s box office crown. It’s scheduled to claim its place atop the cinematic giants by Monday or Tuesday at the latest.
Despite some fan and cinema insider skepticism about moving the franchise from its traditional release date in May, Disney took a calculated risk with its December release. And it paid off. Although blockbusters often fare better during the summer, the winter months are colder, so watching movies has less competition from other activities. The holidays are also a time when more families hit up the theater, when everyone has a little more downtime to revisit far-away galaxies.