Every week we dissect the good, the bad, and the bombs of the Aussie box office world. No talk of box office would be complete without mention of the US, so we’ll also take a look at what’s hitting big, what’s not, and where our refined Aussie movie palates differ from our blockbuster loving American brethren. Let’s dig in…
This week, The Force Awakens was the only game in town, so we’ll be dissecting just how big it is, how many records have tumbled in it’s wake, and any other random bits of trivia that I find.
First, a recap. In my post last Thursday I made some predictions as to how The Force Awakens might go:
Australian opening weekend – $23 million
US opening weekend – $219 million
Foreign opening weekend (including Australia) – $285 million
Australian opening weekend – $27.2 million
US opening weekend – $247.96 million
Foreign opening weekend (including Australia) – $281 million
So, I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong with most of my predictions (way under in the case of the US grosses). The only prediction that wasn’t exceeded by the actual gross was the Foreign opening weekend, which fell $4 million short of my $285 million guess. I couldn’t be happier though, The Force Awakens is an effing great movie (see here for my colleague Ryan’s spoiler free review), and deserves to topple all the records it can get it’s hands on.
AUSTRALIAN BOX OFFICE – DEC 17-20
Biggest Opening Weekend: Force smashed the previous opening weekend record, held by Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 with $18.3 million, setting a new benchmark of $27.5 million from 941 screens (also probably a record).
Biggest Pre-Sales: Reports have pegged the pre-sale ticket amount at north of $15 million, which although not all for the first weekend, would put that above all but Harry Potter on the opening weekend list already, without the walk-up business that ensued over the weekend.
With such a strong opening, and the fact that more and more people are off on holidays from this week onwards, I now don’t see it as much of a stretch to think that Episode VII could potentially break Avatar‘s lifetime gross at the Aussie box office ($115.6 million) and set a new benchmark there too. The movie is great, word of mouth is awesome, and really it’s the only pop culture conversation going on right now.
US BOX OFFICE – DEC 18-20
Over in the US, the records were falling thick and fast:
Domestic Opening Weekend: $247.9 million
Previous Record: $208.8 million (Jurassic World)
Largest Thursday Previews: $57 million*
Previous Record: $43.5 million (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2)
Largest Friday, Opening Day, Single Day: $119.1 million
Previous Record: $91 million (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2)
Largest Sunday: $60.5 million
Previous Record: $57.2 million (Jurassic World)
Highest Per Theater Average (Wide Opening): $59,982
Previous Record: $48,855 / 4,274 theaters (Jurassic World)
December Single Day: $119.1 million
Previous Record: $37.13 million (The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey)
Widest December Opening: 4,134 theaters
Previous Record: 4,045 theaters (The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey)
December Opening Weekend: $247.9 million
Previous Record: $84.62 million (The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey)
Fastest to $100 Million: 1 Day
Previous Record: 2 Days (Jurassic World)
Domestic IMAX Opening Record: $30.1 million
Previous Record: $20.9 million (Jurassic World)
Phew! The one of the only records that didn’t fall was in regard to the largest Saturday gross, where Force Awakens at $68.3M ranks third behind Jurassic World ($69.6M) and The Avengers ($69.55M).
WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE – DEC 17-20
We don’t often delve into the worldwide box office here at So, Is It Any Good?, but when you have a monster hit of these proportions, it’s good to put it in perspective. Episode VII broke opening records in the UK ($48.9M), Germany ($27.3M), and Russia ($12.3M), along with several other markets in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
In addition, it broke the following two records:
Worldwide Opening Weekend: $529 million / 4,134 theaters
Previous Record: $524.9 million (Jurassic World)
Global IMAX Opening Record: $48 million
Previous Record: $44.1 million (Jurassic World)
The only mark that is left standing worldwide is the foreign gross total which is still held by Jurassic World ($316 million), but that movie had a simultaneous release in China (now the 2nd largest movie-going territory) and raked in $96 million from there alone. The Force Awakens doesn’t hit Chinese screens until January 7th due to their annual blackout period for foreign films.
So, with the cash registers working overtime, and everyone on holidays for the Christmas/New Year period, Episode VII is now settling in for the long haul both in the US and Australia, and only looking to strengthen it’s position worldwide as it hits India and China in the coming weeks. Only time will tell if it will beat the US domestic and worldwide gross of all-time champ Avatar ($749 million in the US, $2.7 billion worldwide), but if this weekend has shown us anything, it’s that records are meant to be broken.