Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattered more records over the holiday weekend, as director J.J. Abrams’ return visit to a galaxy far, far away proved a popular post-Christmas dinner destination for families around the world.
Its $49.3 million Christmas Day gross was the biggest in history for that holiday, while the total holiday weekend take of $153.5 million was the highest ever for a film in its second weekend. At the weekend’s conclusion, it passed the $1 billion mark worldwide, the fastest any film has met that nice, round number; the previous record holder, Jurassic World, took a day longer to do it earlier this year (and with the benefit of revenue from China, which won’t debut Star Wars until January).
Two takeaways from these big numbers:
1) This is the first Star Wars movie to open in the winter rather than the summer – and that was a necessity rather than a choice, when it became clear the filmmakers weren’t going to make Disney’s initial summer 2015 target. Though next year’s spin-off movie Rogue One is also scheduled for December, the Rian Johnson-helmed Episode VIII is set for the traditional May slot. One can’t help but wonder if Disney is reconsidering that decision, since the Christmas holiday has proven so ideal for Star Wars box office. (It’s also possible this film would’ve done these numbers no matter where they slotted it, thanks to the novelty of being the first new installment in a decade.)
2) The original question of if TFA would unseat Avatar as the all-time box office champ (without adjusting for inflation, of course) has now become a question of when – and, perhaps, by how much. And why does any of this matter? Well, if you’ve seen Jurassic World or Avatar, you know that it’d be nice to have a box-office champ that’s also a good movie.