Box Office Report: “Star Wars” crushes “Jurassic World”s opening weekend record by $30M and counting


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(DECEMBER 18 – DECEMBER 20, 2015 estimates)
Last Weekend

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Opening) – $238,000,000
  2. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (Opening) – $14,400,000
  3. Sisters (Opening) – $13,420,000
  4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (Week 5) – $5,650,000
  5. Creed (Week 4) – $5,085,000
  6. The Good Dinosaur (Week 4) – $4,232,000
  7. Krampus (Week 3) – $3,780,000
  8. In The Heart of the Sea (Week 2) – $3,465,000
  9. Dilwale (Opening) – $1,875,000
  10. Bajirao Mastani (Opening) – $1,660,000


  • Well, we’re finally here. The most eventful weekend for cinemas this year. Let me use a couple bullet points to sum up the significant records Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke in 3 and a half short days:
  • Firstly, and it’s an estimate for now, this opening weekend (which includes Thursday previews) is $30M more than Jurassic World‘s record-setting $208M earlier this year, which just squeezed past The Avengers‘ $207M.
  • Yeah, of course, December record for highest opening by at least six parsecs. The previous record holder was the first The Hobbit‘s $84M. And that was a pretty hyped movie. This was almost 3 times that. By the way, Avatar, the only film Star Wars is targeting, made $77M but had remarkable legs that pushed its domestic gross ten fold (literally).
  • Single day gross is obliterated, crossing the final Harry Potter‘s $91M by nearly $30M with $120M for Friday. These include Thursday previews and it’s also not a fair comparison as Harry Potter only had midnight screenings, rather than any screenings from 7pm.
  • Naturally, as is the case for all the record breakers for opening release, it’s the highest theater average for a wide release with $57k beating Jurassic World‘s $48k.
  • The film has already crossed $500M worldwide with $517M total. It’s yet to open in China, which is why Jurassic World has the biggest opening with $524M. The 45/55 ratio matches the norm that the series does, but if we look at the current all-time top 10 (which already includes four 2015 films) the average ratio is roughly 30/70 between domestic and overseas business. So, say The Force Awakens manages to beat Avatar‘s domestic record of $760M with at least $770M. Add roughly $860M and it barely misses Jurassic World‘s worldwide gross of $1.69B. Historically Star Wars has always been an American thing, but unless something’s changed and we see a larger percentage of international gross, I think the hopes of it crossing $2B is a longshot, but the domestic record is doable if it has the legs we expect it to have.
  • It’s fruitless to compare The Force Awakens to other Star Wars films because of changing eras but as far as benchmarks go for the domestic adjusted grosses to compare total tickets sold once we start to cross $600M – The Phantom Menace made $707M, Return of the Jedi made $675M, Empire Strikes Back made $657M, Revenge of the Sith made $494M and Attack of the Clones made $433M. Not even going to mention A New Hope‘s $1.1B.
  • Moving on gracefully to the highly anticipated followup to the dearly beloved Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise. A moment of silence please for all the parents dragged to see The Road Chip instead of Star Wars. Can any comparisons really be made when it’s up against a juggernaut? The last Chipmunk thing made $23M on its opening weekend so, yeah. That.
  • Sisters actually did quite well, all things considered. That $13M is nearly half the $30M budget and it’s likely to make over $60M. It had a better theater average than Chipmunks.
  • And of course, everything else takes a severe drop. We can’t cross-examine these things but we can total up what they’ve made so far. Mockingjay Part 2 has made $254M so far. Star Wars will probably pass that this time tomorrow. Worldwide it’s made $595M. The last one made $755M so this is a disappointment any way you look at it. Who saw Part 1 and not Part 2 though? Why bother?
  • Creed (actually took the least hit from the drops despite losing the most theaters) has made $87M so far. We’ll see a slow satisfying crawl to $100M.
  • The Good Dinosaur has made $96M so far. Terribly disappointing bout for Pixar. This will remain their lowest grossing film by a long shot.
  • Krampus has made $34M so far. Not bad.
  • In The Heart of the Sea has made $18M so far. Very bad. Very, very bad. This is looking worse than Rush’s disappointment. It took the harshest drop, nearly 70%.
  • A couple Bollywood films managed to sneak into the top 10 this week, Dilwale had a theater average of almost $7k between 268 theaters.
  • Bajirao Mastani, another Bollywood film, managed a theater average of $5.4k across 204 theaters. Both averages are better than Chipmunks and Sisters.


  • In other news, Son of Saul is released in 3 theaters but is squashed by Star Wars, managing a theater average of nearly $13k. Hoping for at least double that. It made $38k.
  • Not much else by way of other news, but Spotlight is up to $22M. If it wins Best Picture and makes up to, say, $30M, it’ll be the second lowest grossing winner behind The Hurt Locker since before 1978 where I’ve run out of records. The Hurt Locker has an excuse though. Maybe it’ll push it to a more respectable $40M.
  • The Danish Girl can’t catch a break, adding nearly 60 theaters, it has a theater average of just $6.6k between 81 theaters. It’s made just $1.3M so far.
  • By comparison, Carol posted a solid average of $14k between 16 theaters. It’s made $1.6M so far.
  • The Big Short however, had another relatively stunning theater average of $43k between 8 theaters. It’s made $1.2M so far. This is probably our dark horse of the season with its significant SAG and Globe noms.


So, what did you think to The Force Awakens? No spoilers.