From its first day of release, Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens has been breaking records at the box office. Taking advantage of both the fervent fan anticipation for the first Star Wars film in 10 years and the lack of blockbuster competition during the holiday season, The Force Awakens is selling tickets at an unprecedented rate and has quickly worked its way up the all-time charts. It's only a matter of time before it breaks the domestic record currently held by James Cameron's Avatar.
The remarkable thing about Star Wars 7's run is that it's amassed so much money in a little amount of time. It's become the fastest movie to all kinds of financial milestones, including $1 billion worldwide. Now as it crosses $1.5 billion globally, Star Wars 7 continues its incredible rewriting of the record books, staking its claim to more box office marks.
THR is reporting that The Force Awakens earned $88.3 million domestically this weekend, setting a new record for highest-grossing third weekend. That's nearly $20 million more than the previous record holder, Avatar at $68.4 million. Star Wars 7 has now made a whopping $740.3 million in the States, reaching that total in just 16 days. As some might guess, that is also a new record (fastest to $700 million), shattering the 72 days it took Avatar to accomplish that feat.
The film is also doing terrific business overseas, bringing in $96.3 million internationally and is now up to $1.51 billion. On Saturday, January 2, The Force Awakens passed fellow Mouse House blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron as the sixth highest-grossing film worldwide. Star Wars 7 should have no troubles passing a handful of the movies ahead of it, such as Furious 7 ($1.515 billion), The Avengers ($1.519 billion), and Jurassic World ($1.6 billion). Episode VII has been in theaters for under three weeks and still has a long way to go before its box office run is over.
A more interesting discussion to have is whether or not the new Star Wars can supplant the dynamic James Cameron duo of Titanic ($2.1 billion) and Avatar ($2.7 billion) on the worldwide charts. The Force Awakens still has to make around $600 million more to pass the former and over another $1 billion to top the latter. Obviously, there's a long way to go but it's certainly within the realm of possibility, considering Star Wars has yet to open in all markets. The film will debut in China on January 9, 2016, and analysts expect it to play very well there. That'll be a nice boost for the Force Awakens global totals.
Another benefactor for Star Wars' chances is the fact that it'll be facing minimum competition throughout the month of January, which will help it maintain strong legs. Domestically, the movie saw only a 40.8 percent decrease from its record-setting second weekend, a soft drop for a major tentpole picture like this. It'll be a while before anything can realistically challenge The Force Awakens for the top spot for a weekend, so it could be number one for a long time. Regardless of where it finishes, Disney has to be thrilled with their investment and the profits they've been able to generate.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is now in theaters, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
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