Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues to obliterate box office records as it moves into its second full day of release this Saturday. The long-awaited sequel is playing in 4,134 domestic theaters, where it has pulled in an astounding estimated $120.5 million during its Friday debut. This includes $57 million from Thursday preview screenings. This makes The Force Awakens the biggest single day opener of all time. And it is now the first film to ever break the $100 million mark in a single day. The previous one-day and opening day records were set way back in 2011 by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2. Industry insiders believe that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will managed to earn at least $220 million by the time Monday rolls around. And that will break the previous opening weekend record held by Jurassic World, which pulled in $208.8 million this past June.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn't just a commercial success. Fans and critics both are loving what J.J. Abrams has brought to this long dormant universe set in a galaxy far, far away. Audiences have awarded the film with an A CinemaScore, with it getting an A+ from women and young fans. It has also accumulated a 95% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with some declaring it the best movie of the year. The film has continued to break international records as well, landing in some overseas markets as early as this past Wednesday, December 16.
Spain and Japan were added to the massive rollout yesterday, along with the stateside release. And it has been dominating with #1 debuts all across the globe. The worldwide take has already reached $250 million, with a three-day international total that currently tops out at $129.5 million. Only Greece and India have not yet been awakened by the force with their rollout of the film set for December 24, and China will open the movie on January 9th.
So far Star Wars: The Force Awakens has the biggest single day of all time in UK/Ireland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Hungary, Iceland. It has the biggest opening day of all time in UK/Ireland, Germany, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland (French-speaking), Austria, Ukraine, Slovakia, Croatia, Iceland, Serbia, Chile, Peru, Poland, Hungary. The biggest Disney opening day of all-time in France, Denmark, South Africa, Czech Republic, Turkey, Serbia. The biggest December opening day in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam. And IMAX records set in UK/Ireland, Australia, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Austria, Turkey, Portugal, Qatar, UAE, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, Costa Rica, Trinidad.
It only took Disney 21 hours to make $100 million from Star Wars in the states. It takes most successful tentpoles at least a whole weekend to reach those kind of numbers. By Sunday, it is expected that the sequel will have beat the entire domestic runs of the last two Hobbit movies, which were the big sci-fi genre releases of the last two Decembers. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which opened in 2013, earned $258.4 million, while last year's The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies earned $255.1 million. Jurassic World didn't cross $250 million until five days after its release. Avatar, which is still the biggest box office release of all time, only made $77 million during its opening weekend back in 2009. It ended its run in theaters with a domestic take of $749.8 million. And it took the James Cameron directed sci-fi epic 12 days to make it to the $250 million mark. This was before the days of digital cinema and the 3D boom. Avatar opened with just 3,100 RealD 3D theaters available. Now there are 14,000 in the U.S. and Canada. Most of those theaters are playing Star Wars this weekend.
Ticket sales are expected to fall by 42% from Friday to Saturday. But it's expected that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will experience a surge of walk-up business from customers who chose not to go the pre-sale route. With the movie sucking up most of the screens around the country, 12 of the top 15 ranked movies have been removed from at least 10,645 screens. Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip took up some of those screens. And Spectre, released last month, is still faring well and should cross the $200 million mark before the end of the weekend.