The buzz swirling around Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been insanely high ever since the project was first announced way back in October 2012, after Disney purchased LucasFilm. With a new trailer arriving sometime this fall, the buzz will only keep growing, with some box office analysts already predicting huge opening weekend numbers months before the sequel hits theaters on December 18. Deadline reports that some analysts are predicting a $615 million worldwide opening weekend, which would shatter a box office record that was just set a few months ago.
Universal Pictures' Jurassic World broke a number of box office records back in June, taking in $208.8 million domestically and $315.3 million internationally in its opening weekend, for a worldwide haul of $524.4 million. All three of those figures set new records, but if these new predictions about Star Wars: The Force Awakens are accurate, those records may not stand for long. Jurassic World was the first movie ever to earn over $500 million worldwide in its opening weekend, but if these predictions hold up, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be the first to crack $600 million in one weekend.
These insiders are predicting that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will earn approximately $300 million domestically and $315 internationally on its opening weekend December 18. Some analysts predict that, in any given theater with 20 screens, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be playing on 10 of them. We already reported that the sci-fi adventure will be completely taking over all IMAX theaters for an entire month. The film is expected to play in more than 4,000 theaters and at least 10,000 screens during its stateside debut.
It will debut in every international territory except China, which imposes a blackout of Hollywood films every December, so it will likely open in the country sometime in January. The $615 million projection is even more impressive, if it comes true, since that wouldn't include China, one of the largest markets in the world. It's possible it could also break The Twilight Saga: Eclipse's five-year record for widest release ever, with 4,468 theaters, but we likely won't know the exact theater count until early December. Jurassic World opened in a total of 23,886 theaters globally in its opening weekend, which included China, with Universal's other $1 billion release this year, Furious 7, opening in 14,687 screens, which didn't include China.
The question that remains is can Star Wars: The Force Awakens dethrone the current all-time box office champion, Avatar? A massive $615 million global opening would certainly help, but the movie will need to continually put up impressive numbers week after week to top Avatar's $760.5 million domestic record and its $2.78 billion worldwide record. The blockbuster played in theaters for 34 weeks, a lengthy run which hardly ever happens these days, landing in the top 10 at the box office in its first 14 weeks. By comparison, Jurassic World has been in theaters for 11 weeks, but it dropped out of the top 10 after eight weekends. If Star Wars: The Force Awakens has any chance at beating Avatar, it not only needs to open big, but also play the long game in theaters. Do you think Star Wars: The Force Awakens will shatter box office records left and right when it hits theaters in December?