Star Wars: The Force Awakens was always going to be one of the biggest films of the year, and subject to positive reviews (which it has received in droves), likely one of the biggest films of all time as well. But few could have predicted just how massive its first 24 hours would be.
Including Thursday night previews in North America – which brought in US$57 million alone – The Force Awakens took in approx. US$120.5 million in its opening day, shattering the previous opening day record folder, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, by almost $30 million.
Now some of these numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt. Opening day tickets cost up to US$60, as some were bundled in “marathon” packages, and have been used by Disney to push their opening day numbers as high as possible. But these are incredible numbers all the same.
Australia enjoyed similar success – with the opening day tally of A$9.4 million beating out the final Potter film, which also held the record here, by over 30%. It also opened on 941 screens, which was close to 200 more than the previous record holder, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which opened in April. This was due to most cinemas dedicating multiple screens to the film, with 3D, 2D and premium seating options (e.g. Gold Class) available simultaneously.
Combining this to the tallies from all over the world, the film mustered up some US$129 million internationally – bringing the total number of global ticket sales within the first 24 hours of its US release, to approx. US$250 million. The film, meanwhile, was reported to cost US$200 million to produce, meaning it grossed more than what it cost to make in the same time period.
By the end of the weekend, the film doubled that number again in International ticket sales (US$517 million at current estimates), and analysts are predicting it will easily slip into the top 5 films of all time – not adjusted for inflation – with some anticipating it to give the current record holder, Avatar, a solid run for its money. Only time will tell, but one thing is certain – Christmas is looking very nice indeed for the folks at Disney.
Statistics courtesy of Box Office Mojo and Walt Disney Pictures Australia.