Box office report: Star Wars: The Force Awakens demolishes records with $238 …

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Star Wars’ sets N. America opening weekend record with $238M.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” set a record for the highest-grossing opening weekend at the US and Canadian box office with an estimated $238 million in sales, industry monitor Rentrak said Sunday. Opening day earnings had previously been estimated at $100 million, which would already have been a record, but Walt Disney DIS -3.83% and Rentrak just upped that number. Globally, the latest “Star Wars” space epic raked in an estimated $517 million, falling in second behind “Jurassic World,” which earned $524.9 million worldwide in its first weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

When the first trilogy began back in the late 70s, I was old enough to be wedded to the darker, moodier sci-fi of Solaris, Silent Running and Soylent Green, and young enough to believe that gave me the right to dismiss this latterday Buck Rogers nonsense out of hand. Since acquiring creator Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012, Burbank, California-based Disney has expanded the “Star Wars” merchandise lines, produced new TV shows and mapped plans for themed lands at parks in California and Florida. The trio of heroes who appeared in the first of the blockbusters in 1977 — smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), leader of the rebel alliance, and her twin brother Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) — are all back and played by the actors that “Star Wars” first made famous. The studio has as many as five more “Star Wars” films in the works. “Disney has rebooted the ‘Star Wars’ franchise,” said Robert Marich, author of “Marketing to Moviegoers.” “The reviews from critics and fans were excellent. Now, as Episode VII rolls around, ushering in a new generation of sequels, I find myself at an age so out of whack with the film’s target demographic that what I think about it matters not a jot.

The current record holder for an opening weekend is this past summer’s Jurrasic World with $208.8 million. “It’s definitely, no question, a new all-time weekend record,” Paul Dergarabedian, a box office analyst for Rentrak, told USA Today. “It’s just a matter of how big this weekend number will get. A lot of that will depend on how the movie does on Saturday.” This news comes as no surprise: Fortune earlier reported that by mid-day FridayThe Force Awakens had already sold more tickets than any other movie of 2015. You couldn’t ask for anything else.” “The Force Awakens,” which started showing in international markets on Wednesday, brought in an added $279 million overseas, lifting the worldwide total to $517 million as of Sunday, Disney said. With a film whose existence is rooted in fan culture, describing the movie is perilous; even revealing the cast list runs the risk of providing potential plot spoilers. Suffice to say that the action takes place some years after the events of Return of the Jedi, and involves scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) teaming up with renegade “First Order” Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) and globular droid BB-8.

As always with this director, the film feels very physical, scenes of dog-fighting TIE fighters and a relaunched Millennium Falcon crashing through trees possessing the kind of heft so sorely lacking from George Lucas’s over-digitised prequels. Having co-written the series’s previous high-water mark, The Empire Strikes Back, Lawrence Kasdan here shares credits with Abrams and Michael Arndt on a screenplay that is steeped in the dark lineages of the originals (and does not sidestep moments of genuine tragedy), but which subtly realigns its gender dynamics with Rey’s proudly punchy, post-Hunger Games heroine. The return of stars such as Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher from the original 1977 “Star Wars” film with younger actors in prominent roles has been cited by critics as a reason for the new film’s appeal across a range of moviegoers.

The spectre of Vader may live on in Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, but it’s Rey in whom the film’s true force resides, likable newcomer Daisy Ridley channelling Carrie Fisher’s Leia and carrying the heavily-mantled weight of the new series with aplomb. Abrams has always been a fan first, and there’s a palpable affection in his staging of scenes that recall the varied alien wildlife of Tatooine’s Mos Eisley Cantina.

Just as he proved himself a worthy successor to Spielberg with Super 8, so Abrams here breathes new life into Lucas’s epochal creations in a manner that deftly looks back to the future. Watching the film in a packed auditorium with an audience almost incandescent with expectation, I found myself listening to a chorus of spontaneous gasps, cheers, laughs, whoops and even occasional cries of anguish.

Here you can write a commentary on the recording "Box office report: Star Wars: The Force Awakens demolishes records with $238 …".

* Required fields
Twitter-news
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site