According to Morgan Stanley analyst, Benjamin Swinburne, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is likely to make up to $1.95 billion at the worldwide box office in December (via Deadline). That number would make The Force Awakens the third highest grossing film in history, behind Avatar and Titanic.
Swinburne says domestic ticket sales will add up to $650 million, while profit overseas will number $1.3 billion.
Of all of the six Star Wars movies, The Phantom Menace (1999) grossed the highest box office sales, even over Revenge of the Sith (2005). As The Phantom Menace was the first Star Wars movie made in nearly twenty years, and the hype for it was huge, it makes sense that it would make the most money. The Force Awakens, though, has even more in its favor, as it is not only the first live action Star Wars movie in ten years, but also features members of the original trilogy cast. Combine that with the ever burgeoning world of social media, and you have the potential for a huge box office based off pure nostalgia and smart advertising campaigns.
An example of how well nostalgia and advertising can go hand in hand is Jurassic World. It was a sequel to a beloved Spielberg film that you saw everywhere; on Twitter, Facebook, and in television commercials, to name a few. Its success is marked by its breaking the record for opening weekend sales at the box office with over $500 million globally.
As a Star Wars fan, of course I hope that The Force Awakens will take first place on the list of top grossing movies of all time. Regardless of where it places on that list, however, I would not be surprised in the least if it rocketed past Jurassic World for the biggest opening weekend. With six movies spanning several decades on its belt, it has more nostalgia, a franchise that stretches across several mediums, and a huge fandom to push sales to the max, and beyond.