The Force is certainly with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The box office Force, that is, with an unprecedented opening weekend currently in progress.
While it was always assumed that The Force Awakens would be a monster right out of the gate and make a run at the domestic opening weekend record set earlier in 2015 by Jurassic World, the narrative this week has been Disney playing it cool while other studios and industry observers were thinking it could crush the old mark of $208.8 million. Those folks now appear to be correct as updated Saturday forecasts from outlets like Deadline have the movie tracking for a $250 million opening weekend. That’s right: not just breaking the record, beating it by 25 percent.
It’s already halfway there too. Disney declared that between Thursday night previews and Friday showings, The Force Awakens took in $120.5 million on opening day, which easily passed the previous high of $91 million set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in 2011.
There doesn’t seem to be any limit to what The Force Awakens can achieve, including making a run at Avatar and the all-time domestic box office record of $749.8 million. That movie took a very different track from most blockbusters, taking in just over 10 percent of its final gross on its opening weekend and remaining a very consistent producer for months.
Movies these days, even Star Wars movies, simply don’t behave that way any more. Still, it seems unwise to put a limit on what The Force Awakens can achieve, especially with Deadline reporting CinemaScore ratings of A overall, A+ for women and A+ for both young adults (under 25) and teens (under 18). We’ll be tracking all of its box office magic closely here at Dork Side of the Force, so stay tuned.