‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Breaks Huge Records In First Weekend

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has only been out since Thursday, but as expected, it’s already smashing records left and right. We’re not only talking about domestic records but international ones as well.

Although it’s easy to argue that the price of movie tickets has something to do with record breaking, and you could argue that with any other film out there, but the sheer volume of people who have gone to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens truly exceeded expectations. Not only that, but you have the people who are seeing it for the third or fourth time. This time around, people aren’t going back to decide whether they liked the movie (as in the case of the prequels). Instead, the reception is overwhelmingly positive for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

According to Fox News, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has smashed several records at the box office, thanks to people coming out in droves to see J.J. Abrams’ take on the legendary franchise. Internationally, the film made $279 million, and domestically, the film brought in $238 million, which makes it the largest North American opening of all time. The previous record was set over the summer by Universal’s Jurassic World, which brought in $208 million.

Other records the film broke include the largest single-day gross with $120 million, the biggest Thursday preview with $57 million, and the best December debut ever. In addition, Star Wars: The Force Awakens set new IMAX records. So far, the film has brought in $517 million worldwide, so the $200 million dollar budget that Disney and Lucasfilm took as risk on was well worth it, not to mention that $4 billion purchase made by Lucasfilm to acquire Disney.

Dave Hollis, who is Disney’s executive vice president of theatrical distribution, said in response to how well Star Wars: The Force Awakens has done in its first five days, “The enthusiasm has really turned into a cultural event. It’s unbelievable.”

“It feels historic. The marketing team has embarked on a two-plus year journey to create this event feel. It’s hard to think you could replicate this, but never say never.”

He continued, “Many of the bigger films of the past few years have been driven by that often marginalized female audience. This proves that if you put the right film in the marketplace, the guys will show up in big numbers. You can still break records with one gender being the dominant one.”

However, not everyone is loving Star Wars or the records it’s breaking. As the Inquisitr reported, director Quentin Tarantino lambasted Disney and Lucasfilm during an interview with Howard Stern after finding out that his historical 70mm film The Hateful Eight would no longer be screened at Cinerama. Disney wanted Star Wars: The Force Awakens to play in favor of Tarantino’s new film.

Although ArcLight Cinemas told Disney that they were going to honor their commitment to Tarantino, Disney threatened to pull Star Wars: The Force Awakens from all ArcLight locations in retaliation. This would mean a massive financial loss. According to Tarantino, it was “extortion” by Disney and Lucasfilm.

“It was real bad news and it really f—ing pissed me off and I think I want to voice it right now. Basically, and I’m not talking about the whole country, I’m talking about one theater in particular. We were gonna play at the Cinerama Dome on the 25th, we were gonna open there and play there exclusively for two weeks and Star Wars was gonna play the two weeks before us.

“They’ve got the biggest movie in the world. We’re talking about one effing theater. They are going out of their way to f–k me.”

He continued, “I made The Hateful Eight for the Dome… This is the first time seeing it at the Dome for me too, and it was like I hadn’t even seen it before, not like this.”

Did you see Star Wars: The Force Awakens over the weekend?

[Photo by Lucasfilm/Disney]