Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues to wreak more destruction than an outer space dogfight at the box office and has broken another record – scoring the highest ever Christmas Day box office in the USA.
The sci-fi behemoth secured a domestic total of $49.3 million on the festive holiday, marking yet another major record for The Force Awakens, according to Coming Soon. This gross easily toppled the previous record of $24.6 million set in 2009 by Guy Ritchie’s take on Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.
Paramount comedy Daddy’s Home was the closest competitor for The Force Awakens, but only managed a Christmas Day total of $15.7 million. Jennifer Lawrence’s drama Joy, directed by David O. Russell, placed third with a $6.9 million haul.
The Force Awakens added an extra $27.5 million to its Christmas Day numbers from international markets. This is an exceptionally big number, particularly given the fact that the holiday is often a quiet day for multiplexes all over the world. In the U.K., for example, cinemas are completely closed on Christmas Day.
That said, The Force Awakens is certainly a special case. It’s event cinema on an unparalleled level, combined with the level of fandom that could bring Star Wars devotees to the multiplex on more than once occasion over the film’s cinematic run.
Given that The Force Awakens will almost certainly be around in cinemas until the spring, that money will add up to come impressive numbers.
The latest Star Wars film has been obliterating box office records in impressive fashion since its opening weekend. Domestic and international records have fallen at the feet of The Force Awakens, which is seemingly on course to surpass Avatar as the highest grossing movie of all time at the global box office.
— Screen Rant (@screenrant) December 27, 2015
Forbes reporter Scott Mendelson rates The Force Awakens‘ chances of further record breaking highly, especially as it hasn’t yet opened in China – now arguably the most important territory for cinema outside of North America.
“It [The Force Awakens] should presumably have little problem clearing the $1.6b total for Jurassic World within the next couple weeks and now the only question is whether it can top Avatar in the states (I don’t see how it doesn’t at this speed) and if it can challenge Titanic ($2.2b) and Avatar ($2.8b) worldwide, which is a less surefire prospect even with these numbers. China will be a shot in the arm on January 9th, but now it’s a question of seeing how it holds up once the holiday season ends and we get more “big” movies in January here and abroad.”
Meanwhile, box office analyst Phil Hoad wrote in The Guardian that the case of Avatar was a unique one and that The Force Awakens might not easily match its success.
“Six years on, it’s still hard to put your finger on the source of Avatar‘s global allure. But the hype, the pioneering 3D technology, Cameron, a fusion of militaristic thrills and new-agey visuals appealing to diverse tastes, not to mention the tabula-rasa nature of the avatar concept – bypassing viewers’ cultural identities by dramatising their relationship with digital-era cinema – combined to give the film the widest possible embrace. Can The Force Awakens summon that broad a church? The Star Wars brand could actually be its biggest hindrance in that respect, with no further USP to win over the unconvinced.”
The Force Awakens certainly has a long way to go to become the most successful film of all time, but the records falling cannot be ignored. The latest box office figures will make a nice Christmas present for the team at Disney, with The Force Awakens justifying the enormous sum the company paid to purchase LucasFilm back in 2012.
[Image via Lucasfilm]