They did it.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens made history on its opening day, crushing the previous opening day record by a long shot. It also made more the previous December opening (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) in just one day. The film sold nearly 14 million tickets, averaging more than 3,000 per theater.
We’re witness history, folks.
This is an unprecedented opening day by literally any expectations. It crushed Harry Potter ($91M) and even Jurassic World ($81M). However, it also burned through one of the most front loaded opening days on record. Nearly half of its total gross came from yesterday, which isn’t all that surprising given the insane hype behind it. In comparison, Avengers: Age of Ultron made around 32% of its Friday gross from Thursday showings, and Harry Potter made 45%. However, for Harry Potter, those 45% came exclusively from midnight showings, meaning if it had gotten the now traditional 7PM and on, it would’ve easily made more than half. The Force Awakens made a whopping 47% of yesterdays gross from those screenings. In addition to that, today is the busiest calendar shopping day of the year. However, it also had many people get sold out of screenings on Thursday night who may show up today. Potter fell over 50% on Saturday, something that doesn’t seem very likely for Star Wars. In all likeliness, it will fall around 45% today and another 20% or so on Sunday. That would give it a weekend of $238M, which is still enough to more than crush Jurassic World‘s $208M. With an A Cinemascore, it seems as though audiences really enjoyed it, and will likely come back for multiple repeat viewings.
Oh yeah, and other movies opened too I guess.
Sisters was in second with a decent $4.9M, giving it a weekend in the mid teens range. That’s pretty much expected, and not too bad. The only reason for concern is that it received a weak B Cinemascore, meaning it might not hold as well as usual Christmas releases do.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip was in third with a weak $4.1M opening day. That’s below the third films $6.7M opening day, which gave it a weekend of $23M. If this follows in similar fashion, it will open to around $14M, which would obviously make it the lowest grossing of the franchise. With a reported budget of $90M, it’s going to need to do great business overseas in order to turn a profit.
As far as holdovers, Creed, Mockingjay Part 2, Krampus, and The Good Dinosaur all fell in the low 50% range, while In the Heart of the Sea got crushed 74% on Friday. That’s not surprising considering it lost 90% of its 3D screens and likely all of its IMAX screens, and considering they were building it up as a large scale event film, releasing one week before Star Wars was a pretty boneheaded move.