Disney and Lucasfilm have something to cheer about this holiday season: their investment in a relaunch of the “Star Wars” film franchise is already paying off tremendously. The new entry in the series (and seventh live-action theatrical relese overall) “The Force Awakens” shattered box-office records in its first two weekends in release, becoming the first movie ever to reach one billion dollars globally in twelve days, beating the previous record holder (this past summer’s “Jurassic World”) by one day.
Enthusiastic word-of-mouth among fans and overwhelmingly positive critical reviews helped the movie’s success carry over into its second weekend, which happened to coincide with the Christmas holiday, already a historically busy moviegoing period. Consequently “The Force Awakens” now also holds the record for biggest Christmas earnings and best second-weekend in movie history. In the United States alone it pulled in over $544 million dollars in its first ten days in theaters.
“The speed with which records are falling is a testament to the audience broadening out. And you can’t do these kind of numbers without extraordinary repeat business,” said Disney distribution president Dave Hollis on The Hollywood Reporter. “We know anecdotally people are seeing it three and four times. Everyone wants to be part of something that has become a cultural phenomenon.”
How many more records will “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” break as it continues to steamroll its way into box office history? Only time will tell, but as of right now it appear as though it may find itself close to the top of the heap once its theatrical run has completed.