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UPDATED: 'Star Wars: Force Awakens' Targets Christmas Miracle, Destroys Monday Record

by Brad Brevet
 

 
December 22, 2015

UPDATE #2 (12/25): Disney has reported a $38 million Wednesday and a $28 million Thursday for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, below are the updated weekend estimates based on Avatar's dailies. These are the would be results, should Star Wars follow Avatar's first week daily drops and increases over Friday, Saturday and Sunday:

  • Monday: $40.1 M (33.76% drop) / $288.1 M (actual)
  • Tuesday: $37.4 M (6.85% drop) / $325.4 M (actual)
  • Wednesday: $38 M (1.77% increase) / $363.5 M (actual)
  • Thursday: $27.6 M (27.43% drop) / $391.1 M (estimate)
    - Fri-Sun projections based on Avatar first week dailies -
  • Friday: $57.1 M (107.11% increase) / $448.2 M
  • Saturday: $70 M (22.43% increase) / $518.2 M
  • Sunday: $60 M (14.24% drop) / $578.2 M ($187.1 M weekend)

For a direct comparison to Avatar as well as fellow domestic box office champs The Avengers, Jurassic World and Titanic you can click here.

UPDATE #1: Disney is reporting Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought in $37.36 million on Tuesday, enough for a new Tuesday record, topping The Amazing Spider-Man's $35 million opening day back in 2012. The film has now crossed $325 million domestically, becoming the fastest to ever do so as it dropped only 7% from its record-breaking Monday. Additionally, it added another $41.3 million internationally bringing its global cume to $689.4 million, placing it ahead of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation on the all-time worldwide chart at #81.

The 6.85% drop is a bit off of Avatar's 1.83% Tuesday drop, which does adjust our previous calculations for the rest of the week based on Avatar's dailies. The results, should Star Wars follow Avatar's first week daily drops and increases would now look like this:

  • Monday: $40.1 M (33.76% drop) / $288.1 M (actual)
  • Tuesday: $37.4 M (6.85% drop) / $325.4 M (actual)
    - Wed-Sun projections based on Avatar first week dailies -
  • Wednesday: $38.2 M (2.23% increase) / $363.6 M
  • Thursday: $25.9 M (32.19% drop) / $389.5 M
  • Friday: $53.6 M (107.11% increase) / $443.2 M
  • Saturday: $65.7 M (22.43% increase) / $508.8 M
  • Sunday: $56.3 M (14.24% drop) / $565.2 M ($175.6 M weekend)

For a direct comparison to Avatar as well as fellow domestic box office champs The Avengers, Jurassic World and Titanic you can click here.

Star Wars won't be breaking the Wednesday or Thursday records, but another record the film broke today was the largest non-opening Tuesday and it should manage to break the same record for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

The original post follows...

More box office records have fallen as Star Wars: The Force Awakens took in another $40.1 million on Monday, shattering the previous Monday record of $27.6 million set by Spider-Man 2 as it has surpassed $610 million worldwide. It is now the fastest film to hit $250 million domestically as that and other records continue to line up just so they can be knocked down.

Considering the unprecedented nature of the Force Awakens opening weekend, finding any kind of comparison isn't easy. The closest opening weekend pattern is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 as it too enjoyed a massive "preview" session and then saw a steep Saturday drop. However, Force Awakens ultimately outperformed Potter to a massive degree, making for only a brief comparison if there ever really was one.

That said, the 33.76% Monday drop for Star Wars means Potter no longer applies. Deathly Hallows Part 2 experienced a 49.4% drop on its first Monday, therefore meaning the search for an apt comparison leads to not only the best, but most obvious, the current domestic and worldwide record holder... Avatar.

2009 was the last time a Christmas fell on a Friday and that year Avatar, heading into the Christmas weekend, had the exact same drop on its first Monday. Should the trend continue, and there's little reason it wouldn't, Star Wars would top $300 million by the end of today, $400 million by midnight on Friday, $500 million by Saturday evening and close out Sunday around $580 million. There are, of course, some things to consider concerning these numbers and Tuesday's gross will obviously tell us a lot more about how this film is playing.

Should dailies hold relatively even all week we are definitely looking at an Avatar scenario. That said, looking forward to the weekend, the Avatar comparison would result in a second weekend of $185 million for Force Awakens, a 25.3% drop from its opening weekend. However, if you subtract the $57 million Thursday night previews from the Star Wars opening weekend we're only looking at a 3.1% second weekend drop.

This doesn't sound the least bit unlikely given the massive amount of tickets that were pre-sold and the fact we're talking about a Christmas weekend that saw Avatar dip only 1.8%. For those wondering, Disney has confirmed with BoxOfficeMojo.com they will not be adding any additional theaters this coming weekend, which leaves the count at 4,134.

For a full visual, the days ahead for Star Wars could look like this if it followed the exact same, daily path as Avatar:

  • Monday: $40.1 M / $288.1 M
  • Tuesday: $39.4 M (1.83% drop) / $327.5 M
  • Wednesday: $40.3 M (2.23% increase) / $367.7 M
  • Thursday: $27.3 M (32.19% drop) / $395. M
  • Friday: $56.5 M (107.11% increase) / $451.5 M
  • Saturday: $69.2 M (22.43% increase) / $520.7 M
  • Sunday: $59.4 M (14.24% drop) / $580.1 M ($185M weekend)

For those interested in records, the largest second weekend of all-time is $106.5 million, set by Jurassic World earlier this year, which most certainly will fall. Star Wars also has a legitimate shot at the largest Tuesday of all-time, currently $35 million set by The Amazing Spider-Man. The numbers above would also make Star Wars the fastest film to top $300, $350, $400, $450, $500 and $550 million. In fact, it took Jurassic World 17 days to cross $500 million, by this math it would take Star Wars only nine.

As for the records it has already broken, here's a recap that includes a few not included on Mojo's traditional record list, which you can find right here:

  • Fastest to $300 Million: 5 Days
    Previous Record: 8 Days (Jurassic World)
  • * The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 record included midnight only screenings while Force Awakens screenings began at 7 PM on Thursday and included Star Wars marathon ticket sales, tickets that were sold for as much as $59.99 each.
    ** Holiday is defined as the first Friday in November through New Year's week or weekend.

    This article will be updated with any significant updates and look for our regular weekend forecast this coming Thursday.

    Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.



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