Aug 272015

In a bit of news that is surprising absolutely nobody is that the predicted  Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening weekend box office could be as high as $615 million worldwide. This would destroy the record held by Jurassic World, which had a global worldwide opening of $524.4 million. What makes this number even more impressive is that the second largest market in the world, China, will not factor in as the communist rulers of that country only allow Chinese films to be shown during the month of December. The estimated domestic box office opening weekend is expected to hit as high as $300 million.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Another big gun in the broadside of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening weekend is the fact that it will have all the IMAX screens in the country under its control. Disney has made a deal with IMAX that the new Star Wars film will be the only movie shown on every IMAX screen for a full month. The final tally that the film will achieve is believed to be around $2 billion, but there are some that say that it could reach $3 billion, which would beat Avatar, the current title holder at $2.7 billion.

My thought is that if the Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening weekend is around the $600 million mark, then it will likely surpass Avatar and reach the $3 billion total. While many movies are front-loaded, I think the J.J. Abrams movie will have tremendous legs if it’s any good at all. From all accounts, this movie is shaping up to be pretty awesome as it introduces fresh new characters while bringing back some beloved ones like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo. This is an event film that we haven’t had for quite some time. Star Wars fanatics will see the movie again and again (if the film is good) as a means of expressing their relief that the dark days of the prequels are finally behind us.

The funny thing is that I heard people scoff when Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion from George Lucas. (These same people expressed disbelief when Disney bought Marvel for the same price.) The truth is that Disney bought the right to print money-on-demand for the next decade or more through movies, TV shows, and merchandising. $4 billion for Star Wars was a steal, and Disney will recoup a big chunk of their investment with just the first movie! Oh, how I wish I owned stock in Disney right now.

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