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Dec 20

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Shatters Opening Day Record – like we didn’t already know!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already put its stamp on the record books, kicking off its domestic release with an estimated $120.5 million Friday opening. That opening number includes a record-breaking $57 million from Thursday night “previews” and makes this the first film to gross more than $100 million in a “single” day, but the records don’t stop there.

The $120.5 million opening day for Star Wars marks the largest Friday, opening day and single day records previously held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 at $91 million. In just its opening day, the film has also broken the previous December opening weekend and single day records, both of which were held by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

The Hobbit‘s previous December opening weekend record was $84.62 million and the single day record was a paltry $37.13 million, which puts into context just how big this opening really is. Now the question comes down to the film’s legs to determine just how high it will go. The overall opening weekend record of $208.8 million, set by Jurassic World earlier this year, will obviously be broken, but by how much?

Industry estimates currently range anywhere from $225-240 million for the weekend. As for comparisons, the best examples might seem to be recent ones such as the opening weekends of Jurassic World ($208.8M) and Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191.2M) from earlier this year. The two films dropped 15% and 33% respectively on Saturday and another 17.8% and 10.9% on Sunday, which, if you translate that to this Star Wars opening day would give us a range anywhere from $273-307 million. However, given the massive front-loading of that Friday number, perhaps Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is the best place to look.

Deathly Hallows – Part 2 dropped 53.4% on its second day and another 15.8% on Sunday. Using those numbers, Force Awakens would take in another $56.1 million on Saturday and $47.28 million on Sunday for an opening weekend around $223.9 million. Given the excitement surrounding the film it would seem reasonable to expect a slightly stronger hold on Sunday and an opening somewhere closer to $230-235 million.