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‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ is a monster hit, smashes a ton of box office records

Published Dec 21st, 2015 7:50AM EST
Star Wars
Image: Star Wars

Bolstered by a wave of nostalgia and masterful directing from JJ Abrams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens smashed a number of box office records this weekend.

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In North America, the latest Star Wars installment set a new weekend record with over $238 million in ticket sales, easily surpassing the previous record of $208 million set by Jurassic World this past summer. What makes the figure all the more impressive is that Star Wars: The Force Awakens also holds the highest revenue per theatre ratio in history, checking in with an average of $57,571 in ticket sales per theater. Jurassic World, which holds the second spot, had a revenue/theatre ratio of $48,855.

The New York Times adds some context to Star Wars’ opening weekend bonanza:

To put [the $238 million] figure into perspective, consider that “Avatar,” which analysts consider to be the highest-grossing film in history, with $3.1 billion in global ticket sales, took in $85 million over its first three days in domestic release; the previous record-holder for a December opening was “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” with $87.5 million.

The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday also relayed a number of box office records now held by Star Wars: The Force Awakens:

  • Biggest Thursday night opening with $57 million in sales
  • Biggest single day and opening day debut with $120.5 million
  • First film to cross $100 million in a single day
  • Fastest film to reach both $100 million and $200 million in ticket sales
  • Biggest IMAX release with $30.1 million in sales

As far as global ticket sales, that may be yet another record soon to be smashed by the Star Wars franchise. As it stands now, the current weekend record for worldwide ticket sales belongs to Jurassic World which amassed an impressive $524.9 million when it opened up this past June. As of Sunday afternoon, Star Wars: The Force Awakens had generated $517 million in worldwide ticket sales. By the time final ticket sales figures are released on Monday, there’s a good chance we’ll have a new number one.

As far as a demographic break down among theater-goers, Disney disclosed a few interesting tidbits. For instance, 47% of the film’s gross receipts this weekend came from 3D screenings, a fact which undoubtedly helped bolster overall ticket sales as 3D showings typically cost a few bucks more than regular screenings. As far as gender and age breakdowns go, Disney provided the following information: 58% of viewers were male and 63% of viewers were 26 years old or older.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.