APEX Insight: Blowing up box office records like Death Stars and Womp Rats back home, Star Wars: The Force Awakens blasts off with an epic, worldwide haul of $517M and counting!
Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher may not have shared a movie marquee for 32 years, but to the delight of Star Wars fans the world over the beloved trio from a galaxy far, far away blasted back to the top of the B.O. charts to the tune of an estimated $238 million over the weekend. And though some feared that Disney’s marketing blitz (Boba Fett coffee creamer anyone?) may have turned some hardcore fans to the dark side, at the end of the day, the Force proved to be stronger than expected with Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ helmer J.J. Abrams and the resulting box office take was nothing short of stellar.
Slicing through box office records like a lightsaber though trees on the snow-capped Starkiller Base, Awakens demolished Jurassic World’s $208.8 million record for best December debut, became the first film in Hollywood history to post a single-day gross of more than $100 million and ended up having the biggest opening of any Star Wars film ever, surpassing Revenge of the Sith’s $108.4 million debut in 2005 by a staggering $129.6 million.
And though there was some initial concern that Awakens‘ new characters might not connect with fans – or worse, prove to be the second coming of the prequel’s much-loathed Jar Jar Binks! – fan reaction on social media has been literally out of this world. But if you haven’t seen the movie yet, my advice is to steer clear of the Internet until you do, because this Force (and all the jaw-dropping spoilers that come with it) has officially awakened and it’s definitely going to be talked about.
Another long-running franchise trio making beautiful, high-pitched music together at the box office over the weekend were the Chipmunks who’s latest big-screen adventure, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, sped off with a road trip-worthy $14.4 million. Featuring Jason Lee and the returning voice talents of Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney as the striped rodents in question, the fourth film in the enormously-popular Chipmunk saga should have more than enough gas in the tank to see it through the end of the year and beyond. So, stay off the roads!
Also opening wide with $13.4 million was the R-rated Tina Fey and Amy Poehler “buddy comedy” Sisters. Playing grown-up sisters who return to their hometown to throw one last epic, high-school-style party at their parent’s house before it sells, Sisters is Fey and Poehler’s first big movie together since 2008’s sleeper hit Baby Mama. And from the looks of the hilarious online trailer and the pair’s breezy chemistry during their hosting duties on SNL this week, this is one holiday season house party you won’t want to miss!
Weekend Box Office Estimates: December 18–20, 2015
|1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens/Disney||$238M|
|2. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip/Fox||$14.4M|
|4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2/Lionsgate||$5.6M/$254.4M|
|5. Creed/Warner Bros.||$5M/$87.9M|
|6. The Good Dinosaur/Disney||$4.2M/$96.5M|
|8. In the Heart of the Sea/Warner Bros.||$3.4M/$18.6M|
|9. Dilwale/UTV Motion Pictures||$1.8M|
|10. Bajirao Mastani/Eros Entertainment||$1.6M|