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Friday Estimates: Star Wars is an Unstoppable Force

December 19th, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens not only broke the single day record, it crushed the previous mark. It became the first film to ever earn more than $100 million in a single day, blowing past that milestone with $120.5 million on Friday. So what does this mean for the rest of the weekend? I have no idea, as we are in completely uncharted territory. Well, that's not entirely true. I do know our Weekend Predictions underestimated the demand for this film. The film does have to deal with the Fanboy Effect. Films with Fanboy appeal tend to have shorter legs, because Fanboys rush out to see the movie opening day / opening weekend. However, there are factors at play here that will likely help its legs over the weekend. Firstly, the film’s word of mouth should be amazing as it is earning 95% positive reviews and an A Cinemascore. Secondly, there were a large number of sellouts opening night, so in many places the Fanboys were forced to wait, because they couldn’t get tickets. Even the low end has The Force Awakens breaking the all-time weekend record. On the high end, it could top $250 million. If the film does earn $250 million during its opening weekend, then $1 billion domestically is on the table. An opening weekend around $230 million is more likely. Our model has it earning $225 million—Bruce will have a piece on that shortly—but that still puts $800 million, and yet another record, in the film’s sights.

In a stunning turn of events, the other two wide releases this week didn’t bomb. Sisters opened in second place on Friday with $4.92 million, which is a very good start for this type of film this time of year. It is earning good reviews and it likely will have more screenings today than yesterday as the demand for The Force Awakens eases a little. Look for between $14 million and $15 million over the weekend and perhaps $75 million when all is said and done.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip landed in third place with $4.125 million over the weekend. Its reviews are terrible, but it is a family film, so it should have better than average legs. Look for between $14 million and $15 million over the weekend, putting it in a very close race for second place. Being a family film will likely give it a slight advantage landing it in second place.

Related articles:
- Thursday Night Previews: Star Wars is Deadly to the Competition
- Star Wars Forces Its Way to the Top in United Kingdom
- Star Wars Starts Busting Records Around the World
- Weekend Predictions: How Big of a Force Will Star Wars be at the Box Office?
- Critics go Mad for The Force Awakens
- Star Wars’ Path to Avatar’s Three Titanic Records
- Eight Records Star Wars Needs to Break
- Six Records Star Wars is Certain to Break

Related pages:
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Star Wars franchise history
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens Recent Comparisons
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens All-Time Comparisons
- Theatrical Records

Filed under: Friday Estimates, Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens, Star Wars