Disney’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is nothing short of an entertainment industry phenomenon.
“The Force” energized the Christmas movie box office while simultaneously spreading yuletide cheer to its cinematic competitors.
Having debuted a weekend earlier with a worldwide record of $529 million, the J.J. Abrams sequel attained another box-office milestone by reaching a global gross of $1 billion faster than any movie that has ever been made.
Since its release, the film experienced the largest December debut with $248 million, the highest grossing second weekend with $153 million, the biggest Thursday preview with $57 million, and the highest Friday, opening day, and biggest single day with $119 million.
Credit also goes out for best Sunday ($60 million), Monday ($40 million), Tuesday ($37 million), and Christmas Day ($49 million) with additional records waiting to be broken in the not so distant future.
Interestingly, though, the restart of the George Lucas-created space fantasy has had a boosting effect on movies that debuted during the same period.
Based on current estimates, the 2015 Christmas movie season is likely to wind up claiming the largest box office in history.
And thanks to the astounding pent up demand for a new “Star Wars” film, moviegoers raced to theaters and helped ratchet up the weekend take for all movies, which reached a record $300 million, the first actual three-day weekend to do so.
Of the seven films competing with “The Force Awakens” this past weekend, six had a respectable, if not downright surprising, box-office outcome.
Paramount is pleased with the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy “Daddy’s Home,” which buoyed execs with a far better than expected $39 million at the box office, taking second place for the weekend.
The PG-rated film cost about $50 million to produce and was well liked by family-oriented filmgoers, having been given an A-CinemaScore from child audience members.
Coming in third place was the Fox release “Joy” from filmmaker David O. Russell, which stars Jennifer Lawrence as a struggling single mom-turned-successful inventor.
The movie that cost about $60 million to make exceeded industry expectations by almost hitting the $18 million mark, which gave Russell his second best opening, just a tad lower than “American Hustle.”
Both the fourth place movie, Universal’s Amy Poehler-Tina Fey comedy “Sisters,” and fifth place film, Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” had better than expected revenue for second-week films, with $14 million and $13 million respectively.
To its comedic credit, “Sisters” had almost no percentage drop from its opening weekend.
Sony’s “Concussion” starring Will Smith scored a sixth place spot, hauling in a decent $11 million. When factoring in the casting of Smith in the lead role, the award-chasing release achieved quite a feat in keeping to a relatively low production budget of $35 million.
In its second week, Paramount’s “The Big Short” took in more than 10.5 million in box-office bucks while only costing about $28 million to produce. The movie features an all-star ensemble cast and has been heavily promoted to award-granting institutions.
All in all, the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” effect has catapulted box-office numbers into the stratosphere and in the process given several of its cinematic sibling rivals a much-needed shot in the arm.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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