By now it shouldn’t probably come as a surprise. Stars Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh chapter, formally episode, of one of history’s greatest sagas, has broken box office records over the weekend since it premiered. And it wasn’t just in the US alone. The film raked in hundreds millions of dollars across the globe, save in some countries where the film was met with strong local competition or was completely delayed to January. The figures mean a great deal not just to fans but to the prospect of Disney spinning out even more content and products in the years to come.
Perhaps the real miracle isn’t merely in the records but in the fact that a film worthy of the originals has successfully been made. The last of the trilogy, Episode VI Return of the Jedi, was shown in 1983. Although three prequel films were released since then, they have largely been panned by critics and fans alike. In contrast, it seems that the consensus is that “The Force Awakens” has managed to stay true to the spirit of the originals, give or take a few artistic liberties.
Of course, not all hard core Star Wars fans are happy. There are quite some who still deplore Disney’s shocking and unexpected decision to declare all side content outside of the films non-canon, practically throwing out all previous sanctioned novels and comics out the window. Still, many of those same fans are able to discern allusions and parallels between “The Force Awakens” and the now unofficial literature.
But now let’s go to the numbers. In the US alone, the film broke $238 million over the weekend, beating Jurassic World’s opening record of $209 million last June. Add in $279 million from overseas sales and you’ve got a world record candidate. Considering it was on a December weekend, that feat is even more commendable. The only other film to make a hit during this mad shopping season was The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 2012, and that only reported $84.6 million.
Sadly, it wasn’t a complete hit everywhere. In Brazil, Japan, and Mexico, “The Force Awakens” did adequately, but not as hot as in other countries. In South Korea, things were even worse as the film was launched at the same time as a popular local title. The real challenge, however, will be China, considered one of the biggest movie market. Not only did the country delay the movie’s premiere to January because all available slots have already been taken by local films, “Star Wars” as a whole isn’t as popular there since the original films were never shown back then.
For those who have already seen the film but wish to do so again from the comfort of their homes, or those who are putting it off until the movie becomes available digitally, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available on pre-order on iTunes, Google Play Movies, and even the Microsoft Store. Of course, it’s still on pre-order only, with no date yet when it will be released.
SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal