The most anticipated movie of 2015 put up the best opening weekend of all time as Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattered nearly every box office record on its way to an astounding $238 million weekend in North America alone. By weekend’s end, The Force Awakens could soar past $245 million to lock down the biggest opening weekend ever, toppling the previous champ, Jurassic World‘s $208 million opening, The Hollywood Reporter writes.
Episode VII also generated another $279 million internationally, pushing its overall haul to $517 million. That’s good enough for Number Two all time behind Jurassic World‘s combined box office of $525 million, although that blockbuster benefitted from a Chinese release that same week; China – which never caught Star Wars fever, as Stephen Colbert pointed out – won’t get The Force Awakens in theaters until January 9th.
The Force Awakens also cruised to the best December opening of all time, trouncing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey‘s $84.6 opening weekend in 2012, and put it on a trajectory to perhaps usurp James Cameron’s Avatar as the all-time box office king; Avatar opened up with a now-modest $77 million during the December 17th weekend in 2009 on its way to a record-holding $2.8 billion bounty.
The Force Awakens also set North American records for widest December release, biggest Thursday night previews, fastest film to $100 million and $200 million at the box office, biggest IMAX opening and highest per-theater average for a wide release ($58,000). As Variety notes, the film has already earned more than its reported $200 million production budget, and with school vacations set to start this week, next week’s box office should continue to rake in the tickets.
By comparison, the weekend’s Number Two film, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, drew $14 million in its opening week. The Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters opened at Number Three with $13.4 million