The concept of a blockbuster in reference to film did not exist until the mid to late 70’s with films like Steven Spielberg’s Jaws; Close Encounters of the Third Kind and, of course, the original Star Wars. Now under new ownership and vigor, J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to do it again only this time before the movie even opens.
With just a week to go before the film opens, sites like Forbes and The Wrap are reporting on the box office records the film is already breaking. Advance ticket sales since October 19 for the December 18 opening have already blown past all previous one-day sales records for any film in history including The Hunger Games the previous one-day record holder. Not only has the Force Awakens blown past the previous one-day records it has done so by a wide 8-1 or 10-1 margin depending on the source. To date $50 million have been made for a film that no one has even seen.
The anticipation of the films revenues has become as much a story as the film itself, with the Hollywood Reporter projecting $540 million opening revenues as far back as April of 2015.
For more than a year 223 million fans old and new have been chewing on every frame of the released trailers. Analyzing who is and who is not featured in the films official posters while J.J. Abrams and Disney have kept the plot and most of the other films details in secret. The film will open in 4,500 theatres in North America again another record previously held by The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Some analysts like Barton Crockett and others are anticipating a 2-3 billion in worldwide box office by the time the space dust has settled.
With this being only the start of an onslaught of new Star Wars films and spin-offs the 4 billion Disney paid to acquire Star Wars and Lucasfilm in 2012 may have been a bargain sale of the century.
Based on the current numbers and expectations, if the film can sustain this momentum it will leave a margin in terms of box office revenue so large it may never be repeated. (Never Say Never as James Bond would say.) Either way, we are a witness to history unfolding.
Only one thing question left to answer, will the film suck?
Let us know if you plan to see the movie opening weekend.