Variety Predicts at Least $170 Million Opening Weekend for Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

Variety: Star Wars The Force Awakens is heading to 170m+ during the opening weekend.




Rival executives privately predict that the film will hit or exceed $200 million and is poised to set a new record for a domestic debut. They note, however, that with a film like “The Force Awakens,” that has nearly universal awareness attached to it, it can be difficult to accurately gauge where the final box office numbers will land.


The strength of the Star Wars franchise is its appeal to all generations.

It’s certainly shaping up to be what is referred to by movie studios as a “four quadrant” hit — meaning a picture that appeals to all demographic groups. Tracking suggests that interest in the film is nearly evenly split between men and women. It also appears to be a popular choice with both adults and children.

New First Order shot from TFA

But on the other hand, Christmas releases are sometimes difficult.

The more conservative forecasters note that no film has ever opened to more than $100 million in December and the Christmas movie-going season contains the multiple distractions such as shopping and traveling. Although the two most successful films of all time — “Avatar” and “Titanic” — opened in December, neither crossed $100 million during their opening weekend.


Since the online ticket sales were a huge success it could get tricky to get a seat for a premium format.

“The Force Awakens” is already the biggest advance seller in the history of online ticketing companies Fandango and Most Imax screenings have sold out, but outside of those premium formats, there are tickets remaining to many shows on opening weekend.


What is your take, how much will it make on its first weekend?


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39 thoughts on “Variety Predicts at Least $170 Million Opening Weekend for Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

  • November 25, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I have a bet with some friends that it will gross over $240 million. My confidence is all over the place.

    • November 25, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      Never was this a consideration for the “original” Star Wars… herein lies TFA’s greatest weakness…

      • November 25, 2015 at 7:01 pm

        I would say challenge rather than weakness. We can’t really say for sure until after the fact.

      • November 25, 2015 at 9:36 pm

        20th century fox execs during the making and release of star wars would disagree.

        • November 25, 2015 at 11:31 pm

          The same who let George have all the merchandising rights?… poor souls…

  • November 25, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Well, I’ve already bought 7 tickets for myself and my family. I will be seeing it at least one or two more times in the theater with my kids.

    • November 25, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      Please be my dad.

  • November 25, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    My prediction is $120 million opening. But this movies will keep going raking in the dough for weeks.

    • November 25, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      That is way too conservative. If TFA makes the anticipated 80 million between thursday and friday, making only 40 million on Saturday and Sunday would be a disappointing. The bottom on this thing has to be 150-170 million.

    • November 25, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      Either it will open huge and drop somewhat steeply, or it will open south of 200 million and will stay number 1 for 6 months.

    • November 25, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      Jurassic World opened at $208 million.
      Do you think it really will be $90 million less than that movie?

      • November 25, 2015 at 11:38 pm

        If the “delight” factor that Kasdan talks about is true, TFA will be the new benchmark for a very long time..

  • November 25, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Records are made to be broken. ‘Avatar’ will have to settle for second place.

    • November 25, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      Or 4th by the time the sequels are done

      • November 26, 2015 at 3:52 am

        True, true.

  • November 25, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Star Wars as a box office IP is pretty much untouchable. The only real true bomb was Clone Wars and that was because GL made the stupid decision to turn it into a film at the last second when it should have aired on TV as miniseries. I think even if he were still writing/producing/directing these that this one would have done just as well since seeing the OT cast on screen again would interest even the most jaded fans as well as the fact that the only thing more talked about on playgrounds in the 80’s other than backstory of the saga was what came after Jedi.

    • November 25, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      I think it is smart that they are changing directors for each film like the OT though since if it sucks then there’s a chance to get it right with the next two. The fact that Lucas wrote/produced/directed all three prequels was a hinderence to the series I think because some people were turned off enough not to see the other two after the first one.

      • November 25, 2015 at 10:16 pm

        At PT stage he was telling stories 1st, making movies 2nd… reading how GL began prepping for the ST (especially the point of getting Kasdan committed), only to “weeks later” sell off to Disney – this reeks of intent… Kasdan is bailing, and JJ will be nowhere to be seen… EP8, EP9, and EPinfinity will be unrecognisable as SW (it’s life Jim, but not as we know it…)

        • November 25, 2015 at 11:25 pm

          I wonder who they will get replaced with? Haven’t heard much about it yet.

          • November 25, 2015 at 11:52 pm

            IMDB credits Rian Johnson with the screenplay and GL the “characters”… mystery box or “lunch” box…?

          • November 26, 2015 at 12:27 am

            I sure hope Colin isn’t writing the last one then.

          • November 26, 2015 at 12:43 am

            The Farce Awakens?

          • November 26, 2015 at 12:50 am

            You know it!

  • November 25, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    This is way too conservative IMO. Just taking into account the 15 million people that like the Star Wars Facebook page, at $16 a ticket, that’s $240 million assuming they all see the movie opening weekend. And that’s just a small percentage of Star Wars fans! I think a $300 million opening weekend would even be conservative….

  • November 25, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    It’s going to be a world record. It’s not even out and it’s already broken every movie

  • November 25, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Being that I’m personally seeing it 3 times on different formats opening weekend. Dolby Atmos DLX, IMAX and 4DX, I think those numbers will go higher.

  • November 25, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    We need to stop getting hung up on box office numbers. If they predict over $200 million and it “only” makes $150 opening weekend, detractors will be calling it a disappointment. I just want JJ to deliver a movie worthy of the Star Wars name and if all the trailers are any indication, he has. It will do well in the box office, but stop trying to predict opening weekend. No good will come from it.

    • November 25, 2015 at 8:15 pm

      im afraid its justified…the last one broke opening weekend records(awesome) and the pre-sale tickets are forcing movie theaters to vacate their other films and show only star wars

  • November 25, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Can we see it in Holomax? 😛

  • November 25, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    It’s gonna top $210 million easy.

  • November 25, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    well i’ve got 2D tix for thursday the 17th for my wife and me…never seen a film that 3D has made better. maybe avatar. I hate that the glasses darken the picture. without the glasses the brightness looks ok, put em on..too dark. if it’s not too scary or violent i’ll take my kids the following week and if the film is great i’ll check it out in 3d imax later on.

    • November 25, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Same deal – the only way I’d be happy is if I was told beforehand that the screen’s gamma/brightness would be boosted to compensate, but at the end of the day you still have these bulky one-size-fit-all clunky plastic dongles hanging on your face to further distract you from the experience.

  • November 25, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    we need to stop gauging box office success by dollars earned. especially since imax and 3d are more expensive. studios need to know..but for the public the number of tickets sold is far more telling.

    • November 25, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      ….but that’s exactly what box office success is: dollars earned.

  • November 26, 2015 at 1:36 am

    its already pre-sold like 50-60 million dollars. walk up plus word of mouth will easily get it past 200 mil.

  • November 26, 2015 at 2:01 am

    What are they predicting world wide? The Us domestic Box office is not as important as it used to be for Blockbusters…Do you think world wide over the weekend it could take as much £400m?..this film will wreck Avatars £2.5b record box office take this might be the first £3B movie if it’s good

    • November 26, 2015 at 2:05 am

      Just checked and World Wide prediction for the weekend is close to $650m or roughly over half a billion £’s

  • November 26, 2015 at 2:51 am


  • November 26, 2015 at 3:53 am

    Lol thanks man.

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