Star Wars: The Force Awakens is already the biggest movie (financially speaking) in the history of North America. It’s the third biggest movie ever made. That’s quite an amazing feat, especially since the movie has yet to open in the second largest film market in the world. The film will hit China on Saturday and while success there is not a guarantee, signs are pointing to the movie having a huge opening.
China made the month of December a blackout period for all non-native movies, which delayed the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens until this weekend. With all the records that The Force Awakens has set, the only one left of note is the all-time global box office champ, and the movie will certainly need a big showing in China in order to get there. The stage is set for a huge release, according to Jimmy Wu, the CEO of Lumiere Pavilions, a major theater chain in China:
Our ticket presales for Star Wars have been wonderful, much better than other recent Hollywood movies.
This is a fantastic sign that the marketing campaign that Disney has been putting together for the country has been successful. China simply doesn’t have the nostalgic view of the Star Wars franchise that most of the rest of the world does. Western media was still prohibited in the late 1970’s when the franchise got started. In recent months the previous films have been released on in-demand services and Disney has been pulling out all the stops including taking out advertising on China’s biggest reality show, which, disturbingly, is called Running Man, and sending an army of Stormtroopers to march down the Great Wall of China.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, analysts are predicting that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will bring in something in the neighborhood of $277.5 million in China. This would put the movie above the $228.7 million that Jurassic World did earlier this year, but significantly below the $390.9 million record that Furious 7 set in the country. With the movie currently sitting about $1.58 billion globally, that will add a nice chunk to the total. Still, it will take several more weeks of continuous success for the film to break the $2 billion mark and to continue on its "mission" to take down the James Cameron double feature at the top of the box-office list, Titanic and Avatar.
The Force Awakens has continued at the top of the domestic box office for the last three weeks and while the weekly totals have been slowing, it’s still making tens of millions in the U.S. Do you think Star Wars: The Force Awakens will become the number one movie of all time, or is another billion dollars just too much ground for the film to cover?