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Box-office analyst Phil Contrino is so confident in The Force Awakens’ opening numbers that he’s already predicting the film will surpass Avatar’s previously held record. He told The Hollywood Reporter,
It's in the same spot as Avatar, which played and played and played. Force Awakens will hit $1 billion without blinking. If it's really good, it could cross $2 billion.
The Force Awakens will open on December 18, which is not exactly a slot guaranteed to snatch the most box office dough, given the holiday season. However, Avatar, as Contrino noted, had the exact same release date back in 2009. Opening in 3,461 theaters, the film had a domestic opening release of $77 million, and Contrino thinks Star Wars will easily surpass this.
Further poising the film’s likely success is its wide release. Disney wouldn’t comment, but THR reports that Star Wars will open in 4,500 theaters across the country, a wider release than any other film that has preceded it.
If we’re going by trailer success, Star Wars once again pulls ahead of the pack. Interest in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer seems to outweigh the likes of Furious 7 and Fifty Shades of Grey. The former has surpassed $1.15 billion at the box office, having been open for 19 days, while the latter became February’s highest-grossing film. So there's precedent in fan interest translating to ticketss sold.