Matthew Lowe

The Force has well and truly awakened, with Disney proudly announcing yesterday that after scarcely two weeks in theatres that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has broken the record for highest opening week at the Australian box office. At pole position, it now supersedes a top ten dominated almost exclusively by franchise entries including Lord of the Rings, Twilight, Harry Potter, Fast and Furious and The Hobbit.

From the 17th of December 2015, to the week ending the 23rd, The Force Awakens garnered a total domestic revenue of nearly $38.5 million.

Consider and contrast with the recent profits of other major contenders, for example, the latest James Bond extravaganza Spectre whose current total gross after six weeks is five million less than The Force Awakens made in barely a week; or the final chapter in The Hunger Games which was sitting at around $27 million after five weeks. These of course are more than respectable figures whose discrepancy speaks only to the fanatical enthusiasm with which cinema goers greet any new entry in the Star Wars franchise, over thirty-eight years on since A New Hope debuted in 1977.

This comes as the film’s staggering revenue nears the $600 million mark in North America alone, making it only the fifth movie to achieve such a financial feat after Jurassic World; Titanic; The Avengers; and Avatar, whose domestic US earnings grossed over $760.5 million.

Meanwhile, global box office estimates figure already around $1.16 billion, and it’s still to open in China. Given that this includes ticket sales alone (admittedly a large chunk of this figure goes to cinemas) without factoring in associated merchandise or the projected earnings of streaming, DVD sales or television rights, for Disney and Lucasfilm, The Force Awakens can be considered nothing less than a phenomenal commercial triumph, and well on its way to becoming the highest box office earner of all time.


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