Even as industry pundits and rival studios place “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on a course to surpass “Jurassic World’s” record $208.8 million domestic opening, Disney is doing its best to manage expectations.
“It’s natural for people to want to view this and compare this to a summer blockbuster, but films in December don’t have the same historical release patterns as summer films,” Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn told The Hollywood Reporter. “In December it’s rare to see a big debut — there’s only a handful above $70 million by the way, with the record being something like $84 million. People are shopping, they’re traveling, they also know that their kids are going to be on vacation in a week and they’re going to all go see movies together.”
Early predictions for the film’s domestic opening weekend range from a conservative $170 million to the $200 million range, placing “The Force Awakens” in the neighborhood of summer release like Marvel’s “The Avengers” and the aforementioned “Jurassic World.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, some sources are even floating numbers as high as $250 million to $300 million.
“The Force Awakens” is certain to blow past 2012’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which holds the record for the biggest December opening with $85 million; after all, it’s already raked in more than $50 million in advance ticket sales.
Directed by J.J. Abrams, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens Dec. 18 in North America.
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