‘Star Wars’ Blasts Past ‘Avatar’ for All-Time U.S. Box Office Crown
The Force is strongest with Star Wars, which is now officially the highest-grossing domestic movie ever.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens passed Avatar‘s 2009 record of $760.5 million in domestic gross after Wednesday and soared past the $800 million mark after only 20 days in movie theaters. Walt Disney (DIS) announced the box office crown in a press release that reels off several records broken by the new Star Wars flick, including earning the biggest domestic and global opening weekends and being the fastest film to ever pull in $1 billion in worldwide box office receipts (12 days).
So far, the latest Star Wars has made $1.6 billion in theaters around the world, and Disney’s new hit is far from finished raking in cash. Still on the horizon is this weekend’s release in China, the second-largest movie market in the world, where analysts expect the film to make anywhere from $175 million to $300 million.
Reaching the higher end of that range would help Star Wars reach its next potential milestone: passing Avatar again for the global all-time box office crown. Avatar pulled in a record $2.8 billion worldwide, which leaves The Force Awakens with a roughly $1.2 billion gap to fill before its run in theaters ends.
Tempering expectations in China somewhat is the fact that the previous six Star Wars films didn’t premiere in the country until just last year, but Disney has rolled out a major marketing push to get Chinese moviegoers excited about the franchise.