After only 20 days in theaters, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS has beaten out AVATAR to become the highest grossing film of all time at the U.S. box office. AVATAR is still the worldwide highest grossing film, but I don’t see that lasting very long.
This is such an amazing feat, as it took AVATAR 318 days to reach its final tally of $760mil, whereas STAR WARS still has plenty of life left in the theaters. The only question now is, how much will it make? At this point, I can see STAR WARS crossing $1bil domestically, which would make it be the first film to ever do that. It has only a little over $200mil left to reach that point, and as it made a staggering $90mil in it’s third weekend at the box office, I think it will only take another 2-3 weeks for it to reach the billion milestone.
This is all amazing news for STAR WARS and Disney, but it does set the bar extremely high for the following films in the franchise. How will this level of expectations affect the performance of the following films and the scheduled spin off films. History shows it is difficult for sequels to match what the originals made, as you see with the original STAR WARS films and the prequels, and with franchises like SPIDER-MAN, CHRONICLES OF NARNIA or the original three JURASSIC PARK films to name a few. This doesn’t mean I think the other films will be failures, it just means these filmmakers have a lot working against them. I don’t expect the next films to break $1bil, but I would like them to top each film quality wise. To continue to build upon these great new characters, and to make the story even richer.