J.J. Abrams' reboot of the Star Wars franchise, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” grossed around $120.5 million at its opening Friday, BoxOfficeMojo reported. That's the biggest Friday and opening day ever, dislodging another huge fantasy franchise film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” which clocked $91 million in 2011.
Including the $57 million the movie made during preview screenings Thursday night, “The Force Awakens” is also the first film to gross more than $100 million in a day.
The industry press has speculated that the movie could not only reboot the franchise, but the whole 2015 box office as well. Now that it has produced a secondary market for tickets and early morning showings, "The Force Awakens" could capitalize on the buzz of "Jurassic World" and "Straight Outta Compton" in an otherwise light year for the movies.
“I think it's quite possible that ‘Star Wars’ can save the box office for the year,” media analyst Laura Martin told International Business Times. “But frankly, it gets released so late that it might be able to save both years.”
The force may not be as strong internationally, as Disney is skittish about debuting the movie at the same time as blockbuster Bollywood films in India, such as Rohit Shetty’s “Dilwale." In fact, it delayed the release of the space epic by a week to avoid going head to head with a powerhouse of India's national genre. Still, the Bollywood films will compete with "Star Wars” for screens and earnings.
“Christmas Day is a holiday all over and an ideal time, we believe, for the release of this epic movie, for all our Indian viewers,” said Amrita Pandey, head of marketing at Disney India. The company said it hopes that if anything, the delay will heighten anticipation to see the film.