Date
16 December 2017
A man dressed as Darth Vader from Star Wars walks though Times Square in New York. The latest instalment of the intergalactic franchise has become the fastest movie to hit US$1 billion at the box office. Photo: Reuters
A man dressed as Darth Vader from Star Wars walks though Times Square in New York. The latest instalment of the intergalactic franchise has become the fastest movie to hit US$1 billion at the box office. Photo: Reuters

Star Wars force field destroying box office records

A kind of Star Wars force field has descended on the box office, wreaking havoc on records and putting the latest instalment of the intergalactic epic on course to make movie history.  

Walt Disney Co.’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already grossed US$153.5 million on its second weekend in theaters, according to studio estimates and continues to break records, including the biggest second weekend of all time, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Worldwide, it reached US$1.09 billion this weekend and became the fastest movie in history to pass US$1 billion.

With a domestic total of US$544.6 million, the seventh “Star Wars” now has a very good shot of becoming the highest grossing movie of all time in the US and Canada, supplanting Avatar, which ended its run with US$749.8 million.

It’s also doing extremely well overseas, with a total of US$546 million so far.

Standout countries include the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia.

Christmas on a Friday has traditionally made for a very strong box office weekend but some in Hollywood worried Star Wars would take the air out of everything else at the multiplex.

That wasn’t the case, though, as several other movies had solid openings in its wake.

At the head of the pack was Daddy’s Home, starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.

The comedy from Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures and Red Granite Pictures opened to a robust US$38.8 million.

Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence and directed by David O. Russell of American Hustle fame, overcame mixed reviews to start its box office run with a healthy US$17.5 million.

Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Will Smith drama Concussion, about football-related brain damage, had a decent opening of US$11 million despite its somber subject matter.

The only Christmas flop was a remake of the cult action classic Point Break.

Released by Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. but financed by Alcon Entertainment, the US$105 million production opened to a weak US$10.2 million.

It opened earlier in China, however, where it is estimated to have grossed close to US$40 million.

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