- Cooking Mama’s return whips up a fresh batch of memes Tuesday 8:18 PM
- Influencer body-shames model, Photoshops photo of self to ‘prove point’ Tuesday 7:27 PM
- Boosie Badazz goes on transphobic rant about Dwyane Wade’s daughter Tuesday 6:34 PM
- Royal Family’s website accidentally links to porn instead of charity Tuesday 5:39 PM
- Republican senator spreads false conspiracy about coronavirus Tuesday 5:11 PM
- New DNA technology could help exonerate Black man serving life sentence Tuesday 4:24 PM
- ‘SNL’s’ Kenan Thompson to host the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Tuesday 3:58 PM
- Singer Summer Walker dragged for insensitive HIV comments Tuesday 2:39 PM
- This video of a teddy bear getting steam cleaned makes a perfect meme Tuesday 2:27 PM
- Ted Cruz goes on Twitter tirade over proposed vasectomy bill Tuesday 2:22 PM
- Billie Eilish says she’s stopped reading Instagram comments Tuesday 2:13 PM
- Christian group blames satanists for Twitter poll results Tuesday 1:41 PM
- Coronavirus has pandemic-themed video games topping charts Tuesday 12:58 PM
- Bloomberg said kids are drawn to socialism because they think it involves social media Tuesday 12:55 PM
- Jake Paul gives ill-informed advice on how to deal with anxiety Tuesday 12:25 PM
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ to become the highest-grossing U.S. film of all time
It took the new ‘Star Wars’ movie just over two weeks to topple ‘Avatar.’
J.J. Abrams’s film, the seventh installment in the Star Wars saga, earned $8 million in the United States on Tuesday, bringing its total to $758.2 million. With less than $2 million separating it from Avatar’s $760.5-million domestic gross, The Force Awakens is certain to claim the top spot on Wednesday, 20 days after its release.
The milestone represents the latest vindication of the Walt Disney Company’s decision to buy Lucasfilm, the owner of Star Wars, for $4 billion in October 2012. Disney spent approximately $200 million making the new film, the first in a trilogy of sequels set 30 years after 1983’s Return of the Jedi.
The Force Awakens, considered perhaps the most anticipated Hollywood release in modern history, reunites Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) as they guide new heroes Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) in the face of rising threats from the dark side of the Force and the remnants of the Empire.
The film has claimed U.S. records with astonishing speed, beginning with an eye-popping $248 million opening weekend and $119 million opening day. It holds 40 box-office records ranging from largest second and third weekends to highest Christmas Day and New Year’s Day earnings. Avatar and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse are tied for second place with eight records each.
The new movie reached $1 billion in just 12 days, one day faster than previous record-holder Jurassic World, which was released in the much more favorable month of June and had a simultaneous opening in China, the world’s second-largest movie market. (The Force Awakens opens in China on Jan. 9.)
Avatar, which proved especially popular overseas, still holds the worldwide box-office crown with a staggering $2.78-billion global gross. Prior to Tuesday’s earnings, The Force Awakens’ global gross stood at $1.55 billion. It is the fourth highest-grossing movie worldwide to date.
Disney’s new Star Wars movie has proven popular with longtime fans, newcomers, and critics alike. It holds a 94 percent “certified fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, tied with A New Hope (1977) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980), which are widely considered the saga’s best installments. Audiences have especially praised the diversity of the film’s cast and the decision to put a young woman at the center of the story.
Disney is producing standalone films between installments of the new trilogy. The first spinoff, Rogue One, will be released on Dec. 16, 2016. Episode VIII is set for release on May 26, 2017; the second standalone film, a young Han Solo adventure, will follow in 2018; and Episode IX will conclude the new trilogy in 2019.
Star Wars is considered the world’s most valuable franchise, with a total of approximately $42 billion in revenue across its various market segments, easily surpassing runner-up Harry Potter, which is worth about $25 billion.
Screengrab via Star Wars/YouTube
Eric Geller is a politics reporter who focuses on cybersecurity, surveillance, encryption, and privacy. A former staff writer at the Daily Dot, Geller joined Politico in June 2016, where he's focused on policymaking at the White House, the Justice Department, the State Department, and the Commerce Department.