Star Wars: The Force Awakens shatters Australian opening weekend record

21 December, 2015 by Brian Karlovsky

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has easily broken the Australian all time top grossing weekend record taking more than $27 million at the box office.

The Disney/Lucas Films epic beat previous record holder, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ($18.3 million) by almost $10 million off the  back of record breaking pre-sales after an enormous build up, according to Rentrak estimates.

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Shown on 313 screens, the film took 9.4 million on its opening day. On Friday it raked in $5.1 million, while Saturday and Sunday both delivered upwards of $6 million at the box office.

A Hoyts' spokesperson told IF the film had surpassed the previous opening day record, held by the final instalment of Harry Potter, by 33 per cent.

However, the all time box office record of $115 million, held by James Cameron's Avatar, is still a long way off.

The impact of Disney's monolithic release on competing tentpole films Hunger Games: Mockingjay and Spectre has has been stark – as expected.

Roadshow's Hunger Games plunged 62 per cent to $874,000, taking its accumulative total to $27 million, while the latest James Bond flick fell 64 per cent to $649,000, lifting its total to almost $33 million.

Sony animation, Hotel Transylvania 2, pipped both franchises for second spot collecting $1.2 million on 291 screens in its fourth week.

Subtitled Bollywood films Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani both entered the top ten in their first week in fifth and eight positions respectively.

While Chinese release Mojin: The Lost Legend brought the tally of subtitled international films in the top ten Austrailan box office to three.

Rohit Shetty's Dilwale, which follows two competing families as they meet again after a 15-year separation, took more than $487,000 on just 39 screens.

This put it in fifth spot, ahead of the Ryan Coogler directed Creed, which amassed $470,872 and The Dressmaker, which took another $331, 582.

The Dressmaker has now moved past The Man from Snowy River ($17.228 million) on the all time Australian box office rankings with an accumulated total of $17.758 million. 

Jonathan Levine's twisted Christmas fable, The Night Before, starring Seth Rogan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie dropped 63 per cent, taking $260,995 ($2.414 million accumulative total).

Wanda Pictures' Chinese blockbuster, Mojin: The Lost Legend, opened with a respectable performance at the box office taking more than $200,000 and in the process pushed Ron Howard's whaling drama, In the Heart of the Sea out of the top ten.

The Wuershan directed film, which stars Angelababy, Qi Shu, Kun Chen and Bo Huang, follows famous tomb explorer Hu Bayi.

Set in the 90s, Bayi decides to retire from tomb raiding with his fiance Shirley when he discovers his supposedly long-dead first love, Ding Shitian, is still alive.

The Dressmaker has continued its ascension up the all time Australian box office rankings passing $17 million in its seventh week.

Jocelyn Moorhouse's dramedy took $559,823 (according to Rentrak's estimates) on 248 screens, taking its accumulative box office to $17.1 million.

This takes it past Roadshow's 1994 films Muriel's Wedding ($15.765 million) and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert ($16.459 million).

According to Screen Australia figures, The Dressmaker is set to leapfrog 1982 film The Man From Snowy River (17.228 million) and 2000 film The Dish (17.999 million).

But it has a way to go to crack the top ten, with Red Dog at $21.467 million and Mad Max: Fury Road at 21.675 million.

In its fourth week, Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 raked in $1.9 million, giving it top spot, albeit with a 30 per cent decline on its previous week.

This brings its tally to $25.445 million in its last week before the monster release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 17.

Disney have a good chance of breaking the all time top grossing weekend record with the release of the seventh instalment of the Star Wars' saga.

It needs to beat Warner Bros' Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which collected $18,364 million in its July 2011 release.

Spectre amassed $1.6 million – a drop of 22 per cent – in its fifth week, giving it an accumulative total of $31.595 million.

Sony's 3D animated fantasy-comedy Hotel Transylvania 2 continued strongly with $1.3 million, a drop of seven per cent on 286 screens (accumulated total: $6.346 million).

The Ryan Coogler directed, Creed, fought hard to maintain fourth place in its third week, taking just over a million and bumping its total box office past $5 million.

Jonathan Levine's twisted Christmas fable, The Night Before, starring Seth Rogan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie moved up to fifth spot in its second week with $666,697 – a drop of 14 per cent.

While the Ron Howard directed whaling drama, In the Heart of Sea, starring Chris Hemsworth, has continued its medicore run with $625,308 in its second week, a drop of 29 per cent.

Disney animation, The Good Dinosaur, held off holiday family flick, Love the Coopers, to claim eighth place with $280,000 on 192 screens, while Steven Spielberg's cold war drama, Bridge of Spies, rounded out the top ten with just more than $120,000, taking its tally to a respectable $7.2 million.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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