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“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” sets box office records with a $529,000,000 worldwide opening

STar Wars girl
Well, this won’t really surprise anybody, but Star Wars: The Force Awakens did really well this weekend. Yes, with a domestic opening at the box office of $247,000,000 (not to mention an A Cinemascore), audiences throughout the United States joined critics in worshipping this return to the Star Wars saga. Director J.J. Abrams and company recaptured what was so special about this franchise, and in turn, folks willingly forked over their money for multiple viewings of the film. I’ll finally reveal my thoughts on the movie, as well as talk a bit about where it likely will appeal to Oscar voters. So, without further delay…let’s go ahead and do it!

First up, here’s just how good the film did. Right now, it’s expected to have made $247,000,000 domestically at the box office (just updated), which easily surpasses Jurassic World for the biggest opening weekend of all time stateside. A global opening of $529,000,000 also is a new record (just updated as well), surpassing the dinosaurs. For those wondering, the dinosaur flick is still tops in terms of foreign opening weekends, but not by that much, and only because China still hasn’t gotten Star Wars. It’s obviously the biggest December and Holiday Season opening as well, with the all time domestic and worldwide records definitely in jeopardy. Jurassic World will probably be beaten, with Titanic and perhaps even Avatar’s numbers set to fall as well. It won’t be easy, but if any juggernaut can do it, it’ll be Star Wars.

In case you’re somehow unaware, a bit quickly on The Force Awakens. Essentially, this is the latest sequel in the epic Star Wars franchise, marking the seventh installment overall. Once again, it’s good versus evil in space, with the Empire now the First Order and the Rebel Alliance now the Resistance in an adventure set after the events of Return of the Jedi, which was Episode VI in this saga. Here, we follow a scavenger without a family name Rey (Daisy Ridley), a stormtrooper abandoning his post named Finn (John Boyega), an X-Wing pilot named Poe (Oscar Isaac), and the evil Jedi Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance. The aforementioned Abrams co-writes with Michael Arndt and Lawrence Kasdan, while the returning players here include the big three of Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill (yes, he’s in it), along with Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Warwick Davis, and Peter Mayhew. They join newcomers like Gwendoline Christie, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Max von Sydow, and more in telling this new story. Behind the scenes, John Williams again provides the score, while the cinematography is by Dan Mindel.

Star Wars Space Craft

Ladies and gentlemen, I loved this flick. It captures everything that I loved about the original three installments, bringing me right back to my childhood. With ease, it’s way better than the prequels, and if it’s certainly not an instant classic like A New Hope or The Empire Strikes Back, it’s more or less already on the level of Return of the Jedi, which is no small achievement. Seeing old heroes is wonderful, for sure, but the big success here is we’re already in love with our new heroes, setting the stage for some wonderful new adventures to come. I’m sold and can’t wait for the next one in two short years, not counting the anthology story next year, of course…

Awards wise, I’m not sure this has a realistic chance in the main categories, but it should do very well in the technical ones. Regardless, Disney has begun a large scale campaign, hoping for nominations in Best Picture, Best Director (for Abrams), Best Actor (for Boyega and Ford), Best Actress (for Ridley), Best Supporting Actor (for Daniels, Driver, Gleeson, Hamill, Isaac, and Serkis), Best Supporting Actress (for Fisher and Nyong’o), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Abrams, Arndt, and Kasdan), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. There’s a small chance for a nomination in Picture, but most likely this will be a film that dominates in the tech categories, leading to not just nominations, but wins as well.

Burca STar Wars

Overall, this new Star Wars movie is outstanding and a wonderful way to wrap up 2015. It’s going to continue to set box office records, as well as possibly make a push for Academy Award consideration. Again, I think it’s limited in terms of Oscar prospects to merely the tech fields, but hey, I suppose anything is possible. We’ll just have to sit tight and watch how the flick does with the upcoming precursors. If the guilds especially back it, we might have a whole other situation on our hands. Regardless, this is a fantastic film and should be something you race out and see. Trust me, it somehow lives up to the hype, and then some…

Stay tuned to see how Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues to do at the box office, as well as during the rest of the awards season!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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