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Can "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Become the Top Grossing Film of All Time?

Image via Starwars.com

This Friday (Thursday evening for a select few), the movie event of the year will commence. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to hit theatres and the anticipation has continually built up since the release of the first trailer .

Varietyreported yesterday that the seventh installment of the franchise has sold more than $100 million in presale tickets. These numbers have box office tracking suggesting that The Force Awakens will gross more than $200 million opening weekend domestically. Furthermore, the film has the potential to surpass Jurassic World's $208.4 million debut to establish a new record.

The $100 million completely eviscerated the previous presale record holder, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, which accumulated $25 million worth of business in the lead up to its release, per Variety.

To put that figure into more perspective, The Force Awakens' presale totals are more than the Academy Award Winning and critical darling The Social Network grossed domestically during its entire theatrical run.

Because of the hype surrounding the now Disney-owned ( DIS ) property, the newest film of the Star Wars franchise has been the topic of conversation pertaining to its potential of becoming the highest grossing film of all time.

The two charts below show some of films The Force Awakens' must compete against. First, here is a graph of the top grossing films of all time:

Second, here is a graph of the six films in the Star Wars franchise, with inflation taken into account:

The Force Awakens has some stiff competition at the top of the domestic list with James Cameron's Avatar and Titanic claiming the top two spots. This is going to be a difficult task. Box Office hits like Joss Whedon's Marvel's: The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron as well as Colin Trevorrow's Jurassic World - holder of 31 box office records - could not top Mr. Cameron's oddly successful films.

Forbes contributor Scott Mendelson is highly pessimistic about The Force Awakens becoming the highest grossing film of all time. He writes , " Shrek 2 couldn't do it, Spider-Man couldn't do it, TheDark Knight couldn't do it, and TheAvengers couldn't do it. Most importantly, Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace couldn't do it. Remember that one? "

We do, Scott. The film was an atrocity that did not live up to the promise of its fantastic trailer . That is why The Phantom Menace could not surpass either Avatar or Titanic.

In order for The Force Awakens to surpass Mr. Cameron's two biggest films, it needs to break the records of the top grossing film of all time during its third, fourth, fifth, and all the way through the twelfth weeks during its theatrical run. The current holders for these records are none other than Avatar and Titanic.

The Force Awakens is in the right environment to succeed and earn the title of the top grossing film of all time. Being released during the holiday season is one of the best times for films to accumulate revenue, primarily due to schools being off and the weather restricting what individuals can do. Keep in mind that both Avatar and Titanic were also released during the holidays - Avatar being December 18 th and Titanic being December 19 th .

I believe that The Force Awakens can achieve the grossing crown only if the film is good. Despite my personal feelings for Avatar and Titanic, they have Rotten Tomatoes scores of 83% and 88% respectively. People enjoyed watching these two films. I have no doubts that The Force Awakens will be one of the best films of the year. We just have to wait to see if we are going to be witnessing history.

Finally our analysts have discussed how Star Wars may revitalized Disney's movie division after some mixed results in recent years. Watch our video to see their thoughts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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