“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” officially hit theaters today, and it has already soared to a record at the box office.
USA Today reports that the movie took in a record $57 million in box office receipts for Thursday night previews, based on studio estimates. The previous record for Thursday previews was “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2,” the finale of the Harry Potter film franchise, which brought in $43.5 million in July 2011, based on Rentrak data.
“Fans around the country, many wearing festive ‘Star Wars’ costumes, crowded into long sold-out preview screenings, which began after 7 p.m. Thursday,” the story notes.
Paul Dergarabedian, box office office analyst for Rentrak, is quoted in the report saying: “I knew ‘The Force Awakens’ could make $50 million, but I didn’t think it would be this big. We’re in uncharted territory, especially in December.”