Everyone knew Star Wars: The Force Awakens would be a monster, and it has not disappointed. In fact, it might just be even bigger than anticipated…if you can believe that. After an explosive arrival saw it shatter a bunch of records, the movie has officially slipped past James Cameron’s Avatar to become the new all-time domestic box office champ.
It took just 20 freakin’ days.
For comparison, Avatar was also released on December 18th back in 2009 and took until February 2nd to pass the previous record, Cameron’s historical epic Titanic‘s $600.6 million mark, on its way to a $749.7 initial total. Both Titanic and Avatar have been re-released since those original release numbers, bringing their domestic totals to $658.6 million and $760.5 million respectively. Titanic, if interested, was in theaters a lengthy nine months to set the record back in 1997-1998 on its way to becoming the first film to ever make $1 billion worldwide.
Speaking of worldwide Avatar is still the record holder there, and The Force Awakens still has quite a lot of work to do still if it wants to claim that prize. Avatar made $2 billion in foreign markets to bring its grand total to $2.7 billion globally, passing (once again) previous record holder Titanic‘s $2.1 billion worldwide mark.
The Force Awakens currently sits at around $1.5 billion total, so to become the all-time worldwide champ it still needs to make about $1.2 billion foreign. With it finally being released in China later this week, you can expect to see that total rise by a significant amount in the next week or two.
While movies these days do have inflation on their side, the one real problem they face in attempting to break these box office records is that they’re not in theaters nearly as long as older movies were. As mentioned above, Titanic was in theaters long enough for someone to create a tiny human when it set the record back in the ’90s. Jurassic World, a recent juggernaut that surprised all by finishing third all-time worldwide and fourth all-time domestically, was released in theaters in June of last year and was available on DVD and Blu-ray just four short months later. Titanic hit theaters on December 19th of 1997 and wasn’t released on VHS (it’s like a Blu-ray you had to rewind, kids) until September of ’98, while it was still making money in theaters.