It was expected, but it’s still mind-boggling.
Not even two months into its release, Star Wars: The Force Awakens crossed the once unimaginable $900 million threshold at the domestic box office over the weekend. Finishing Sunday with a $906 million North American total, the unstoppable blockbuster has far surpassed the previous $760.5 million benchmark set by 2009’s Avatar.
Yet despite also joining James Cameron‘s Pandora fantasy in the exclusive $2 Billion Worldwide Club (along with Cameron’s Titanic haul of $2.2 billion), The Force Awakens – which reached $2 billion in a scant 53 days – is still far short of Avatar‘s $2.8 billion in global receipts.
With its North American box office in noticeable decline (its take over the first weekend of February was $6.8 million), The Force Awakens is a long shot to become the first ever $1 billion movie in North America – but another $94 million isn’t necessarily impossible either, especially if Disney keeps it around for awhile in theaters. Its next biggest blockbuster competition isn’t until the end of March when Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice finally drops.
The harder obstacle is Avatar‘s global title. Even if Episode VII eeks out $1 billion domestically, adding another $700 million-plus to its international ticket sales seems like a real long shot at this point. Again, not impossible, but the trajectory just doesn’t appear to be there – unless, of course, The Force is a bit stronger than conventional wisdom (and current trends) would suggest.