The Force Awakens Has the Biggest Opening Ever; Can We Admit Movies Starring Women Make Money?


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I know Star Wars is mostly an ensemble, but come on; Rey was totally the movie’s main main protagonist, and it’s had the biggest opening weekend ever, worldwide. Sadly, this probably doesn’t mean an end to all the hand-wringing over how financially “risky” it is to make a movie starring a woman.

It really should, though. Exact numbers are still being tallied, but with a larger-than-expected domestic take, The Force Awakens is set to beat Jurassic World’s $525 million worldwide debut weekend with $528 million, and it has certainly beaten the Jurassic Park sequel’s domestic opening of $208.8 million with a staggering $247 million—made more impressive by the month of release, since December’s previous opening record was only $84 million by The Hobbit.

The movie also nabbed the biggest Thursday preview opening ($57 million), is the first movie to gross over $100 million in a single day domestically, the highest per-theater dollar average for a wide release, and more. Sure, one could argue that the Star Wars sequel could’ve achieved success by showing nothing but an empty desert for 2 hours and that the female protagonist had little to do with the success, but I’d counter that it’s still hard to claim women are liabilities to a movie’s success with this data in mind, even if Rey’s role isn’t what put butts in seats.

It’s also worth noting that the movie’s male protagonist is also Black, so even if someone wants to challenge the idea that Rey is the clear main character, it’s still a win for diverse casting. So, like, stop holding our hands, you know?

(via Variety, image via Disney/Lucasfilm)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.