Star Wars Sets New Box Office Record, Might Become Highest Grossing Film Ever

[Digest: Forbes; Box Office Mojo; The Guardian]

As expected, Star Wars: The Force Awakens blasted its way past its box office competition at hyperspeed, holding the top spot with an estimated $238 million in weekend ticket sales.

Credit: Source.

The film vaporized a multitude of records set by previous box office juggernauts, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, Jurassic World, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Though it appears Jurassic World will hold on to its “Largest Saturday” title, The Force Awakens crushed records for ticket sales in December on a single day and December opening weekend sales. The Force Awakens also easily snatched the title of fastest film to earn $100 million -- what took Jurassic World two days, Star Wars did in just one.

It is likely that the latest Star Wars installment will unseat Avatar as the largest all-time grossing film; 

Avatar’s record is currently $2.8 billion worldwide. The Force Awakens is poised to capture that title, thanks in no small part to the increased power of China's box office. James Cameron’s science fiction epic took in about $204 million in China; J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars has the potential to double that figure.

A massive effort is underway to help The Force Awakens achieve its goals abroad, and a great deal of that effort is being focused in China. All six Star Wars films have recently been made available for online streaming there, and Disney sent an actual First Order batallion to the Great Wall. Five hundred white-armored stormtroopers heralded the highly anticipated global release of a trailer for the film in October by posing for a stunning far-East photo-op.

One unanticipated result of The Force Awakens’ success has been an increase in ticket sales for other films. 20th Century Fox took a chance and actually moved up the release of its Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel, The Road Chip, to align with opening weekend for The Force Awakens. The movie came in second this weekend, with domestic sales totalling about $14.4 million.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s newest collaboration, came in third. Sisters, might not have done as well as Baby Mama, but they did manage to pull in a respectable $4.92 million on Friday and finished out the weekend at $13.4 million.

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Late last month, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued one of these orders, urging his constituents to only leave their houses for necessary errands, such as getting groceries or filling prescriptions.

There's just one problem: Wisconsin's elections are scheduled for April 7. In addition to the Presidential primaries, Wisconsinites will vote for judicial positions, school board seats, and thousands of other offices.

The Democratic and Republican National Committees took the case to the Supreme Court, with Democrats arguing that the deadline for mailing absentee ballots should be extended by a week, to April 13, in order to facilitate voting from home.

With a Wisconsin Supreme Court Seat up for grabs on Tuesday, Republicans predictably made the case for why as few people as possible should be permitted to vote. It was a continuation of Wisconsin GOP efforts to suppress the vote, which included rejecting a demand from Governor Evers to automatically mail an absentee ballot to every resident.

The Republican majority in United States Supreme Court sided with the RNC and the election in Wisconsin will carry on as scheduled. This is despite Wisconsin being unprepared for the surge in absentee ballot requests, which leapt from a typical 250,000 to over 1.2 million in reaction to the virus. Thousands of these voters won't even receive these ballots until after the election, thereby preventing them from exercising their right to vote.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a blistering dissent to the majority's decision, saying:

"Either [voters] will have to brave the polls, endangering their own and others' safety. Or they will lose their right to vote, through no fault of their own. That is a matter of utmost importance — to the constitutional rights of Wisconsin's citizens, the integrity of the State's election process, and in this most extraordinary time, the health of the Nation."

She was flabbergasted that her more conservative colleagues didn't think a global pandemic and national crisis was enough to justify emergency policies ensuring Wisconsinites their right to vote:

"The Court's suggestion that the current situation is not 'substantially different' from 'an ordinary
election' boggles the mind...Now, under this Court's order, tens of thousands of absentee voters, unlikely to receive their ballots in time to cast them, will be left quite literally without a vote."

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The Republican efforts indicated to some that the party cares more about maintaining control than preserving lives.

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In a bit of devastating irony, the Supreme Court voted remotely when making its decision.

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