If you thought Jurassic World‘s record-stomping box office opening this summer was untouchable, think again. While the dinosaur-centric franchise’s most recent installment opened at a massive $208.8 million in the U.S., analysts tell Deadline that Star Wars: The Force Awakens could reach between $175 million to $220 million stateside, as well as topping Jurassic World‘s overseas debut record of $316.7 million.
Sure, everyone already assumed that The Force Awakens would be, to borrow a phrase, huge! As what is arguably the most iconic film franchise ever, it’s a given that fans will show up in droves to enjoy the start of the next trilogy. (It helps, of course, that the stars of the original franchise will be back.) On top of the already high-level excitement, though, Disney has positioned the film well for a record-breaking opening.
The box office debut of The Force Awakens will mark the widest December release ever. Over 4,100 U.S. theaters are set to show the film — including hundreds of Imax screens and thousands of 3D locations, among other premium screens — according to THR. Competition is also fairly light over opening weekend, with many rival films waiting till Christmas to open, as Deadline points out. As of a few weeks ago, analysts were already predicting that presales alone would reach $100 million by now.
The buzz over the upcoming film has been loud, to say the least, as shown by the fact that some 128 million people viewed the first trailer within the first 24 hours of its release. On top of that, fans and companies alike have been adding to the furor; the franchise has been the subject of numerous fan-created videos, and even Google has the fever, launching a Star Wars promo at the end of November.
We’ll have to wait and see if The Force Awakens does indeed top Jurassic World‘s opening record, but we can say that it’d be Christmas come early for Disney and Lucasfilm.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18.