Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn is playing the role of cautiously optimistic watcher as Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits the box office tracking reports Tuesday. The film has had huge buzz, naturally, especially after the second 90-second trailer, released in April 2015, saw Disney stock's overall valuation raise by $2 billion in a 24-hour period.
Before tracking, many box office watchers have predicted not just a record opening weekend (that record was set just this past June by Jurassic World), but possibly crossing as high as the $300 million range, which would best the current record by more than 90 million dollars. To put that in even more perspective, the final Hunger Games movie opened this weekend to just over $100 million, and the weekend before Christmas is not traditionally a massive box office draw.
Because of that, Horn is trying to caution that the movie is entering "uncharted territory, making it even more difficult than usual to predict what the opening weekend will be, especially this far out from release with the bulk of our campaign ahead of us," he told THR.
He mentioned the current box office record for December is only $85 million, 2012's first Hobbit film, but Avatar, the highest box office draw overall, opened in December with only $77 million.
At this point, it would be surprising for the film to not set the record - remember, it has over $54 million in advanced sales, and Horn is just doing the old "CYA" here.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens December 18, 2015.