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When Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuts on December 18, 2015 in domestic theaters, it will debut to “around 3,900” screens, according to BoxOffice. That number may not mean much to the casual fan, but to industry trackers it’s surprisingly low.
To put the number of screens into context, at 3,900 it would come in as the #11 widest release of the year. Minions topped the year with 4,301 screens at opening the week after 4th of July. Avengers: Age of Ultron and Jurassic World also came in at 4,276 and 4,275 respectively. Mockingjay Part 2, Furious 7, Fantastic Four, Tomorrowland, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Inside Out, and Spectre (3,929) round out the top ten. That’s three films distributed by Buena Vista, Disney’s distribution arm handling Star Wars, and every other film outside of Minions is a big-budget action film aimed squarely at the same audience as The Force Awakens. Now, they say “around 3,900,” so that could put this movie over the last one or two, but it’s still nowhere near what was expected.