'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' has become the highest-grossing movie domestically of all time

'Force' is now the highest-grossing film domestically without adjusting for inflation. It has done so in a marketplace that is far different than when, for example, past record-holder 'Titanic' arrived on the scene.

Disney/Lucasfilm/AP
'The Force Awakens' stars Adam Driver.

The Na’vi were no match for the Jedi. 

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has now become the highest-grossing movie domestically of all time without adjusting for inflation, beating “Avatar.” “Force” has done so after coming out less than three weeks ago. 

Some of the other movies “Force” has topped in order to secure this record include “Titanic” and “Jurassic World,” which like “Force” was released this year. 

If domestic movie grosses are adjusted for inflation, older titles like “Gone With the Wind” and the original “Star Wars” film still reign supreme. 

“Force” has already taken the title of highest-grossing movie of all time, so those at Disney most likely aren’t worrying too much about the months ahead. But it will be interesting to see how the box office fortunes of “Force” compare to, for example, “Titanic,” a previous record-holder.

The last several years have shown a shift in thinking about movie release dates. Traditionally, the beginning of the year is a less full time for movies than, for example, December, in which lots of hopeful Oscar contenders are released. 

In past thinking, the big times of the year for movies were the summer blockbuster movie season and November and December.

To some extent, that is still true. Recently, however, some studios have hit it big by releasing movies in months in which there was little competition. For example, when the live-action “Alice in Wonderland” film came out in 2010, it was released in March, a traditionally quieter time at the multiplex, and did incredibly well. “Oz the Great and Powerful” did well in March the next year, too. And in 2014, the animated film “The Lego Movie” became a blockbuster after having been released in February. 

Studios may be deciding that there is much to possibly be gained from releasing a film when there is less competition rather than the crowded summer or winter seasons. 

So how will this affect “Force”? While it’s already become the highest-grossing movie of all time, its trajectory over the next few months may be quite different from that of another movie that held the record in its day: “Titanic.” 

When “Titanic” came out, it held the box office top spot through the first few months of 1998 after having been released the previous December. Its competition did fine, but no other movie would hit $100 million until May, when the blockbuster season started and movies like “Deep Impact” and “Godzilla” arrived on the scene.   

By contrast, “Force” will face a movie industry where high-profile films are being released in the first months of the year. January will most likely be quiet, but superhero movie “Deadpool” isn’t coming out during the summer blockbuster season – it’s set to be released in mid-February, which was once a quieter time in movies apart from romantic comedies tied to Valentine’s Day.

And “Batman v Superman,” one of studio Warner Bros.’ most high-profile offerings, is coming out in March.

The movie season is now truly 12 months (well, mostly – January, to name one, can still be fairly quiet). “Force” has already taken the title, but its fortunes could be different than previous highest-grossing films as it heads into 2016.

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