DETROIT (WWJ) – The Force is strong with Star Wars fans Thursday night as the much-anticipated Episode VII “The Force Awakens” hits movie screens across the county.

It’s clear the film will make big money at the box office — but just how big will it be?

“I think it has the chance to be a single-day biggest ever, weekend ever, and, you know, film ever,” said marketing expert Mike Bernacchi, a professor at University of Detroit Mercy.

He pointed out that Disney didn’t really need to spend that much promoting the latest Star Wars movie because it’s getting so much free coverage on radio, TV, and social media.

“Truth is, they didn’t have to spend a nickel. I think they just did it so the industry wouldn’t be t’ed at them that they spend nothing,” Bernacchi said. “I mean, it’s great. Everybody has Star Wars night. How can you do any better than that?”

[Detroit-Area Theater Chain To Play New ‘Star Wars’ Film For 30 Hours Straight]

Bernacchi said Star Wars is one of those rare movie franchises that has mass appeal.

“Of course, the tech effects are great, etc. , people love to talk about it,” Bernacchi said.

“And I think one of the keys is that it is inter-generational. You can get generations talking about this — you know, three generations at least! You don’t need anything more.”

For those who want to see the film right away, the Thursday night showings are pretty much sold out across metro Detroit. However, a scan of local theater websites found there were still tickets available at various venues for Friday and Saturday showings. To be safe, though, movie-goers will want to buy their tickets ahead of time online.

[FIRST REVIEW: Star Wars VII ‘The Force Awakens’ Lives Up To The Hype *NO SPOILERS*]


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