Updated from 2:18 p.m. to include information from Fandango in the third paragraph.
After brief snippets throughout the year, fans were given a final taste of what to expect from Disney's (DIS) - Get Report hugely anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens last night during Monday night football.
The latest installment in the Star Wars series is expected to give the film industry a bump in domestic box offices, according to analysts with Morgan Stanley. Analysts forecast the film to make about $500 million its opening weekend alone, driving a 13% year-over-year increase in fourth quarter box office sales. Fourth quarter box office are estimated to hit just under $3 billion in the fourth quarter, according to Morgan Stanley.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens caused traffic on online ticket retailer Fandango to spike seven times its typical peak levels, resulting in record-breaking pre-sales. Pre-sales of the film were so high they were eight times greater than the site's previous first day record holder The Hunger Games, which was released in February 2012, according to a Fandango spokesperson.
Ninety five percent of ticket sales from Movietickets.comhomepage over the past 24 hours was for the new Star Wars film. Right behind that are ticket sales for the marathon showing of the series.
The company released another trailer during halftime of the game, with tickets going on presale during the game. The movie will be released in the U.S. on Dec. 18.
But Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn't the only film expected to draw crowds into the theater, with the final Hunger Games movie and latest James Bond film Spectre both coming out in November.
Paul Dergarabedian, a senior analyst with Rentrak, said audiences should expect to see the December opening weekend record to fall this year with such big movie releases. "This is going to be one of the best fourth quarters of all time, I think," Dergarabedian said. "You've got some of the biggest titles out there, plus with award season coming up, you have award contenders being released."
Here are what Morgan Stanley predicts to be the top ten movies to finish out 2015:
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Projected domestic fourth quarter box office: $506.1 million
The highly touted return of the Star Wars franchise is set to hit theaters Dec. 18. According to analysts, it will lead the pack for new releases in the fourth quarter. Not much is known about the film's plot, with director J.J. Abrams and producer Disney staying tight-tipped about the series' latest film.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
Projected domestic fourth quarter box office: $339.1 million
The final installment of the Hunger Games franchise will hit theaters Nov. 4, with Katniss Everdeen and her legion of followers taking their fight to the Capitol. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1 had a domestic gross of $337.1 million, according to Box Office Mojo, and the franchise's final film is expected to perform equally well.
Projected domestic fourth quarter box office: $236.5 million
Competing directly against the final installment of The Hunger Games franchise, Daniel Craig's latest appearance as the dashing, British spy James Bond is scheduled for a Nov. 6 release. The film is rumored to delve into Bond's past, as he tries to uncover the truth behind SPECTRE, while M fights to keep his spy network alive.
Projected domestic fourth quarter box office: $168.6 million
After its early-October release, The Martian and its lead actor Matt Damon received praise from viewers and critics alike, raking in $54.3 million in its opening weekend. Damon plays an astronaut believed to dead on a far off planet that must use his skills to survive, while his colleagues at NASA try to bring him home safely.
The Good Dinosaur
Projected domestic fourth quarter box office: $167.0 million
The latest in a string of Disney Pixar films, The Good Dinosaur follows a young dinosaur named Arlo as he forms an unlikely friendship with a human boy. The film will be released on Nov. 25.
Hotel Transylvania 2
Projected domestic fourth quarter box office: $108.2 million
Released at the end of September, Hotel Transylvania 2 shows Dracula and his friends working to bring out the inner monster in his half human, half vampire grandson, Mavis. The film generated $48.4 million at the domestic box office in its opening weekend. Its predecessor, Hotel Transylvania, grossed $148.3 million domestically, according to Box Office Mojo.
The Peanuts Movie
Projected domestic fourth quarter box office: $96.1 million
The Peanuts Movie brings beloved characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy back to the big screen for a new adventure. The animated film will hit theaters Nov. 6, competing against both The Hunger Games and Spectre.
Projected domestic fourth quarter box office: $75.3 million
Adapted from the Walter Isaacson's biography of the same name, Steve Jobs brings the life of Apple's innovative and provocative founder to the big screen. The film, which has been widely criticized by Apple, will hit theaters later this week.
Bridge of Spies
Projected domestic fourth quarter box office: $70.5 million
Based on a true story, Bridge of Spies documents the Soviet Union's capture of a U.S. pilot and the unlikely ally, played by Tom Hanks, recruited to negotiate his freedom. The film has received continued praise since its nationwide release on Oct. 16.
Projected domestic fourth quarter box office: $59.2 million
Unstoppable comedy duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler team up again in Sisters, which revolves around two sisters determined to throw one killer party before their parents sell their childhood home. The film will hit theaters Dec. 18, also known as Star Wars' day.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held TK positions in the stocks mentioned.