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New 'Star Wars' grosses US$120m to break first-day record

Sunday, December 20, 2015 - 10:48
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[Los Angeles] "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" raked in an estimated US$120.5 million in its first full day in US and Canadian theaters, setting an industry record, Disney said Saturday.

The movie is likely to become the highest grossing film in an opening weekend Disney added, while reporting that it had already made US$250 million globally.

The latest Star Wars installment easily overtook "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," which had held the opening-day record at $US91 million.

The highly anticipated space epic already smashed the opening night record in the United States and Canada when it grossed US$57 million Thursday.

It crushed the previous record - US$43.5 million - set in 2011 by the same "Harry Potter" film.

Disney said that the strong showing for the latest "Star Wars," which is playing at 4,134 North American theaters, "keeps us forecasting an opening weekend near $220 million." That would set a record and beat the current opening weekend title holder, "Jurassic World," which premiered earlier this year to US$208.8 million at the box office.

"The Force Awakens," which has had its legions of fans frothing at the mouth ever since its mooted release, has grossed an estimated 129.5 million internationally since it opened overseas on Wednesday, setting records in Britain, Germany, Norway and Sweden.

Analysts predict that the seventh instalment of the iconic space saga, which cost Disney an estimated $200 million to produce, could become the biggest film of all time.

As far as all-time box office sales, two films by James Cameron hold the record - "Avatar" (US$2.78 billion) and "Titanic" (US$2.18 billion).

"The potential for 'The Force Awakens' to ultimately break into the US$2 billion club worldwide is certainly in the realm of possibility," said Paul Dergarabedian, of box office tracker Rentrak.

AFP

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