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Star Wars sets North America opening weekend record with US$238m
[LOS ANGELES] Star Wars: The Force Awakens set a record for the highest-grossing opening weekend at the US and Canadian box office with an estimated US$238 million in sales, industry monitor Rentrak said Sunday.
The figure shatters the previous record, which was set by Jurassic World earlier this year when it premiered to US$208.8 million.
Globally, the latest Star Wars space epic raked in an estimated US$517 million, falling in second behind Jurassic World, which earned US$524.9 million worldwide in its first weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The highly anticipated Force Awakens has blazed a record-setting trail since its domestic debut Thursday, breaking the record for highest-grossing domestic opening night with US$57 million and biggest single-day sales on Friday with US$120.5 million.
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 Force Awakens picks up the intergalactic story of good versus evil 30 years on from The Return Of The Jedi, the last episode of the original trilogy.
The trio of heroes who appeared in the first of the blockbusters in 1977 - smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), leader of the rebel alliance, and her twin brother Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) - are all back and played by the actors that Star Wars first made famous.
The film is being screened in 4,134 theatres in the United States and Canada, according to Rentrak.