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'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' crosses $250 million globally; Disney forecasts record weekend

Fans dressed as Star Wars characters parade outside a movie theater showing "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, in Taipei, Taiwan.
Image Credit: AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying
December 19, 2015 - 6:30 PM

NEW YORK, N.Y. - "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has already surpassed $100 million in North America and $250 million globally, setting it up for a record-breaking weekend.

The Walt Disney Co. on Saturday said the film made an estimated $120.5 million from Thursday night previews and opening day Friday. That smashes the previous opening day record of $91.1 million, set by 2011's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2." (Studios count Thursday night grosses as part of opening day.)

Disney is projecting a domestic weekend total of around $220 million, which would surpass the record $208.8 million of "Jurassic World." It's a type of release never before seen in December, where the previous top opening was 2012's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" with $84.6 million. The latest "Star Wars" is playing in 4,134 North American theatres, the widest December release ever.

But "The Force Awakens" is riding a wave of hype, nostalgia and positive reviews from critics and fans alike. J.J. Abrams' seventh chapter in George Lucas' saga has earned an A CinemaScore from moviegoers who have flooded theatres nationwide. Some $100 million in advance tickets were sold for the movie's Thursday night debut.

Since beginning its overseas rollout Wednesday, "The Force Awakens" has made an estimated $129.5 million internationally.

"Jurassic World," an unexpected sensation in June, also holds the global weekend opening record with $524.9 million, a number "The Force Awakens" could well exceed.

News from © The Associated Press, 2015
The Associated Press

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