Entertainment & Arts

Star Wars: The Force Awakens smashes global box office record

John Boyega in Star Wars Image copyright Disney/Lucasfilm
Image caption British star John Boyega has a lead role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has smashed the record for the biggest box office debut weekend globally, with ticket sales of $529m (£355m).

The previous record, $525m (£352m), was set by Jurassic World in June.

The seventh instalment of the nearly 40-year-old space saga opened with a record-breaking $248m (£167m) in the US and Canada.

JJ Abrams' film has also achieved the largest four-day weekend total in British and Irish cinemas with £34m.

That sum is almost 28 times more than its nearest rival, the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler comedy Sisters with £1.2m.

The Force Awakens' takings were almost £15m more than the £19.3m that saw Jurassic World claim the record for the largest four-day weekend in the UK and Ireland earlier this year.

But it cannot claim to have had the biggest opening ever in British and Irish cinemas - a record currently held by the most recent James Bond film, Spectre.

That film's £41m first-week tally, however, was based on seven days of takings as the film opened on a Monday.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Star Wars European premiere took place in London last week

The new Star Wars film also set a new opening night record in the US and Canada.

The Force Awakens made $57m (£38.3m) on Thursday night, beating the previous record of $43.5m (£29.2m) held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Analysts say the space saga could become the biggest-selling movie of all time.

The latest film returns to "a galaxy far, far away" some 30 years on from the action of 1983's Return of the Jedi.

It sees original trilogy stars Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher reprise their Han Solo and Princess Leia roles alongside younger franchise newcomers.

"Our sole focus has been creating a film that delivers that one-of-a-kind Star Wars experience, and director JJ Abrams, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and the Lucasfilm team have outdone themselves," Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said.

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