Star Wars breaks China box office record, studio says

From left to right: JJ Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Daisy Ridley, and John Boyega at the premiere of the movie in Shanghai Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Opening later in China allowed the film's stars to attend more promotional events there

The latest Star Wars film has taken $53m (£36.5m) in ticket sales on its first weekend in China - the country's highest ever opening weekend.

Globally, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become the third most commercially successful film in history, according to the Walt Disney studio.

Titanic, released in 1997, is number two and 2009's Avatar is top, with a total box office take of $2.8bn.

The film was released in China a month after its global release.

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Image copyright AP
Image caption Some die-hard fans showed up in costume to film showings

Disney, owners of the intergalactic adventure franchise, have focussed considerable marketing effort on China, even going as far as putting 500 Stormtroopers on the Great Wall of China for an event.

It is the first episode many Chinese have seen, as the original Star Wars was not released in China at the time.

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