Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become the top-earning movie of all time in North America after unseating Avatar, Disney says.
According to Disney studio, the JJ Abrams movie has passed the $760.5 million taken by Avatar over its lifetime, but has yet to give official figures.
In December 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens became the fastest film to take $1 billion at the global box office.
However, Avatar, which was released in 2009, still holds the global record.
Avatar took $2.8 billion across the world, as compared to The Force Awakens worldwide earnings of $1.6 billion to date.
The Force Awakens is already the fourth highest-grossing global movie of all time after just three weeks in release, but analysts believe it will have to play well in China, where it opens on January 9, to beat the record set by Avatar.
Disney thanked its fans for helping it clinch the domestic record, saying that without them “there is no Star Wars.”
“There has indeed been an awakening – and it’s all thanks to you,” Disney said, in a statement released on January 6.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens returns the action to “a galaxy far, far away” some 30 years on from the action of 1983’s Return of the Jedi.
The movie, which reunites the original trilogy stars, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill alongside newcomers including Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, scored the biggest US Christmas Day box office takings in history with $49.3 million.
The Force Awakens also smashed the record for the biggest box office debut weekend globally – when it opened on December 16, in most countries – with ticket sales of $529 million.
The new Star Wars movie is on course to smash the record for the biggest box office debut weekend in North America, Disney has said.
Ticket sales are estimated to have made $238 million – the previous record was held by Jurassic World, which took $208.8 million in June.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has taken an estimated $517 million globally in three days.
That is just behind Jurassic World, which broke the record with $525 million.
Jurassic World had the advantage of opening in China on the same weekend it opened everywhere else, whereas The Force Awakens will not debut in the world’s second biggest cinema-going territory until January 9.
The Force Awakens also set a new opening night record in the US and Canada.
It made $57 million on Thursday night – beating the previous record of $43.5 million held by Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011.
Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement: “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.”
The new Star Wars movie also set a new opening day box office record in the UK and Ireland.
Analysts say the space saga could become the biggest selling movie of all time.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens returns to “a galaxy far, far away” some 30 years on from the action of 1983’s Return of the Jedi.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens final trailer has debuted online and has been met with considerable acclaim.
The seventh Star Wars movie reunites original stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill. They are joined by newcomers Daisy Ridley and John Boyega.
The new trailer gives little away to the plot of the movie but the central character appears to be Rey – played by Daisy Ridley who, it’s been speculated, is the daughter of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher – both seen in character as Han Solo and Princess Leia.
Directed by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens picks up three decades after the events of Return of the Jedi, released in 1983.
The new villain of the movie, Kylo Ren – played by Adam Driver – also features in the trailer as he appears to address the misshapen mask of the trilogy’s original antagonist Darth Vader.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer has amassed more than 40 million YouTube views in 72 hours.
The newly released trailer has also inspired a series of spoofs, including a “George Lucas edition”, which pokes fun at the director’s poorly received prequels.
The parody – viewed nearly four million times – was created by Michael Shanks and is cluttered with extra CGI and a voice-over about trade negotiations.
A Lego version of the trailer appeared within 24 hours of the original.
Pieced together brick by brick and shot by shot, the video recreates shots of a rolling R2 droid and the Millennium Falcon.
The animator also comes up with an ingenious way of replicating the new three-pronged lightsaber.
It has so far been seen two million times.
A third parody takes aim at director JJ Abrams, who has been hired to oversee the renewal of the sci-fi franchise.
Noting his fondness for lens flare (the director took the unusual step of apologizing for over-using the effect in his Star Trek films) it adds glaring reflections to every shining surface in the trailer.
The official teaser trailer – the first look at a film that is not out for another year – has generated reams of media coverage.
It opens with a simple shot of the desert and a mysterious voice (now confirmed to be Andy Serkis) intoning: “There has been an awakening.”
John Boyega then bursts cartoonishly into frame, wearing the suit of a Storm Trooper.
We also see newcomer Daisy Ridley as the film’s heroine and Oscar Isaac as an X-Wing pilot, as well as a long tracking shot of the Millennium Falcon.
The seventh episode of the Star Wars universe, The Force Awakens is due for release in December 2015.
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