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'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Breaks Opening Day Record

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NEW YORK — "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.)

star wars force awakens
Fans dressed as Star Wars characters parade outside a movie theater showing "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Dec. 19, 2015, in Taipei, Taiwan. (CP)

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.

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