Star Wars: The Force Awakens smashes global box office record
23 December 2015
The record for the biggest box office debut weekend globally, has been smashed by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with ticket sales of $529m (£355m).
Jurassic World has set the previous record in June with $525m (£352m).
With a record-breaking $248m (£167m) in the US and Canada, the seventh instalment of the nearly 40-year-old space saga opened
Another achievement for JJ Abrams' film is 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.
However it cannot claim to have had the biggest opening ever in British and Irish cinemas. That is a record currently held by the most recent James Bond film, Spectre.
That film's £41m first-week tally. Still, as the film opened on a Monday, it was based on seven days of takings.
A new opening night record in the US and Canada was set by the new Star Wars film.
On Thursday night, The Force Awakens made $57m (£38.3m), beating the previous record of $43.5m (£29.2m) held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
According to analysts, 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.
Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said:"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,"