“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” pulled in an estimated $50 million to $55 million in Thursday-night previews across North America, breaking the $43.5 million record set in 2011 by “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.” That figure could rise as high as $60 million by the time an official tally is released this morning.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, pre-release tracking places the J.J. Abrams film on track to gross between $180 million and $220 million in its opening weekend. That range makes “The Force Awakens” a safe bet to surpass “Jurassic World’s” $208.8 million to seize the biggest domestic opening of all time.
Disney has tried to manage box-office expectations, with studio Chairman Alan Horn cautioning last month that big debuts are rare in December. Indeed, 2012’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is the current record-holder with $84.6 million. However, as THR notes, “Avatar” and “Titanic” — the top-grossing movies of all time — were also holiday releases.
“The Force Awakens,” which raked in $14.1 million Wednesday in a dozen overseas territories, reportedly added another $14.3 million Thursday from the United Kingdom alone. The film opens wide today in 4,135 theaters across North America.
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