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.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 has held onto the top spot at the North American box office, despite competition from Pixar’s new release, The Good Dinosaur.
The final movie in the Hunger Games series took $51.6 million on its second weekend in North American cinemas.
The Good Dinosaur took only $39.2 million after five days from its release.
Creed, a continuation of the Sylvester Stallone Rocky series, opened in third place with a $30.1 million haul.
Both The Good Dinosaur and Creed opened in cinemas on November 25 to take advantage of Thanksgiving holiday.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay– Part 2, the final outing for Jennifer Lawrence’s futuristic tyranny-battling Katniss Everdeen character, has now made more than $440 million worldwide.
However, its 10-day takings in North America – which currently stand at just short of $200 million – are $25 million down on what its immediate predecessor had grossed at the same point in its release one year ago, according to the Box Office Mojo site.
The Good Dinosaur, Pixar’s second release of 2015, tells of a friendship between an Apatosaurus and an infant caveman in an alternate reality in which dinosaurs have not become extinct.
The movie, which had a troubled production history, had the third lowest North American opening in the company’s history, with only A Bug’s Life and Toy Story 2 faring less well with what were far more limited debuts in comparison.
Creed, in which Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa character becomes the trainer to the son of his former adversary Apollo Creed, attracted an audience primarily made up of males aged 25 and over.
SPECTRE, the latest entry in the James Bond series, is ranked fourth in this week’s chart, with The Peanuts Movie charting in fifth place.
North American box office Top 5:
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 – $51.6 million
Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 has topped the North American box office on its opening weekend, taking $101 million.
However, it was the quietest first weekend for the series, which began in 2012.
The first movie in the series took $152.5 million, the second $158.1 million and 2014’s Mockingjay– Part 1, $121.9 million.
So far, there have been only 34 movies in history to open at more than $100 million and each Hunger Games film has made it into that elite group.
Spectre was second on this week’s US box office chart, with $14. 6 million, followed by The Peanuts Movie with $12.8 million.
Seth Rogen’s comedy The Night Before opened in fourth spot, with $10.1 million, while Julia Roberts’ thriller The Secret in Their Eyes, a remake of the Oscar-winning Argentinean movie, debuted with $6.6 million.
The weekend was down 11% from last year but fans are waiting for Star Wars: The Force Awakens which opens on December 18.
North American box office Top 5:
1.The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 – $101 million
Spectre has continued to top the North American box office in its second week of release.
The 24th James Bond movie, starring Daniel Craig, made $35.4 million between November 13 and 15, according to estimates.
The Peanuts Movie held firm at No 2, with takings of $24.2 million.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt drama By the Sea failed to make a splash, taking just $95,440 at 10 screens.
The European art house film stars the real-life couple as a husband and wife struggling to cope in the aftermath of a trauma. The movie was also directed by Angelina Jolie – her third time at the helm of a movie – and the actress also wrote the script.
By the Sea, which marks the first time Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have appeared together on the big screen since Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 2005, has been generally panned by critics.
Despite its poor takings, By the Sea’s limited release is thought unlikely to hurt its film company, Universal, too much since it was made for a relatively modest budget of $10 million.
Spectre‘s takings fell 50% in its second weekend, bringing its North American total to $130.7 million.
That is well behind the $161 million earned by its predecessor Skyfall over the same period.
The Peanuts Movie – the family-friendly adaptation of the beloved Charles Schulz comic strip, featuring Charlie Brown and Snoopy – saw its second weekend takings drop by 45%, bringing its total in the US to $82.5 million.
The rest of the top five saw Love the Coopers, an ensemble comedy about a family gathering starring Diane Keaton and Alan Arkin, enter the chart at number three with $8.4 million.
Old release The Martian dropped one place to No 4, while at number five was another new release, The 33.
The 33, based on the 2010 Chilean mining disaster, took $5.8 million from 2,452 theaters.
Steve Jobs biopic has failed to impress at the North American box office, taking just $7.3 million in its first general week of release.
Danny Boyle’s movie, for which Michael Fassbender has been tipped for a best actor Oscar, entered the chart at number seven.
Ridley Scott’s The Martian reclaimed the top spot taking $15.9 million.
Elsewhere, Jem and the Holograms made one of the worst debuts of all time for a major studio release opening in over 2,000 locations with $1.3 million.
The adaptation of the 1980s cartoon about the quest of a group of aspiring musicians to become global superstars, entered the chart in 15th place.
The Steve Jobs biopic cost around $30 million to make and has taken $9.98 million to date, after two limited release weeks and one week on full release.
Co-starring Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen, the movie is the most high-profile of half-a-dozen documentaries and films about the Apple founder since his death in 2011 and has generally received strong reviews.
Vin Diesel’s The Last Witch Hunter also failed to meet expectations, earning $10.8 million, while Bill Murray’s Rock the Kasbah pulled in just $1.5 million.
Rock the Kasbah, which features Bill Murray as a rock promoter in Afghanistan, cost $15 million to make.
Goosebumps, based on the popular children’s book series and starring Jack Black, fell a place to number two on the chart, earning $15.5 million.
Pan has failed to reach the top of the North American box office chart on its opening weekend, despite much promotion and its $150 million cost.
The Neverland 3D-fantasy movie, starring Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard and directed by Atonement director Joe Wright, took $15.5 million and entered the chart at number three.
Pan was outshone by space thriller The Martian which held on to the top spot for a second week, taking $37 million.
Hotel Transylvania 2 stayed at No 2, making $20.3 million.
Pan‘s relative lack of success ranks it alongside The Fantastic Four and Tomorrowland as one of the year’s most disappointing big budget achievers. Pan was released over the four-day Columbus weekend, which remembers Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the Americas in 1492.
The movie’s story is an invented prequel of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and Captain Hook adventure.
Levi Miller plays Peter Pan alongside Hugh Jackman’s ruthless pirate and features Rooney Mara and Kathy Burke.
Ridley Scott’s The Martian, in its second week of release, has now notched up $108.7 million at the US box office.
Hotel Transylvania 2 also showed its staying power. Now in its third week, it has takings to date of $116.8 million.
Workplace comedy The Intern, starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, earned $8.7 million and finished the weekend at number four, the same spot as last week. It has now made $49.6 million.
Sicario, starring Emily Blunt, brought in $7.4 million and came in at number five, dropping from its previous number three position. The movie has overall takings to date of $26.7 million.
Hotel Transylvania sequel has topped the US box office with $47.5 million on its opening weekend.
The animation movie’s debut is the biggest September opening of all time.
Hotel Transylvania 2 breaks a record held by its predecessor Hotel Transylvania, which opened to $42.5 million in 2012, according to figures from Rentrak.
The story of a hotel for monsters, it features the voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez and Mel Brooks.
The Intern, with Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, was at No 2 with $18.2 million.
Written and directed by Nancy Meyers, the office-based comedy stars Robert De Niro as an intern at a fashion website run by Anne Hathaway’s character.
Hotel Transylvania 2‘s success was attributed to early excitement for Halloween and the movie’s broad family appeal, with relatively little competition in the kids’ market until The Peanuts Movie is released in November.
The animation’s $47.5 million takings also far exceeded the studio’s expectations and industry projections, which were between $32-37 million, according to the LA Times.
Jeff Goldstein, executive vice president at Warner Bros, called The Intern “a real hit”, appealing to fans of Nancy Meyers’ previous films such as The Holiday and Something’s Gotta Give.
The audience was 62% female – with 55% of them over the age of 50, not an audience which typically sees films on opening weekend.
Teen sci-fi adventure Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials – last week’s top film in the US and Canada – was in third place with $14 million.
Mountaineering disaster movie Everest, which was only available at IMAX and premium 3D screens last weekend, was in fourth with $13.1 million after expanding to cinemas nationwide.
Eli Roth’s low budget horror Green Inferno opened at nine with $3.5 million.
Drug war thriller Sicario – starring Emily Blunt – managed to make it into the top 10 with $1.8 million from just 59 cinemas, a week ahead of its full US release.
Minions topped the US and Canada box office in its opening weekend, with the second-biggest debut for an animated film.
The Despicable Me spin-off took $115.2 million. It was second only to 2007’s Shrek the Third, beating the opening of all of the Toy Story movies.
Jurassic World dropped to second in its fifth week with $18.1 million.
Disney Pixar’s Inside Out took $17.1 million in its fourth week in US cinemas.
Minions, which features the voices of Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm, puts the spotlight on the babbling yellow, pill-shaped servants from the two Despicable Me films as they search for a new master.
Directed by Peter Coffin, who also voices the Minions, it topped the box office in 29 of the other 30 countries where it opened, according to box office tracker Rentrak, including France, Mexico and Russia.
“Given that they seek to work for the most evil people on the planet, they give off this incredible happiness,” said Universal’s Duncan Clark on the Minions‘ success.
“I think the quality they’re proving to have is a common denominator appeal across all cultures.”
Universal is planning to release Despicable Me 3 in the summer of 2017.
Several other new films debuted in the top 10, including ad-libbed high-school horror movie The Gallows, in fifth place with $10 million.
Sharing the hand-held camera technique made famous by 1999’s The Blair Witch Project, the film comes from the production company behind the Paranormal Activity and Insidious franchises.
Ryan Reynolds’ new sci-fi thriller Self/less – about a near-death billionaire who transmits himself into a younger body – was at number eight with $5.4 million.
United Passions, a vanity film about the history of soccer’s governing body FIFA, has flopped in the US, taking just $607 in its opening weekend.
The movie was funded by about $25 million of FIFA cash, and was completed before corruption charges were made against 14 of its officials at the end of last month.
Starring Tim Roth as Sepp Blatter, the hagiography of FIFA has had damning reviews.
The movie’s budget was estimated at between $25 – $32 million, with FIFA said to have put up about three-quarters of the money.
United Passions debuted in the States on June 5, on just 10 screens.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the FilmBar cinema in Phoenix reported takings of just $9, meaning only one person bought a ticket.
The movie’s release came as FIFA faces an investigation into allegations of corruption during the bidding process to host the 2010 World Cup.
The DoJ has indicted a total of 14 current and former FIFA officials and associates on charges of “rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted” corruption following a major inquiry by the FBI.
President Sepp Blatter stood down last week, although he faces no charges himself.
United Passions purports to present the history of FIFA through three leaders, and co-stars Sam Neill as Sepp Blatter’s predecessor, Joao Havelange, and Gerard Depardieu, who plays FIFA founder Jules Rimet.
Gerard Depardieu was the only actor who attended the movie’s world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014.
San Andreas has topped the US box office, taking $53.2 million over the weekend.
The earthquake disaster movie, which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, knocked last week’s top film Tomorrowland, which debuted with $40.7 million, into third place.
Pitch Perfect 2 was at No 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road was fourth.
Avengers: Age of Ultron – 2015’s biggest US film so far – was fifth.
The Marvel comic film has so far taken $427 million at the US box office.
Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution for Warner Bros, which distributed San Andreas, said: “Some people felt they’d be a little nervous watching such a disaster hit both Los Angeles and San Francisco, but there was a curiosity factor.”
Box office tracker Rentrak said
It was also Dwayne Johnson’s biggest debut for a non-sequel as the top-billed actor, according to Rentrak.
San Andreas also features Kylie Minogue, as the sister of one of the key characters, Emma, played by Carla Gugino.
Aloha, starring starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams and Bill Murray was in sixth place.
Despite its stellar cast Aloha‘s reviews have not been particularly positive and it was in the spotlight last year after leaked emails from Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal said its script was “ridiculous”.
Some native Hawaiian groups opposed the title; while an Asian-American group slated the use of a nearly all-white cast in a film shot in Hawaii.
The film, which took $10 million, cost about $37 million to make.
So far this year, US and Canadian box office takings are up nearly 5% at $4.26 billion, while attendance is up more than 4%.
Furious 7 has topped the North American box office for a fourth week in a row, taking $18.3 million over the weekend.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is leading the international box office, a week ahead of its US release.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 came at No 2 on the US box office with $15.5 million.
Last weekend, Furious 7 became the fastest film to make more than $1 billion internationally.
Avengers: Age of Ultron opened in 44 territories, taking $201.2 million.
The latest installment in Joss Whedon’s superhero franchise, starring Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson, opens in the US and Canada on April 30, as well as dozens more countries and territories.
Furious 7, starring Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker, has now made $1.3 billion globally.
It is also the first movie to top the US box office for four weeks since The Hunger Games in March 2012.
Despite mixed reviews, fantasy romance The Age of Adaline opened in third place with $13.4 million.
It stars Blake Lively as a woman who is forced to stay 29 years old, along with Harrison Ford and Ellen Burstyn.
Animated alien hit Home was fourth with $8.4 million while social media thriller Unfriended was fifth with $6.2 million.