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Star Wars: The Force Awakens continued its history-setting ride at the Monday box office, grossing $40.1 million from 4,134 theaters in North America to crush the previous daily record set by Spider-Man 2 in summer 2004 with $27.7 million.
J.J. Abrams’ tentpole finished the day with a $288.1 million cume in domestic ticket sales and $610.8 million worldwide. Internationally, Force Awakens earned another $41.7 million on Monday — including the biggest Monday ever in the U.K./Ireland ($8.8 million) and France ($4.4 million) — for a foreign gross of $322.7 million. It is the fastest title in history to hit those numbers.
In many countries, including the U.S., the movie is seeing a big boost from many kids and college students being out of school.
Spider-Man 2 took in $27.7 million on the Monday following July 4th, when many people were on holiday. The biggest non-holiday Monday belongs to this summer’s Jurassic World with $25.3 million. By way of comparison, Force Awakens came in 44 percent ahead of Spider-Man 2‘s first Monday and 60 percent ahead of Jurassic World.
Over the weekend, Force Awakens launched to a stunning $248 million domestically and $529 million globally, wresting the crown from Jurassic World, which opened to $208.8 million in North America and $524 million worldwide.
Its performance so far is a major victory for Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger and his film studio. “Our sole focus has been creating a film that delivers that one-of-a-kind Star Wars experience, and director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and the Lucasfilm team have outdone themselves,” Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement.
Abrams’ sequel, set 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi, features a strong female heroine in Rey, a young scavenger played by newcomer Daisy Ridley. Rey and a renegade stormtrooper (John Boyega) band together to challenge a rising evil that includes a new planet-killing laser cannon.
The film also stars Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o and Domhnall Gleeson, along with original trilogy stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.
At this rate, there’s no telling how high Force Awakens will ultimately fly in terms of box-office revenue, since films over the year-end holidays can see huge multiples. James Cameron’s Avatar opened to $77 million on the same weekend in 2009 on its way to becoming the top-grossing film of all time with $2.79 billion in global ticket sales, including $760.5 million domestically. And on the weekend before Christmas in 1996, Cameron’s Titanic took in a mere $28.6 million on its way to grossing $2.19 billion worldwide.
Among Force Awakens’ major markets overseas, the U.K. leads with $59.4 million to date, followed by Germany ($31.4 million), France ($26.9 million), Australia ($22.4 million), Japan ($15.9 million), and Russia ($13.3 million).
Elsewhere in North America, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip came in No. 2 with $2.9 million from 3,653 theaters for a four-day domestic total of $17.2 million for Fox. Universal’s R-rated comedy Sisters, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, followed with an estimated $2.5 million from 2,961 locations for a four-day domestic cume of $16.5 million.
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