'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' to Get Early European Rollout

Welcome Aboard

Not all Star Destroyers have been left to ruin on the surface of Jakku. This one still flies through space, and is apparently accepting a number of guests — although whether or not they're willing guests is anyone's guess.

The tentpole hits theaters on Dec. 17 in the U.K. and Dec. 16 in France, prior to its debut stateside on Dec. 18.

Moviegoers in key European markets will get to see J.J. Abrams' Stars Wars: The Force Awakens before the event film opens in the U.S.

On Monday, the official Facebook page for The Force Awakens in the U.K. noted a Dec. 17 release date and commenced a 100-day countdown. The news means the film will land in the U.K. a day ahead of more commonplace Friday openings.

The Force Awakens opens everywhere in North America on Dec. 18 following Thursday-night previews. Generally speaking, when a Hollywood tentpole opens day and date around the world — as The Force Awakens is doing — the film can debut a day or two early in select foreign markets, such as the U.K.

And in France, where opening day is Wednesday, the film will begin its assault debut Dec. 16, according to a notice posted on its French Facebook page.

The Force Awakens, from Lucasfilm and Disney, is arguably the most anticipated movie of 2015 and is widely expected to smash records in its global start. In North America, some speculate that it could approach or cross $300 million in its opening. The current best is $208.8 million for Jurassic World.