The following is an excerpt from Reuters | December 20, 2015 | Huffingtonpost.com |
LOS ANGELES, Dec 20 (Reuters) - "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" shattered the domestic box office record with an estimated $238 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales through Sunday, a staggering debut that re-established the celebrated space saga as a global phenomenon under Walt Disney Co.
The first "Star Wars" film in a decade took in a total of $517 million at box offices around the world, second only to the dinosaur film "Jurassic World," which had the benefit of an opening weekend that included China, where "Force Awakens" won't open for weeks.
Financial and critical success for the film mark a victory for Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger's strategy of acquiring proven brands, including Pixar Animation and comic book powerhouse Marvel, to fuel Disney's entertainment empire.
Disney purchased "Star Wars" producer Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012 and is betting that big-budget films can draw customers even as viewers gravitate to online streaming and mobile viewing and theater attendance declines.
Over the weekend, fans reveled in the chance to visit the "Star Wars" galaxy for the first time in a decade. Filmgoers dressed as Jedi or Sith, carried lightsabers and cheered when classic characters such as Princess Leia or Chewbacca appeared on screen. Theaters added showtimes to meet demand, Disney said.
"Jurassic World" opened in June with $208.8 million in the United States and Canada and a take of $525 million worldwide.
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