Star Wars smashes US box office record

Last updated at 10:41
John Boyega and Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Force AwakensDisney/Lucasfilm
British duo John Boyega and Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has smashed the record for the biggest box office opening weekend in North America with ticket sales of £159.7m.

The previous record, £140m was set by Jurassic World in June.

The new Star Wars film has taken an estimated £347m globally in three days - putting it just behind Jurassic World's £352m.

The amount of money expected to be made on Sunday was 7.5m so it's hoped the film can achieve the largest four-day weekend total in British and Irish cinemas.

Star Wars took £9.6m on its opening day, including £2.4m from midnight screenings.

That beats the previous best of £9.48m set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011.

Star Wars European premiereReuters
The Star Wars European premiere took place in London last week

Star Wars: The Force Awakens went on to make £8.6m on Saturday in the UK and Ireland.

These figures meant it had already overtaken the lifetime totals of several big films, including the first Hunger Games release and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Jurassic World currently holds the record for the largest four-day weekend in the UK and Ireland.

The new Star Wars film also set a new opening night record in the US and Canada.

The Force Awakens made £38m on Thursday night, beating the previous record hit by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Analysts say the space saga could become the biggest-selling movie of all time.

The latest film returns to "a galaxy far, far away" some 30 years on from the action of 1983's Return of the Jedi.