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Star Wars: The Force Awakens looking at record $615m opening

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Story by Jack Foley

STAR Wars: The Force Awakens could smash the world record for the biggest global box-office opening of all-time when it finally opens this December with experts predicting a haul in the region of $615m (£398m).

The figure was put forward by Hollywood trade magazine Deadline, which attributes its prediction to Star Wars’ enduring appeal, a lack of competition around the film’s opening date of December 18 (as most distributors are leaving well alone) and the increased availability of cinema screens, including the IMAX format.

If the prediction proves correct, then JJ Abrams’s film would open way beyond the $524.4m mark reached by Jurassic World in June – itself a new record.

In the US alone, Deadline is looking at an opening weekend in excess of $300m, almost $100m ahead of Jurassic World’s $208.8m. And this is based on a combination of box office tracking and the enthusiasm generated so far online by the film’s trailers.

The only potential trip-up in the global total could be China, the world’s second largest box office, which will not allow its residents to see the film until January 2016 at the earliest, given that only Chinese productions are given permission to screen in December.

The original Star Wars film was released way back in 1977 and helped usher in the blockbuster era. It still stands as the second highest-grossing movie of all time at the global box office when ticket prices are adjusted for inflation, behind only Gone With the Wind.

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