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Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens with $517M weekend, breaks domestic record

The $238 million in the U.S. and Canada topples Jurassic World.

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Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed more than half a billion dollars worldwide in ts debut weekend, with $238 million of that coming domestically to set a record in this market.

The numbers, provided in a news release from Disney this weekend, set the film on course to break all-time records worldwide, particularly as China has yet to premiere the movie. It opens in that market Jan. 9.

The record for largest worldwide opening weekend is still $524 million for Jurassic World, which premiered earlier this year. The old record for largest opening weekend in the United States and Canada was also set by Jurassic World with $208 million.

The Force Awakens also set opening-weekend records in 16 nations, including the U.K., Germany, Australia and Serbia.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens sold more than $100 million in tickets before the movie even premiered. When theaters began screening the film on Thursday, it pulled in $57 million, $43.5 million more than the previous record, set in 2011.

That was followed with another $120.5 million for Friday's showings, making The Force Awakens, according to Disney, the first film ever to gross $100 million in a single day.

The record for lifetime worldwide gross is again Avatar, at more than $2.7 billion. The lifetime domestic gross record also belongs to Avatar, at $760.5 million. Of the current top ten on the domestic all-time list, four were released this year, and all but Titanic since 2011. When adjusted for inflation, classics like Gone With The Wind, the original Star Wars, and The Sound of Music comprise the top three domestically.

With eye-popping numbers that speak to millions wanting to see the film regardless of its critical reception, one may wonder what the point of a review is. Here is ours anyway. Spoiler alert: It's a good film. We're not alone in that opinion either; Rotten Tomatoes lists it at 95 percent fresh, 261 good reviews to 15 bad.

Join us for an in-depth discussion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Minimap, a podcast about the most interesting video game, technology and pop culture stories of the week.