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Latest Star Wars movie smashes North America box office record

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has become the highest grossing film of all time in the US and Canada. The science fiction romp blasted past the 2009 blockbuster Avatar, taking $1.5 billion so far globally.

The latest offering from the Star Wars universe became North America's biggest box office earner ever on Wednesday, passing the $800-million (74- million-euro) mark.

That figure saw "The Force Awakens" smash the previous North American record - $760.5 million - set by James Cameron's futuristic sci-fi epic "Avatar."

J.J. Abrams' sequel to the original trilogy of films - featuring original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, as well as Chewbacca - has taken in $1.5 billion so far across the globe.

A force to be reckoned with

The move has been

largely well received

by fans and critics and

broke records

during opening weekends in several regions.

However, to beat Avatar's worldwide box office record of $2.8 billion, the movie will need to do well in China, where it opens on Saturday. Some analysts predict that "The Force Awakens" might fall short of that total.

The North America rankings do not account for inflation. When adjusted for price increases, 1939's "Gone With The Wind" would hold the all-time record, followed by the original 1977 Star Wars film, "A New Hope."

rc/ksb (AFP, Reuters)

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