"Star Wars: The Force Awakens," the seventh instalment in the cinematic space saga, smashed box-office records on its opening day and is looking to have the most successful opening weekend in Hollywood history.
Grossing an estimated $120.5 million (111 million euros) following Thursday previews and its opening day on Friday, the sci-fi epic easily surpassed the previous top-grossing film, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2," which earned $91.1 million on its opening day in 2011.
Walt Disney Co., which produced the film, is projecting that it will gross an estimated $220 million this weekend. If that turns out to be the case, it will have beaten out the previous weekend champion, "Jurassic World," by more than $10 million.
"The Force Awakens" has been one of the most hyped films of the year, with many fans seeing it as a return to form for the franchise after three financially successful but critically divisive prequels directed by series creator George Lucas.
For this latest installment, Lucas handed the directoral reins over to JJ Abrams, who also reinvented another much-followed sci-fi series with the 2009 remake of "Star Trek."
blc/jm (AP, dpa, Reuters)