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THE Force remains strong with the new Star Wars movie, which is on track to top $1 billion (RM4.3 billion) in global ticket sales this weekend, making it the fastest-ever film to reach that level.

Walt Disney Co said in a statement on Saturday that Star Wars: The Force Awakens had generated box office receipts of $890.3 million (RM3.8 billion) globally through Dec 25 and would pass $1 billion (RM4.3 billion) this weekend.

The movie, the seventh installment in the newly rebooted Star Wars franchise, opened in some international markets on Dec 16 before rolling out in North America the following day.

It is set to hit the $1 billion (RM4.3 billion) mark no later than Sunday, its 12th day in theaters, according to industry research firm Rentrak.

The current record holder for being the fastest to gross $1 billion (RM4.3 billion) is Comcast Corp-owned Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World, which took 13 days after its release earlier this year, Rentrak said.

The new Star Wars movie had already topped Jurassic World for the biggest opening weekend ever with $529 million (RM2.2 billion) globally.

Disney said Star Wars has rung up $440.4 million (RM1.9 billion) in U.S. and Canada ticket sales alone and $449.9 million (RM2 billion) internationally, and it is set to open in China, the world’s No. 2 movie market, on Jan 9.

China is crucial if Disney’s first foray into the world of Jedi knights is to earn a spot among the top-grossing films of all time.

On Friday, The Force Awakens set a U.S. and Canadian record for largest box office on Christmas day with $49.3 million (RM211 million), Disney said. That topped the previous record of $24.6 million (RM105 million) set by Sherlock Holmes in 2009.

Disney purchased the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas’ Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.05 billion (RM17.4 billion), and has planned for a new trilogy of films as well as standalone installments through 2019.

The franchise will also be incorporated at U.S. Disney theme parks, bringing to life the droids, spaceships and otherworldly creatures of the universe that Lucas created in 1977 and is set in a galaxy far, far away.

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