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'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Breaks Box Office Records

Global weekend ticket sales for Star Wars: The Force Awakens could reach $528 million, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger told Bloomberg TV on Monday.

The latest film in the Star Wars saga logged the biggest domestic opening in history, collecting $238 million in the United States and Canada. It also set records in countries including Britain, Germany, Australia and Russia.

The movie could become the highest grossing of all time, topping the $2.8 billion that Avatar — released in 2009 — raked in.

The film has not yet opened in China,home to the the second-largest movie customer base in the world. As The Wall Street Journal reports, it is unclear how popular the movie will be in China when it arrives in theaters next month, in part because the original trilogy of films — Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and The Revenge of the Jedi — were not released in that country.

Disney Co. bought LucasFilm, which was 100 percent owned by Star Warsfranchise creator George Lucas, for $4 billion roughly three years ago. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is just one of four Star Wars films Disney plans to release. Ticket sales will account for merely a portion of the haul Disney executives expect to bring in from the franchise. Star Wars-themed areas at Disneyland and Walt Disney World are in the works. And according to the Los Angeles Times, merchandise sales connected with the franchise could range between $3 billion and $5 billion in 2015 alone.

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Alexandra Starr
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