WEB DESK: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” hurtled toward $120 million at the U.S. and Canadian box office on Friday and a potential record-breaking $215 million through Sunday, giving the long-awaited movie a shot at the biggest opening weekend of all time.
The ticket sales figures from Walt Disney Co late Friday indicated that the film could eclipse the $208.8 million record set by dinosaur adventure film “Jurassic World” in June. Disney said movie theaters were continuing to add screenings to meet “unprecedented demand.”
Fans flocked to theaters Thursday evening, many dressed as evil Stormtroopers or lightsaber-wielding Jedi as the movie took in $57 million at domestic theaters. That surpassed the previous opening-day record of $43.5 million for the final “Harry Potter” movie in 2011.
Interest extended to international markets, where the movie brought in $72.7 million in 44 countries.
At the White House, a beeping R2-D2 and two Stormtroopers surprised reporters with a quick appearance in the briefing room. First lady Michelle Obama hosted a screening for children of families that lost members to war.
The new “Star Wars” film is the seventh installment in the series created by George Lucas in 1977. Disney bought “Star Wars” producer Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012 and spent more than $200 million to produce “Force Awakens.”
The company’s shares dropped 3.8 percent on Friday, however, after BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield cut his rating on Disney to “sell” from “neutral.” Greenfield said the success of “Force Awakens” would not offset the impact of subscriber losses at ESPN.