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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

'The Last Jedi' opens in US with the second best weekend of all time

Rian Johnson's second instalment in the third Star Wars trilogy rocketed to a debut of $220 million (Dh808 million) at the North American box office

This image released by Lucasfilm shows BB-8 in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Lucasfilm via AP
This image released by Lucasfilm shows BB-8 in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Lucasfilm via AP

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will happily settle for second. Rian Johnson's second instalment in the third Star Wars trilogy rocketed to a debut of $220 million (Dh808 million) at the North American box office, according to studio estimates on Sunday. That gives The Last Jedi the second-best opening ever, slotting in behind only its predecessor, The Force Awakens.

The Disney blockbuster became just the fourth film to open above $200 million in the USA. Aside from The Force Awakens ($248.8 million), the others are The Avengers ($207.4 million) and Jurassic World ($208.8 million). Accounting for inflation, the debut of 2012's The Avengers would roughly tie with The Last Jedi.

The Last Jedi is off to a similar start overseas, too, with $230 million in international ticket sales, said Disney. That brings its three-day global haul to $450 million.

The opening also gave the Walt Disney Co. the opportunity to flex its muscles on the heels of the deal announced Thursday for it to purchase 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion. As part of the deal, Disney will take control of 20th Century Fox, one of Hollywood's six major studios.

"The weekend that we're in is a byproduct of the foresight and vision from our CEO Bob Iger to bring Lucasfilm into the fold," said Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis, alluding to Disney's 2012 purchase of Lucasfilm. "So as we think about the possibility of other things being added, you can't help but be excited about the possibilities."

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