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Star Wars is the top movie ever in US, can it beat Avatar worldwide?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become the highest grossing movie of all time in the US. With more than $1.5 billion in BO collections so far and a China release looming, can it overtake Avatar’s $2.7 billion worldwide record.

hollywood Updated: Jan 07, 2016 17:01 IST
Will The Force Awakens overtake Avatar at the worldwide BO?
Will The Force Awakens overtake Avatar at the worldwide BO?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become the highest grossing movie of all time in the US. With more than $1.5 billion in BO collections so far and a China release looming, can it overtake Avatar’s $2.7 billion worldwide record?

Disney said the seventh film in the Star Wars saga had grossed $758.2 million through Tuesday, when it took in $8 million, and surpassed on Wednesday the $760.5 million earned by James Cameron’s Oscar-winning futuristic sci-fi epic Avatar.

“This afternoon, with early box office results in, Star Wars: The Force Awakens became the highest-grossing film of all time in the domestic market,” Disney said in a statement, without providing figures. The company thanked its fans for helping it reach the milestone saying that without them “there is no Star Wars.”

“There has indeed been an awakening -- and it’s all thanks to you,” it said.

At $1.56 billion in global earnings, The Force Awakens still has some work ahead to overtake Avatar ($2.79 billion) or another Cameron blockbuster, Titanic ($2.19 billion).

Read: Bajirao, Dilwale are not the only reason why Star Wars lost in India

It is now fourth in all-time worldwide revenues, also trailing Jurassic World ($1.67 billion). But many observers expect the film ultimately to challenge for the top spot.

“Star Wars has always been one of the most beloved franchises in all of filmdom...it was just a matter of finally having a deserving sequel to the original trilogy that tipped the scales and topped Avatar,” said Jeff Bock, of industry tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Read: Star Wars The Force Awakens review: It’s your Christmas gift

The upcoming release on Saturday in the huge Chinese market of the film directed by J.J. Abrams could help give it a further push to warp speed.

The success of The Force Awakens -- detailing the adventures of classic Star Wars characters Princess Leia and Han Solo as well as new heroes like Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron -- helped propel the overall American box office to a record $11.1 billion last year, the Rentrak website reported.

Watch the Star Wars review here

Robert Thompson, a professor of popular culture at Syracuse University in New York, said the hype and marketing surrounding the latest Star Wars had helped ensure its success but so was the fact that it is a good movie.

Read: Popping my Star Wars cherry: What I thought about A New Hope

“Had the film been a disappointment, the numbers after the first weekend would have been a very different story,” he told AFP. “My prediction is that Avatar will retain its global crown, but I could certainly be wrong on that.”

Disney, which purchased Lucasfilm from Star Wars creator George Lucas for $4 billion in 2012, plans two more films in the space saga and a spinoff.

Read: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the most anticipated movie of 2016

James Cameron is also planning three sequels to Avatar, which should ensure that the two franchises will continue battling it out for the top spot at the box office.

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