Star Wars Episode VII The Force
Courtesy of Disney/Lucas FIlm

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” continued to barrel past records on Monday, earning $40.1 million domestically.

That stateside gross passed the previous high-water mark for a Monday set by “Spider-Man 2” in 2004, when the superhero sequel picked up $27.2 million over the July 4th holiday. “The Force Awakens” has made $288.1 million in North American ticket sales. It was bolstered by school holidays — more than 70% of schools are off Monday and that percentage will climb as the week progresses and Christmas nears.

Internationally, the film added $41.7 million in receipts, pushing its worldwide gross to $610.8 million worldwide. Many box office analysts believe that “The Force Awakens” has a chance to join “Titanic” and “Avatar” as the only films to cross the $2 billion mark globally.

Over the weekend, the sci-fi epic shattered records with a $248 million domestic debut and a $529 million global launch. Its launch shot past the records set this summer by “Jurassic World” ($208.8 million domestic, $524.9 million worldwide).

“The Force Awakens” has been widely acclaimed by critics for evoking the spirit of adventure established by George Lucas’ original trilogy of films. J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek”) handled the directing duties on the $200 million production, overseeing a cast of “Star Wars” veterans like Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher and integrating them with newcomers such as Daisy Ridley and John Boyega.

The film is intended to set up a new trilogy, along with sequels and spinoff films. Disney, which backed “The Force Awakens,” spent $4 billion in 2012 to acquire Lucasfilm, the company behind the “Star Wars” universe.

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