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

The Force remains a record-setter as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” dominates the Christmas weekend.

“The Force Awakens” smashed the Christmas Day record with $49.3 million in the U.S. on Friday. That was double the earlier record of $24.6 million from “Sherlock Holmes,” which opened on Dec. 25, 2009.

The second weekend of Disney’s space saga is projected to wind up the three-day holiday weekend with as much as $140 million at 4,134 U.S. theaters, lifting its 10-day total to as high as $530 million.

“The Force Awakens” will demolish three records set by “Jurassic World” in June — highest second weekend ($106 million), highest 10-day total ($402.6 million) and the fastest film to go past the $500 million milestone (17 days).

The movie, starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, has managed to exceed sky-high fan expectations. Director J.J. Abrams has received near universal praise for re-invigorating the franchise, three years Disney bought Lucasfilm for more than $4 billion and launched plans for half a dozen “Star Wars” films, starting with “The Force Awakens.”

It was the biggest overall Christmas Day in U.S. box office history with over $100 million, according to Rentrak.  The previous biggest Christmas came in 2009 with $86 million when “Sherlock Holmes” opened and “Avatar” was in its second weekend.

The three-day holiday frame should also wind up as the biggest Christmas weekend overall in history beating the $269.8 million in 2009, Rentrak said.

Internationally, the seventh Star Wars movie has hit nearly $450 million as of Christmas Day, bringing its global box office receipts to an astounding $890 million since its first showings on Dec. 16. The pic should surpass the $1 billion worldwide mark by the end of the Christmas weekend, setting yet another record as the fastest to hit the 10-figure milestone.

Paramount’s Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy “Daddy’s Home” is leading the rest of the pack at U.S. multiplexes with as much as $35 million at 3,271 sites — far above recent forecasts. It grossed an impressive$15.7 million on Christmas Day, or less than a third of “The Force Awakens.”

Fox’s Jennifer Lawrence drama “Joy” also appears to be easily outperforming pre-Christmas forecasts with over $20 million at 2,896 locations for the weekend. The biopic took in a solid $6.9 million on Christmas Day.

Universal’s second weekend of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s “Sisters” is showing impressive staying power, heading for around $15 million at 2,962 sites — giving the raunchy comedy the rare distinction of improving on its opening frame, which came in at $13.9 million.

Sony’s Will Smith NFL drama “Concussion” appeared to be performing slightly better than recent estimates with $4.3  million on Christmas Day at 2,841 locations for a projected weekend of $13.3 million. Prior to Christmas, the studio had issued guidance of $10 million for the film, which received an A CinemaScore plus a Golden Globe nomination for Smith.

L Star Capital and Village Roadshow co-financed “Concussion,” which has a $35 million budget.

Warner Bros.’ remake of “Point Break” took in $4.1 million at 2,910 sites on Christmas, which translates to a $10 million to $12 million opening weekend. The action-thriller, set in the world of extreme sports, has already grossed nearly $40 million in China, where it opened on Dec. 3.

Alcon Entertainment and DMG Entertainment financed “Point Break.”

Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” launched impressively for The Weinstein Co. with $1.9 million at 100 venues in 44 U.S. markets on Christmas Day. The opening day projects to an impressive $5 million for the weekend — or around $50,000 per screen — for what’s the largest 70 mm release in the last 20 years.

Fox saw a solid $171,758 at four sites for its Christmas launch of Leonard DiCaprio’s “The Revenant,” set in the icy Western wilderness of the 1820s and directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu.

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