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‘Star Wars’ Possibly a Day Away From Stealing ‘Avatar’s’ Box Office Crown

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” could break the U.S. box office record held by “Avatar” as early as Tuesday.

The space saga finished the New Year’s weekend with a stunning $90.2 million — or nearly $2 million above Sunday’s estimates — to lift its 17-day domestic total to $742.2 million, including $21.5 million on Sunday. It trails the six-year-old “Avatar” record of $760.5 million by only $18.3 million.

“The Force Awakens” also demolished the domestic record for a third weekend in a row, finishing 46% above the previous record of $68.5 million for “Avatar.”

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, noted that the seventh “Star Wars” movie has been able to set a multitude of records in less than three weeks.

“The truly impressive part of the box office performance of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ really lies more in the speed at which it is crossing all of these box office milestones, not just the numbers themselves,” he said. “With the crown for the top North American box office performer of all-time already about to change hands, the impressiveness of ‘Star Wars” relentless popularity becomes even more apparent.”

Dergarabedian pointed out that “Avatar” needed 48 weeks to reach $760.5 million and 72 days to hit the $700 million threshold.

“‘The Force Awakens’ continues to astonish by setting box office land speed records at a blistering pace and now has its sights set on the elusive $1 billion mark in North America,” he added. “With the North American crown now in its possession, achieving that level in a mere 18 or 19 days, the film is now holding a reservation at the exclusive $2 billion club, which is the next stop on its hit parade with China about to open the film on Saturday.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” took in more than $96 million internationally over the weekend to push the international total past $770 million and the worldwide total to $1.51 billion. The movie ranks as the sixth highest-grossing film worldwide and should pass “Furious 7” and “Marvel’s The Avengers” this week to become the fourth-biggest film — trailing only “Avatar” at $2.8 billion, “Titanic” at $2.2 billion and “Jurassic World” at $1.7 billion.

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