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‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Rockets Toward $425 Million Global Launch Weekend

The Force is seriously powerful financially, with Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” tracking to deliver about $425 million worldwide in its opening weekend.

More than a dozen international markets will open Wednesday, led by France and Italy along with Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Indonesia, Philippines, and Taiwan. On Thursday, key markets include Germany, the U.K., Australia, Korea, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico.

Previews begin at 6 p.m. Thursday in North America. On Friday, the domestic launch will take place at about 4,175 theaters in the U.S./Canada including nearly 410 Imax screens, 640 premium large format, 3,600 3D locations, and 212 D-Box locations. The total will be slightly higher than last year’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which opened at 4,157 locations.

The largest Thursday night preview gross in North America is “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” with $57 million two years ago. “Rogue One” opened with $29 million in Thursday night previews.

Domestic tracking for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has remained in the $200 million range since Nov. 22, when first tracking estimates emerged. If that figure holds, “The Last Jedi” would be the fourth-largest opening of all time after “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Jurassic World,” and “The Avengers.”

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opened with $248 million amid massive anticipation for the first “Star Wars” movie in a decade. It wound up its domestic run with a record-setting $936 million.

Directed by Rian Johnson, the movie picks up where 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” left off. It stars returning cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Andy Serkis. The new cast members include Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, and Benicio del Toro. The movie marks the final film role for Fisher, who died last December.

Fandango reported Tuesday that “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” had become its top advance ticket-seller of the year, topping previous record-holder “Beauty and the Beast.”

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” also grossed $1.13 billion internationally, led by the U.K. with $163 million and China with $124 million. It wound up third on the worldwide list with $2.07 billion, trailing only “Avatar” with $2.79 billion and “Titanic” with $2.19 billion.

At $425 million for its opening weekend, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” would register the fifth-biggest worldwide weekend launch of all. Universal’s “Fate of the Furious” set that record in April with $541 million, topping “The Force Awakens” by $12 million. “Jurassic World” is third on the list with $525 million, followed by “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” with $483 million.

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