Star Wars overtakes Jurassic World to become third biggest film ever at worldwide box office

People take an elevator to attend the first public screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the Wanda cinema in Shanghai on Friday.
People take an elevator to attend the first public screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the Wanda cinema in Shanghai on Friday.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Star Wars: The Force Awakens has surged to third place in all-time global box office receipts, overtaking Jurassic World after a blockbuster debut in China that pushed its total to US$1.73 billion (S$2.5 billion), Disney said Sunday.

The company said the seventh instalment of the Star Wars saga made an estimated US$145.9 million over the weekend, including US$53 million in China.

"China led the way as the final international market to open with an estimated two-day weekend (total) of US$53M, making it the highest Sat/Sun opening of all-time there as well as the biggest industry opening Saturday of all-time," a statement from Disney said.

Disney said the China numbers put the film's global total over US$1.73 billion, behind only Avatar (US$2.79 billion) and Titanic (US$2.19 billion), both by filmmaker James Cameron.

Jurassic World had previously been number three, with US$1.67 billion in total box office receipts.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens also became the all-time highest grossing film in the North American market this week, with cumulative sales topping US$800 million for the first time ever, Disney said.