‘Star Wars’ sets opening weekend record in North America

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“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” set a record for the highest-grossing opening weekend at the US and Canadian box office with an estimated $238 million (Sh24.3 billion) in sales, Walt Disney studios said on Sunday.

The figure shatters the previous record set by “Jurassic World” earlier this year when it premiered to $208.8 million.

Globally, the latest “Star Wars” space epic raked in an estimated $517 million, Disney said, breaking records for biggest opening weekend abroad in 18 other countries, including Russia and Germany, and second biggest across four nations.

The worldwide figure puts the film in second place behind “Jurassic World,” which earned $524.9 million globally in its first weekend.

The highly anticipated “Force Awakens” has blazed a record-setting trail since its domestic debut Thursday, taking the prize for highest-grossing domestic opening night with $57 million and biggest domestic single-day sales Friday with $120.5 million.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” previously held both records at $43.5 million for an opening night and $91 million for a first day.

‘Mind-blowing’ ticket sales

Analysts had long predicted that the seventh instalment of the space saga, which cost Disney an estimated $200 million to produce, could score the biggest opening weekend ever and could even become the biggest film of all time.

One of them, longtime movie analyst Paul Dergarabedian, called the staggering box office numbers “mind-blowing.”

As far as all-time box office sales, two films by James Cameron hold the record—“Avatar” ($2.78 billion) and “Titanic” ($2.18).

“The Force Awakens” picks up the intergalactic story of good versus evil 30 years on from “The Return of the Jedi,” the last episode of the original trilogy.

The trio of heroes who appeared in the first of the blockbusters in 1977 — smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), leader of the rebel alliance, and her twin brother Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) — are all back and played by the actors that “Star Wars” first made famous.

“Our sole focus has been creating a film that delivers that one-of-a-kind Star Wars experience,” Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios said in a statement Sunday.

The film is being screened in 4,134 theaters in the United States and Canada, according to industry tracker Rentrak.

From New York to Los Angeles, theaters were packed with many spectators buying their tickets more than a week in advance. In New York, some of the city’s larger theaters were playing the film every hour, beginning at 6:00 am.

“The Force Awakens” has now been released in nearly every market worldwide except Greece, where it will come out Thursday and China where it hits screens January 9.

“To all of the fans around the world who not only came out in Force to make this such an exciting and astronomical debut but who treated this film as their own and helped preserve the experience for their fellow fans by not spoiling it—thank you,” Horn said.

Other debuts dwarfed

Also debuting at the box office in the top ten this weekend were four other films, whose numbers seemed miniscule compared to the “Star Wars” hauling.

The animated “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” came in second place in its first weekend, with an estimated $14.4 million across 3,653 screens, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Landing in third and also in its debut weekend was “Sisters,” starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as two siblings throwing one last party in their childhood home before it is sold. It earned only $13.4 million.

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2,” the fourth and last movie in the blockbuster franchise that turned Jennifer Lawrence into a Hollywood megastar, earned $5.7 million, falling to fourth place in its fifth week in theaters.

Meanwhile “Creed,” a next-generation version of the “Rocky” series earned some $5.1 million to land in fifth, in its fourth week on the big screen.

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  • Edgems4

    It’s certain Masharia is not wanted in Odinga DM.Quit and never turn back!

  • Jannadas

    Its time for ODM to move forward without Mr.Mudavadi,

    • Who si ths Mudavadi yu are refering to?. let him GO even now and form his OWN party. why waste time en energy en he knows Raila cant release ODM to him.

  • Karisasi

    Mudavadi seems to want things move as per his opinions and not respect others and anymove against his is termed as undemocratic.
    With or without Mudavadi Raila will be come the 4th President of the Republic of Kenya.
    The coming race between Raila and Accused of crimes against humanity Uhuru Kenyatta is a race between Rule of Law and Rule of Impunity.
    You stand for Uhuru then you support major crimes and cherish impunity.
    Its as simple as abc.

  • Pratt

    Letter “M” has always favored those aspiring to be presidents. Mudavadi with two “Ms” is a hot favorite this time round. His foes too, especially those without “M” factor, know pretty well their chances against him are nil. Raila, who has never ever won any party contest cant allow himself to be humiliated by his deputy. He has therefore made it impossible for Mudavadi to challenge him despite the pretentious well meaning pronouncements. Its therefore about time Mudavadi boldly embraced this golden opportunity. Failure to do so would leave him an empty shell. Furthermore, if Raila was done with VP Kalonzo, Hon. Ruto, Hon. Ngilu and his pillar in Muslim Kenya, Hon. Najib Balala, does Mudavadi, who has always been dismissed by Raila’s supporters as light weight, expect to fair any better? Needless to say, Raila’s presence either in parties or even government, has translated in to mere pain and outright destruction. In nutshell, he is NOT a team player regardless of the empty fashioning that depicts the opposite! 

    • Mudavadi has never had a stand.Remember 2002 he left Kanu and later rejoined to support Uhuru.He is the one betraying the party.The question is why did he wait to the last minute to start demanding changes in the party constitution.He should have raised this issue long time a go.

      • baraza

        lets see will raila win without the luhya block i don’t think so and don’t count on wetangula who is only popular in his constituency lets not kid ourselves ODM is a luo party run by fanatics who just insult anyone who doesn’t agree with them orange democratic movement it should be orange dictatorship movements Raila will never ever ever ever ever be president he is to radical to agree with other peoples opinion

        • Pratt

          I couldnt say it any better!! Be blessed pal.

        • nyakenda

          ODM is a luo party, PNU a GEMA party, URP a Kalenjin party oh yes now MM can form a Luhya party…… yet they will remain democrats and only RAO is a dictator!

          • onchari

            yes a dictator because why didnt he just go against mudavadi in a fair ballot process he most probably would have won but fear of loosing and fear to compete fairly and allow others their opinion makes one  a dictator raila only uses dirty tricks like what he has done to mudavadi

          • Ojwangamos

            It is for this dirty tricks that he managed to throw MM from Vice President to a nobody in 2002 and to bring him up from nobody to Deputy PM in 2007. So you can imagine where he can take him again in the next elections.

        • Ojwangamos

          My friend lets be realistic, did the Luo’s make the party constitution on their own ? was MM aware of this since 2007, if he knew what did he do ? if the constitution has a problem MM has equal blame as RAO as well as Ruto, Balala

      • Pratt

        Utter nonsense, I guess “stand” is only found in Raila! We have seen people change parties like nobody’s business and supposedly still have a stand. Thats emptiness driven by fear of losing. And moreso, with our history of losing streaks! How come we have lost 5 main partners in such a short time? Cant you explain that? May be the greed, the selfishness and empty arrogance to lead when leadership skills are lacking are the answers? Among all aspiring presidential candidates, your village idol is the only one prone to empty mischiefs, rampant malicious lies and wicked character assassination. Can surely such a seemingly evil man be bestowed with leadership of a decent country and would God allow it? I GENUINELY DOUBT ITt. Raila has a long way to go. However, time is not on his side and unfortunately, he will have to go to waste. I guess Kenya would have lost nothing but “unnecessary pain!!!” 

        • Ojwangamos

          Pratt remember that we are in the dispensation of the new constitution and for your information changing parties after 30th April can not work. If MM decides to change party after that his name will not appear in any ballot box unless if he wants to retain his parliamentary seat in which he can be defeated just as 2002.

          • Pratt

            You are misinformed pal. Your trick can only work less than 3 months before elections. We are centuries away! The deceit “will” fail flat. I foresee an extremely thin luo only outfit limping aimlessly in stormy seas! Its too painful after putting so much malicious propaganda, crafting almost finishing hate and all, in our drive to get our way. Dashed hopes and almost suicidal future, its unbelievable! gods must be very unfair and unkind indeed!!! 

          • ongete

            wat u are saying are just rumours without any single fact, talk facts my frind and who told you that luhyas are the only people who can determine who to be the president in this country? 

  • Yahala

    I see Mudavadi heading towards coalition of accused of crimes against humanity.
    If that is confirmed that he is politically dead.

    • baraza

      very unlikely

  • kenyan2030

    Mudavadi will leave odm but will not join G7 lets see if raila will get luhya votes and who the hell is Wetangula most luhya don’t even know him and how is he supposed to get votes for Raila. Raila is a backstabber who plays dirty games with people doesn’t know how to beat anyone fairly Mudavadi will be a fool to stay in ODM i think only two luhya MPs will remain in this ODM(ojammong dictatorship movement) 

    • Ojwangamos

      You have to accept that Raila beated Musalia fairly  in the ODM nominations in 2007.

      • Pratt

        Raila never defeated Mudavadi pal, it was a cooked up to dupe supporters. Guys who opted for real fight like Kalonzo never had their day. Raila was never popular but only got help from regional leaders. That help is no longer there. I see him coming a poor 4th in the race to state house. Keep dreaming pal, may be your stress would fall abit!

    • Pratt

      ODINGA DICTATORSHIP MOVEMENT!!!! Thats why we are repeatedly told Odm has its owners – the dictators. It was meant to be so, otherwise why all this madness we have witnessed over the years? 

  • Ndwara

    Who is this talking about Luhya votes. You are still dreaming about luhya votes. Are you a luhya and do you normally have any stand. A luhya will talk to you today and promise to vote kesho, he eats ugali at night and promise to vote for the person who has provided this ugali the next day he meets a fellow luyha when he is going to vote, he is convinced about another candidate who  has promised to provide all house with piped milk. They will walk together to vote for this candidate but on reaching the ballot box he votes for another candidate he is seeing his name for the first time. So Mudavadi GO and Go kabisa and in will come another luhya. Mudavadi can meanwhile go and join another party which he can be a presidential candidate. Uhuru is also yumba yumbaring, you can combine forces and invite kalonzo to pita kati kati and you will have formed an old Kanu in a different name.  

    • Pratt

      Stop insulting people! Raila is the worst opportunist this country has ever had. All the names he coins to plant on others actually refer to himself incarnate. This is because his actions have shown that he is truly what he calls others. For instance, his obstruction in implementing the constitution shows that he is a real watermelon. He is a total coward who once “hid under” his hat, but he is the first one to call others cowards! He says others have no “stand”, however the reasons that make him say that clearly turn out to reflect his very own actions. So he actually refers to himself unwittingly! The fooling has reached its dead end.  

      • Mazzdark

        Still obsessed about Raila, Pratt!

        • Karisasi

          Pratt will go psychopath when Raila ascends to State House.
          The guy talks bloody shit.

          • onchari

            raila will never ever ascend the throne and pratt isn’t the psycho your Raila guy is the Psychopath slashing everything and left right and center the term psycho refers to a person with no conscience who will even step on his own friends and family to get what he wants using any means necessary like lying this describes a certain person yeah it is Raila

          • Pratt

            Be blessed pal! Those who think village lies can get them the presidency will be very very disappointed this time round. Malicious lies are finding very very little favor with majority of Kenyans. Thus, the day of reckoning is at hand.

          • Pratt

            I surely wil,l especially when Raila supposedly wins without votes! With all corners of the country decidely against him, how do you expect him to win anyway? And remember there is something called “M” factor in leadership. Raila lacks that important “M.” Thats why he has lost each and every party contest. From late Hon. Wamalwa’s Ford Kenya to VP Kalonzo Musyoka’s Odm Kenya, Raila was always left crying. He had, as usual, to cook up lies in an attempt to deflect the shame of defeat. Thats why VP Kalonzo was supposed to have run away from his Odm-K Party, now Wiper, when the truth is that he uprooted Raila. Raila was actually left partless by Kalonzo’s master stroke and had to conditionally buy Odm from Mr. Mugambi Imanyara. There after Raila was to declare that “this is the original orange, Kalonzo has defected!” Raila’s friends in the media picked it up from there and rampant lies supposedly became the truth. Its a hard take pal!

        • Pratt

          Obsession or burrying the pain 6ft under? 

    • onchari

      ODM is now ( oul democratic movement ) and correction no luhya can replace Mudavdi in terms of popularity as no Kalenjin an replace Ruto and no Kikuyu an replace Uhuru and no Luo can replace Raila lets see if Raila will win without the largest voting block in western kenya terms of population size Yeah keep talking **** your the one who will be eating **** in 1 years time Raila will never be the president of this country

      • Ojwangamos

        In 2002 Mudavadi was not even an MP, is this the popularity you are talking about ? or who replaced him that time ?

  • Nyakenda

    now who is not democratic here? Mudavadi wants his way or not way at all. If MM is so dissatisfied them they are many option and the quickest one is to jump ship like Ruto, Duale, Najib did. no need for kelele mingi, quit and form your own party and lets see how democratic you will be.

    • onchari

      really wanting to challenge another person through a fair ballot is wanting things to go your own way then yes mudavadi is a dictator not wanting to be challenged and you call yourself a democrat Rao should go to mali and be president there

      • Ojwanngamos

        its good this is just your own opinion .

  • Yahala

    Mudavadi has no time to form his own party.30th April is deadline to be met with Registrar of Parties.
    Its too late for Masharubu,I think he should decide to stay in ODM or join another party.One thing for sure is that no party will allow Mudavadi to be the flag bearer and the expected presidential candidate of that party turns to be a running mate.
    Musalia wake up dont let the devil conquer your mind.Quit ODM then you are digging your own political grave.

    • onchari

      i smell fear your Rao guy wants to keep mudavadi just so that he can get the votes he brings Rao is nothing but a user

      • Ojwngamos

        user in what sense ? 

  • PRATT

    Oh…it is PRATT all over venting lots of messy foul air from his behind

    • Pratt

      This kind of stuff WILL NEVER help you. To display your irrational hate is to chase away votes. Raila has been involved in  that for last 3 years. And what remains of his party? Just his own pugnacious kinsmen? Think of 40 something wasted years! You dont show people your dislike and your overwhelming hatred and still expect them to remain with you. And to cap it all, those involved are only chest-thumping with borrowed popularuty! Those consumed by inborn hatred will have to die alone. Most Kenyans are no longer interested in almost drunken hatred disgiused as leadership.

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