'Star Wars' to become highest grossing film in Australia

As the latest Star Wars movie - The Force Awakens - continues to mesmerize audiences around the world, producers have woken to news on Monday that the film is on track to become highest grossing film ever seen in Australia.

The Force Awakens has smashed previous opening weekend takings, beating out the last Harry Potter film and Avatar - which is currently the record holder for highest grossing film, having taken in 82.44 million U.S dollars back in 2011.

At midnight releases alone, The Force Awakens earned more than 2 million U.S. dollars for parent company Disney, while figures from the Rentrak monitoring service confirmed the film posted an opening weekend record on 18 million U.S. dollars, eclipsing the previous record holder's - Harry Potter - first weekend takings of 13.65 million U.S. dollars.

Kirk Edwards, chief executive of Village Roadshow which owns the majority of cinemas in Australia, told Fairfax Media that the latest Star Wars film was well on its way to smashing local records.

"Star Wars is about to smash the previous Harry Potter record, and will break the first week record of any film ever released in Australia," he said.

"It's probably going to do in the region of 75 million (U.S. dollars) plus in Australia which the only other film to pass 75 million is Avatar. There is a good chance it will beat Avatar but if it doesn't do it, it will be the second biggest."

Worldwide, the film has so far posted a first weekend taking of 517 million U.S. dollars, with almost half of that revenue coming from within the United States and Canada.

It will still be some time before the final first week takings are calculated, but the movie is expected to surpass the current opening weekend record, which was posted by Jurassic World earlier this year.

Jurassic World had first weekend takings of more than 524.4 million U.S. dollars.

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