As it keeps barreling along, Star Wars is bringing a new hope into a new year.
"The Force Awakens" amassed a whopping $88.3 million in North American theaters this weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday (final numbers are due Monday), and has now grossed $740.3 million domestically - the second-biggest total ever.
"Force Awakens," which has hurtled past such titans as "Titanic" ($658 million), "Jurassic World" ($652 million) and "The Avengers" ($623 million), now has all-time domestic champ "Avatar" ($760.5 million) squarely in its sights - meaning it should pass James Cameron's 2009 film by next week.
The seventh film in the main Star Wars franchise has also grossed $1.510.8 billion worldwide, slotting in momentarily in the sixth slot all-time, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com - poised to pass "Furious 7″ and "The Avengers." "Avatar" remains the all-time global champ at $2.788-billion (not adjusted for inflation). And this is where it's especially worth nothing that "Force Awakens" has yet to open in China, which is the world's second-biggest moviegoing market.
In the even-bigger picture, the worldwide box office surpassed $38 billion for the first time ever, according to Rentrak. Also for the first time, five films - "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Furious 7," "Jurassic World," "Minionis" and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" - each topped $1-billion gross in a single year.