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Star Wars: The Force Awakens becomes Disney's biggest hit

The new Star Wars sequel rang in 2016 in style by becoming Disney's top-grossing film of all time in North America on New Year's Eve (31Dec15).

Star Wars: The Force Awakens also overtook Frozen at the worldwide box office, to become the eighth biggest-grossing film of all-time.

The sci-fi blockbuster, which hit cinemas on 18 December (15), has now made in excess of $1.29 billion globally.

The film has also leapfrogged another Disney hit, Marvel's The Avengers, to become the fourth most successful movie ever released in North America, thanks to a $629 million (GBP419 million) haul in just 13 days, according to figures obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

And the blockbuster doesn't open in China - one of the world's biggest movie markets - until 9 January (16).

Movie experts expect The Force Awakens to topple Avatar as the top-grossing film of all time in North America. James Cameron's 2009 movie finished its domestic theater run with $760.5 million (GBP507 million).

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