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‘Star Wars’ breaks ‘Jurassic World’ global box-office record

It turns out “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” made even more money than Disney thought in its opening weekend.

The space saga directed by J.J. Abrams grossed $528 million in ticket sales around the world in its global debut -- just enough to break the record set earlier this year by “Jurassic World” ($525 million).

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Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg that the new film grossed $247 million in the U.S. and Canada and $281 million internationally.

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The Burbank studio on Sunday had estimated a domestic total of $238 million and a gross of $279 million overseas for a global tally of $517 million. While that was enough for the U.S.-Canada record, it had appeared to come up shy of the global benchmark. That changed Monday with Iger’s announcement.

And the movie still has not been released in China, the world’s second-largest film market.

“It’s bigger than big. It’s bigger than we thought it would be,” Iger said. “And China has yet to open. So that’s an incredible weekend. And I must say it’s higher than we said yesterday.”

The numbers bode well for Disney, which bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012. The company has multiple “Star Wars” movies in the works and is expected to generate returns across other business segments including television, toys, video games and theme parks.

Theaters added showtimes throughout the weekend to respond to the demand for tickets as screening sold out. Still, not every auditorium in the country was packed. On Sunday night in off-season Westhampton, NY, a 9:15 p.m. showing at a 274-capacity theater had less than a dozen people in attendance.

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

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