The latest “Star Wars” franchise became only the third film ever to reach the $2 billion mark, and is only the second to do so in a first release, Disney said in a statement.
It also set a domestic record with $900 million in ticket sales on Wednesday, making it “the only film in history to reach this milestone,” Disney reported.
Weekend estimates showed that it would rake in $6.9 million Friday through Sunday for a grand total of $906 million since its debut last year.
DreamWorks’ computer-animated “Kung Fu Panda” comedy — the third installment in the franchise — meanwhile earned some $21.0 in its second weekend out, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations predicted.
Following the adventures of Po as he evolves from martial arts student to teacher, the US-Chinese production features the voices of stars Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie.
The celebrity-studded Coen Brothers’ “Hail, Caesar!” a 1950s kidnap caper about a Hollywood fixer trying to keep a studio’s stars under thumb, debuted in second place with $11.4 million.
The picture casts George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Josh Brolin and Jonah Hill side-by-side, among a slew of other well-known faces.
In third place was critically acclaimed “The Revenant,” a grisly tale of back-country survival and revenge starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The film, which has been showered with Oscar nominations, earned an estimated $7.1 million.
Coming in fifth behind “Star Wars” was “The Choice,” a romantic-drama based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name. The film, typical of the Sparks genre (he is also the author behind “The Notebook,” “A Walk to Remember” and “Message in a Bottle”) raked in some $6.1 million.
Rounding out the estimates for the rest of the top ten were:
— “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” $5.2 million
— “The Finest Hours,” $4.7 million
— “Ride Along 2,” $4.100 million
— “The Boy,” just under $4.098 million
— “Dirty Grandpa,” $4.050 million