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The Last Jedi earns $450m in opening weekend

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has earned a staggering $450m (£337m) in global ticket sales in its opening weekend, confirming the franchise’s status as a box office force.

The sci-fi blockbuster, released on 14 December, took £27.5m at UK cinemas – the biggest opening in 2017 and the third-biggest opening weekend of all time.

The eighth instalment in the Star Wars saga, which stars Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley and the late Carrie Fisher, opened in more than 700 sites – making it the widest cinema release of all time in the UK.

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In the US, the film made $220m (£165m) on its opening weekend, giving it the second-largest takings ever behind only its 2015 predecessor The Force Awakens.

The debut marks another major success for Walt Disney, which bought Lucasfilm in 2012.

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At least five more Star Wars movies are being planned by Disney, including one about a young Han Solo set for release in May and Episode IX in December 2019.

The Last Jedi features Fisher’s final performance as Leia, the princess who became a general leading resistance forces against the Empire and then the First Order.

Fisher died from a heart attack in December 2016 at the age of 60.

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