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'The Last Jedi' opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

Last Updated Dec 17, 2017 at 9:33 am PDT

This image released by Lucasfilm shows Daisy Ridley as Rey in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" is off to a death star-sized start at the box office. Disney says Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, that eighth installment in the space franchise has earned an estimated $45 million from Thursday night showings. (Lucasfilm via AP)

NEW YORK, N.Y. (NEWS 1130) – “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” rocketed to a debut of $220 million at the box office, landing the second-best opening weekend ever in North America and slotting in behind only its predecessor, “The Force Awakens.”

The Disney blockbuster is only the fourth film to open above $200 million in North America. Aside from “The Force Awakens,” the others are “The Avengers” and “Jurassic World.”

Good reviews helped it. Rian Johnson’s sequel to “The Force Awakens” has a 93 per cent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences endorsed it too, giving it an A on CinemaScore.

The weekend’s only other new wide release came from 20th Century Fox, the film studio that Disney on Thursday acquired as part of its $52.4 billion purchase of its parent company, 21st Century Fox. “Ferdinand” grossed $13.3 million.