Star Wars: The Force Awakens expected to top Avatar’s American box office records by midweek

The latest installment is a few million dollars in ticket sales behind the animated favourite

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to overtake Avatar as the highest grossing American box office film of all time by the middle of next week, according to reports.

The newest Star Wars movie has already grossed $687 million according to Deadline estimates, which puts the movie second on the all-time box office charts ahead of Titanic ($658million) and Jurassic World ($652million). 2009’s Avatar grossed $760million, though the above figures are not inflation adjusted, so Star Wars will still need to sell a few tickets to take the lead by all measures.

Advanced ticket sales for the movie topped $100million in the US, with a massive opening weekend seeing it clock up $238million in ticket sales. The extended New Year holiday weekend is expected to push The Force Awakens close to Avatar, with total box office gross on target to surpass James Cameron’s animated movie by the middle of the coming week.

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Disney are thought to be planning a new Star Wars movie every year from 2015 onwards, including both a new trilogy and a series of spin-off movies taking the series through to around 2020.

Meanwhile, Leonardo Di Caprio has revealed he turned down a role as Anakin Skywalker in earlier Star Wars movies, saying that he met with George Lucas to discuss taking the role in Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith. The part eventually went to Hayden Christensen.

“I did have a meeting with George Lucas about that, yes. I just didn’t feel ready to take that dive. At that point,” he said.

Di Caprio also revealed that he turned down the chance to play Robin in Batman Forever and Spider-Man ahead of Tobey Maguire.