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“Force Awakens” crosses $250M globally after record Friday

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“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has already surpassed $100 million in North America and $250 million globally, setting it up for a record-breaking weekend. The Walt Disney Co. on Saturday said the film made an estimated $120.5 million from Thursday night previews and opening day Friday. That smashes the previous opening day record of $91.1 million, set by 2011’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.” (Studios count Thursday night grosses as part of opening day.) Disney is projecting…

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Email insights: Carlos Lopez-Cantera uses “The Force” to attract fans with “Star Wars” screening

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“Star Wars” mania hits Florida’s U.S. Senate race. “The force is with our campaign, and for that, we want to say thank you,” says a new email from Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera. For a lucky few that means a chance to join the Republican Senate hopeful for a preview of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in Miami. As a “huge Star Wars buff,” Lopez-Cantera is holding a Star Wars Watch Party on Thursday – one day before the highly awaited…

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LEGOS and Barbie top the list of kids’ favorite toys this year

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To look at this year’s most popular toys for both boys and girls one might think they were looking at a list from decades ago. LEGOS continue to top the boy’s list while Barbie products are ranked among the most popular holiday gifts for girls. According to the Florida Retail Federation, “Star Wars” toys come in second on the boys’ list – not surprising considering the upcoming release of a new, highly anticipated movie. In a throw-back to kids of…

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Harrison Ford promises older, wiser Solo in ‘Force Awakens’

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When speaking about “Star Wars,” there are few topics that inspire a twinkle in Harrison Ford‘s eyes. The 73-year-old actor is matter-of-fact about almost everything involving the sci-fi series’ latest episode — from his reunion with Carrie Fisher (“It was no big deal.”) to the franchise’s unwavering popularity (“For me, it’s old news.”). However, when Ford brings up his new co-stars, he lights up like the Millennium Falcon charging through hyperspace. “The new, young actors Daisy Ridley and John Boyaga…

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Q&A: ‘Force Awakens’ director on best way to watch his movie

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J.J. Abrams can’t really settle on a favorite moment from his saga of directing, co-writing and co-producing “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” but this one isn’t bad. “Being here now means we’re actually finished with the movie, which is a relief,” Abrams said with Jedi calm. Perched in a small living room setup inside the cavernous Los Angeles Convention Center, this is the final stretch of Abrams’ journey to this galaxy far, far away and back again, which started nearly…

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Terminally ill man who saw new “Star Wars” film dies

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A terminally ill “Star Wars” fan who requested an advance screening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has died less than a week after watching the movie. Daniel Fleetwood, who had cancer, had a private screening at his home in Spring, Texas, this past Thursday. His wife, Ashley, posted on Facebook that he died in his sleep early Tuesday and “is now one with God and with the force.” Diagnosed with spindle cell carcinoma and told he had just months…

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Disney: No more Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios

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Say goodbye to Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The theme park says in a blog post that the annual event held on consecutive weekends in May and June will no longer be offered because of construction of a Star Wars-themed land at Hollywood Studios. Once it’s completed, 14 acres will be devoted to Star Wars every day. Disney officials are slowly unveiling details about upcoming Star Wars attractions, including changes coming to the Star Tours ride that incorporates…

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