Force keeps `Star Wars` saga success aglow

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' drew by far the biggest weekend crowds to North American screens.

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' drew by far the biggest weekend crowds to North American screens as its record earnings keep mounting, final industry data showed Monday.

The latest "Star Wars" space epic took in $90.2 million for the Friday-Saturday-Sunday period, down 40 percent from the corresponding week-earlier period, Exhibitor Relations said.

But the film still accounted for 44 percent of the combined ticket sales of all top 12 films. In its first three weeks the movie has now taken in more than $742 million at North American box offices. 

The much anticipated seventh installment of the blockbuster saga, showing on 4,134 screens across North America, last week surpassed the $1 billion mark in global box office sales in record time.

A distant second in the latest numbers was 'Daddy`s Home' -- a sharp-edged comedy about the uncomfortable competition between a stepfather, played by Will Ferrell, and the biological father, Mark Wahlberg -- which took in $ 29.2 million in the latest three-day period, down from its $38.7 million opening weekend.
But "The Hateful Eight," the latest film from bad boy director Quentin Tarantino, more than tripled its opening-weekend take to surge from tenth to third on the list, at $15.7 million for the three-day period.

Holding onto fourth place was 'Sisters', a comedy starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, at $12.8 million, followed by "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip," with revenues of $12.1 million.

'Joy', whose director David O. Russell has known both commercial and critical success, slipped from third place to sixth, despite the combined star power of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. It netted $10.2 million.

Results for the rest of the top 10 were as follows:
7. "The Big Short" ($9.1 million)
8. "Concussion" ($7.8 million)
9. "Point Break" ($6.8 million)
10. "Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2" ($4.6 million).