‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Takes Off In China With Big Opening Day

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — China was the last market for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” to land in, and with its debut this weekend it has taken off.

The Disney space sequel premiered in the world’s second biggest market on Saturday with an estimated $33 million opening day, according to early estimates by the studio.

This would give Disney its biggest opening day ever in China.

Leading up to the premiere of the film, there was some uncertainty with how “The Force Awakens” would resonate in the country. The history of the series isn’t as well known in China as it is in the U.S.

Yet, Disney went to great lengths to market the film there. It even stationed 500 stormtroopers on the Great Wall in October.

“Disney’s strategy for ‘The Force Awakens’ in China champions the long game,” said Shawn Robbins, senior analyst at BoxOffice.com. “While they’ve marketed the film heavily there, and strong returns are expected, the franchise and brand familiarity are still nascent in Chinese culture compared to most of the world.”

The film, starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Harrison Ford, has crushed box office records at a light-speed pace since opening in mid-December.

So far the film has brought in over $1.6 billion worldwide. Earlier this week, it passed 2009’s “Avatar” to become the highest-grossing film in North American history.

Disney will have more opening totals from China later in the weekend, but so far the Millennium Falcon is soaring in the international market.