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Strong first night for “Star Wars” falls short of previous 2

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: A general view of red stormtroopers attend the "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" European Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square on December 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES — Plenty of force was with “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” on its first night, but it has fallen short of the two previous films in the trilogy.

“The Rise of Skywalker” brought in an estimated $40 million in Thursday night previews, the fifth-biggest Thursday opening ever.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” earned $57 million in its Thursday previews in 2015, the highest ever until “Avengers: Endgame” earlier this year.

In 2017, the second film, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” had a $45 million tally on its opening Thursday.

The third film stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver and Carrie Fisher. It is expected to bring in $200 million during the weekend.

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