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"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" rakes in $45 million opening night

Daisy Ridley stars in "The Last Jedi." 

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LOS ANGELES — "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" is already rocking the box office with an estimated $45 million opening Thursday night. The eighth "Star Wars" movie got the second-highest Thursday night opening ever, after the $57 million start for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which kicked off this modern trilogy in 2015.

"The Last Jedi" is expected to net around $200 million throughout the weekend, which would make it the fourth-biggest opening of all time. It's set to play on 4,232 screens in North America.

Rian Johnson wrote and directed "The Last Jedi," which stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Adam Driver. 

He is also set to direct a "Star Wars" trilogy after J.J. Abrams' "Episode IX." Ron Howard will direct spin-off "Solo: A Star Wars Story," which is set for release in May.