LOS ANGELES - ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ smashed the opening night record in the United States and Canada and was poised to become one of the biggest grossing movies ever, industry experts said Friday.

The latest instalment of the highly anticipated space epic raked in $57 million for its opening night Thursday, easily beating the previous record - $43.5 million - held by ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ in 2011. Disney gushed that combined with Friday figures, ticket sales ‘are pointing to a total day of $100M+ for a new industry record and the first triple-digit-million day ever!’

The ‘Harry Potter’ film holds the all-time record for opening day at $91 million but the new ‘Star Wars’ - which has had rave reviews and even saw Stormtroopers ‘invade’ the White House on Friday - is expected to also force it out of that slot. The projections from Walt Disney Co late Friday indicated the film could eclipse the $208.8 million record set by dinosaur adventure film ‘Jurassic World’ in June. Disney said theaters were adding showtimes to meet ‘unprecedented demand.’

Fans eager to see the first ‘Star Wars’ movie in a decade came dressed as Stormtroopers or Jedi. Ticket sales Thursday night and Friday surpassed previous records set by the final ‘Harry Potter’ film in 2011. The movie has opened in 44 countries outside North America, earning $72.7 million in total through Thursday.

At the White House, R2-D2 and two Stormtroopers surprised reporters with a quick appearance in the briefing room. First lady Michelle Obama hosted a screening for children of families that lost members to war. The new ‘Star Wars’ film is the seventh installment in the series created by George Lucas in 1977. Disney bought ‘Star Wars’ producer Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012 and spent more than $200 million to produce ‘Force Awakens.’