While it might not seem like the most festive of holiday releases, Star Wars: The Force Awakens looks set to break cinema box office records this Christmas.

The latest episode in the block-busting franchise opened to acclaim across the globe last night, following its premiere in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

The highest grossing film of all time Avatar, had a domestic opening release of $77 million, and had the exact same release date back in 2009.

Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Star Wars had already passed the $100million mark ahead of its release, and could top $120million this weekend.

While it remains to be seen whether Star Wars can match Avatar over the course of its run, the figure suggest that it us set to replace James Cameron’s Oscar-winning film at the top of the list.

Oh No it Isn’t! Oh Yes it is!! The Time for Christmas Cheer is Here! DublinatChristmas.ie, singer Brian Kennedy and Panto Stars Switch on Grafton Street Christmas Lights Pic shows Shoppers celebrated the arrival of Christmas beneath the festive glow when DublinatChristmas.ie brought Grafton Street alive with the magic of Christmas yesterday evening, (Thursday 15th) The stars of the Gaiety Theatre Panto, Cinderella and her two ugly sisters, briefly put their differences aside to join singer Brian Kennedy to press the button, and officially launch Christmas in Dublin city centre! Then it was over to South William Street for 6.00pm to see the newest edition to DublinatChristmas.ie’s street lighting!! The event was packed full of family fun with facepainters, giant games, stilt walkers and entertainment throughout. DublinatChristmas.ie is a one-stop-shop to find all you need to know about the variety of merry events taking place during the weeks running up to Christmas - from the switching on the lights ceremonies across the city to a Geansai Nollaig record breaker challenge, there is something in our magical city centre for everyone to enjoy! PIC. KEITH ARKINS NO REPRO FEE ENDS For more information: Laura Mannion / Luke McDonnell (Drury) 01 2605000 Laura.mannion@drury.ie / luke.mcdonnell@drury.ie

The Irish Times reports that 2015 is set to be the busiest shopping year since 2008.

They quote Retail Ireland as saying that fashion, footware, furniture, and electronics are the strongest consumer areas over this festive season.

4 billion euro is likely to be spent here in December up from 3.9 billion last year.

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An Post have revealed that they are currently processing 130,000 letters to be sent to the North Pole for Santa.

Each letter passes through post offices all over the country en route to the Lapland, with the postal company having a special arrangement with Santa to deliver the letters.

The longest letter reported so far ran to ten foolscap pages, but An Post also said that the average letter to Santa is one page.