Star Wars: The Force Awakens has overtaken Bond adventure Skyfall to become the biggest film in Irish and UK box office history.

While Friday's box office take has yet to be finalised, it is already known that the JJ Abrams-directed blockbuster has beaten Skyfall's Irish and UK record of €137m (£103.2m). 

Around the world, The Force Awakens has taken over $1.59bn and is the biggest film in domestic US box office history ahead of Avatar

On Friday, the movie was nominated for four BAFTAs: Original Music, Production Design, Sound and Special Visual Effects.

Director JJ Abrams has said he understands fan criticism that The Force Awakens has too many nods to the original Star Wars movie, but said the franchise "had to go backwards to go forwards". 

In an interview with US trade publication The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast, Abrams, who was one of the writers of The Force Awakens, said he knew there would be people who would take issue with his approach, but that he hoped and prayed the group would be "smaller than not".

Abrams - "What was important for me was introducing brand new characters using relationships that were embracing the history that we know to tell a story that is new"

"But I knew we weren't making the movie for any other reason than we believed that it could be something meaningful and special and entertaining and worthy of people's time," he said.

"I can understand that someone might say, 'Oh, it's a complete rip-off!'" Abrams admitted. "What was important for me was introducing brand new characters using relationships that were embracing the history that we know to tell a story that is new - to go backwards to go forwards."

Abrams with his Star Wars: The Force Awakens co-producer Kathleen Kennedy

Abrams revealed that he was given the opportunity to direct more movies in the franchise but declined. 

"I realised when I was working on [The Force Awakens], the amount of energy that was required to tell the story, and do it justice, knowing when Episode VIII would start shooting, there was no way - if I wanted to still have my children talk to me in my old age - that doing that would make any sense," he said. 

"If The Force Awakens worked, it was the perfect place to say, 'I got to make a Star Wars movie', and not be a greedy bastard. If it didn't work, no-one would want me doing it anyway."