The force around the world is strong this week as J.J. Abrams' highly anticipated "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" makes its way to the big screen. Although it was announced that the newest chapter would premiere on Friday, Dec. 18, many fans will be seeing the film on Thursday, Dec. 17 as movie theaters around the country roll the newest chapter out the night before.

Although many expect the film to get released at 12:01 a.m. on Friday morning, some theaters actually have screenings as early as 7 p.m. EST on Thursday. Movie showings Thursday night range from 7 p.m. to midnight and the film is also being screened in both IMAX and 3D formats. You can check your local theater for times and visit Fandango or for tickets.

But why the early premiere? The Wrap reported in March 2013 that movie premieres were starting to get earlier screening on Thursday in part because of box office numbers being down. A time earlier than midnight would not only be more conveinent for moviegoers, but also saves theaters more money on staffing. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new "Star Wars" film is set to break a record for advanced ticket sales after the total earnings went over $100 million. The previous record was held by 2012's "The Dark Knight Rises" with $25 million in advanced ticket sales.

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" had its world premiere on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles. The film is already getting positive reviews from critics. A lucky few, like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have also had the opportunity to get a glimpse of the new galaxy before the movie arrives on Thursday. 

You can watch the trailer for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" below: