Updated: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Dominates the Holiday Box Office Yet Falls Short of Expectations
Star Wars is still king of the cinema this holiday season, but The Last Jedi has struggled to keep up with the box office expectations set by its predecessors. Various reports like those from Forbes and Variety have attempted to shine some light on the successes and shortcomings of the new Star Wars sequel.
There is no denying that The Last Jedi is a successful film by movie-going standards, but in light of the other Star Wars movies, it doesn’t seem to have the same set of legs. There are a few factors that may explain the movie’s epic drop in its second week that other Star Wars films were not affected by, and it remains to be seen if the movie will have the longevity of the previous Star Wars titles.
As of this past holiday weekend, Star Wars: The Last Jedi will have grossed around $400 million domestically in the U.S. (compare that to The Force Awakens‘ take of $571 million in about the same amount of time) and $800 million internationally. This is no small accomplishment, as The Last Jedi dominates the 2017 Christmas box office. However, as Forbes points out, the new Star Wars movie has had to contend with some other tent pole features this year like the well-reviewed, kid-friendly Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Universal/Comcast Corp.’s Pitch Perfect 3 which also took a couple of big slices of the Christmas pie.
The Last Jedi may have dropped less than projected in its second week, but it has still managed to break the record for the highest second weekend drop ever at over $151 million. No doubt the outcry against the movie by some of the franchise’s fans on social media has negatively affected its box office take by some degree, but just how much this will affect the film’s overall performance is unknown. While sites like Rotten Tomatoes depict an audience that is virtually split down the middle between those who hated the movie and those who loved it, we discovered in a recent poll of our own that (at least with readers of SWNN) there were a lot more who enjoyed the film than those that didn’t – with the results showing 70% rating the movie 8/10 or higher.
To sum it up, The Last Jedi is both a financial success and failure, with the box office ironically reflecting the feelings of many fans regarding the movie itself – loving some things and hating others. Of course, many others might just be like me and have been unable to visit the cinema for a repeat viewing of the movie due to sickness, holiday busyness, or just life in general. It will be interesting to see how the movie will perform when all is said and done.
After closer examination of the numbers myself, I noticed that some of the statements made about The Last Jedi and its financial take over its two week run may be slightly skewed. The only real news here seems to be the simple fact that the movie dropped so dramatically from the film’s opening weekend to the holiday weekend (which may or may not really mean much in the end). If you look at the numbers for The Last Jedi against those of The Force Awakens and Rogue One, it’s pretty clear that The Last Jedi didn’t really face any tougher opposition than either of the two previous films had to contend with.
Another thing to consider is that the numbers for The Last Jedi from Box Office Mojo do not consider the earnings for Christmas Day, which is estimated to bring the earnings for the four day weekend (if you count the holiday on Monday) up to around $100 million. I think this might put things in perspective a little better, when you consider that people actually had an extra day to watch this movie over the weekend, and those numbers haven’t officially been counted yet. Where the holiday fell on the calendar this year might be affecting these numbers quite a bit.
The sequel definitely made a lot less in its second week than The Force Awakens, but it made a little more than Rogue One. The difference is that The Last Jedi made significantly more than Rogue One during its opening weekend, and because of this, the drop off is more noticeable. The Last Jedi was never going to top or even get that close to The Force Awakens. Only time will tell what kind of legs The Last Jedi will have in the end. Hopefully it will prove to be more the tortoise than the hare.
Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he’s not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.