“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” Achieves Second Biggest Opening Weekend Ever


Film  Weekend Opening Weekend Current Gross
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Lucasfilm/Disney) $220m $220m $220m
Ferdinand (20th Century Fox) $13.4m $13.4m $13.4m
Coco (Disney/Pixar) $10m $50.8m $150.7m
Wonder (Lionsgate) $5.2m $27.5m $109.1m
Justice League  (Warner Bros.) $4.3m $93.8m $219.6m

Update: The numbers above and in the article have been updated based on actual box office.

Have we reached the point where a movie making $200 million in three (and a half) days is no longer impressive? Because Lucasfilm and Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi became the fourth movie ever to achieve that benchmark in a single weekend, after opening in 4,232 theaters Friday. Then again, it had already made $45 million in Thursday previews which was folded into its $104.8 million opening day.

Directed by Rian (Looper) Johnson, the sequel to 2015’s record-setting Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended up with a $220 million over the weekend, averaging a whopping $52,000 per theater as it dominated the box office.  There were a few theaters in New York and L.A. that were showing The Last Jedi on almost every single screen with showings every five or ten minutes, which is somewhat unprecedented. 30% of that opening weekend came from 3D, IMAX 3D and other large formats.

That $220 million opening is the second biggest in domestic box office history. Although it’s below the $248 million opening for The Force Awakens in 2015, it’s ahead of last year’s Rogue One, which opened with $155 million this weekend last year.

Although the movie received quite a bit of internet backlash since opening on Thursday, it still received an “A” CinemaScore just like the last two Star Wars films distributed by Disney.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi made slightly more overseas with a $230 million weekend total in 54 territories, which brought its global total to $450 million in just four days. $40.6 million, a little less than ten percent, came from the 776 IMAX screens worldwide on which The Last Jedi  opened.

The Last Jedi should be the #1 movie for the next three weeks, but it’s doubtful it will surpass The Force Awakens‘ record-setting box office, grossing $937 million in North America alone. Based solely on the weekend figures, I’d estimate The Last Jedi to end up with around $700 million domestically, so James Cameron’s Avatar would be safe as the #2 highest-grossing movie with $760.5 million.

Fox’s animated Ferdinand, featuring the voice of wrestler John Cena, never really stood a chance, but its $13.4 million opening is a good base to build upon over the holidays as families look for more movies to watch together.

Disney-Pixar’s Coco dropped 46% to third place with an est. $10 million and $150.8 million grossed domestically so far. Besides Ferdinand, the animated film will have more PG-rated family-friendly competition starting Weds. with both JumanjiWelcome to the Jungle and The Greatest Showman vying for the same family audiences over the holidays.

As has been pointed out, Disney dominated the box office with Star Wars and Coco, but if the deal to buy Fox had already gone through, the new Disney-Fox merger would have brought in $245 million just from the two company’s movies in the top 10.

The Lionsgate drama Wonder finally pulled ahead of Justice League to take fourth place with $5.2 to $4.3 million respectively, although Justice League is still ahead by $100 million after the two movies opened on the same Nov. weekend. Justice League has grossed $219.5 million domestically to Wonder‘s $109.3 million.

The comedy sequel Daddy’s Home 2, starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, somehow remained in sixth place with $3.8 million to bring its total to $96.6 million, and it should pass $100 million by week’s end even with the competition opening in theaters onWednesday.

The Disaster Artist took a massive plunge in its second weekend, dropping from fourth to eighth place with $2.7 million and $13 million total. Lady Bird continues its journey to become A24’s highest grossing release with another $2.1 million, bringing its total to $26 million, just $1.8 million shy of surpassing this year’s Best Picture winner Moonlight. It should make that amount sometime in the next two days.

Also, Amazon Studios expanded Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel starring Kate Winslet into 536 theaters Friday.  It failed to achieve the success of other recent specialty releases, averaging less than a thousand per venue for $460,068, to take 18th place. Clearly, Allen’s popularity has started to wane, but moviegoers might have been swayed by the stronger films already in release or the rather tepid reviews, probably not helped by the recent sexual assault allegations of which Allen is intimately familiar.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi didn’t open in China, and that’s because there were two high profile local releases, Feng Xiaogang’s Youth, which grossed $43.2 million in China alone, followed by Yuen Woo-ping’s Thousand Faces of Dunjia, which opened with $27.3 million. Youth did decently in its platform release in the States, grossing $338.635 in 30 U.S. theaters for an average of $11,287 per venue. Thousand Faces did just $57,837 in a few less North American theaters.

On Wednesday, two more wide releases open, then another three on Friday, including a number of expanding specialty releases, so check back on Tuesday for this week’s box office preview.

(Source: boxofficemojo.com. Figures represent estimated numbers at time of writing, and they may change.)

  | East Coast Editor
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Still quiet here.sas

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