Only 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' was bigger
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a force to be reckoned with at the box office.
Episode VIII of Lucasfilm and Disney’s enduring space opera is on track to gross an estimated $220 million in 4,232 theaters in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, marking the second-highest domestic opening of all time (not adjusted for inflation), behind only its predecessor Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which debuted to $248 million in 2015.
The Last Jedi is just the fourth film in history to open north of $200 million, joining The Force Awakens, Jurassic World ($208.8) and The Avengers ($207.4). It’s also set to add $230 million overseas, for a worldwide bow of $450 million, which would rank fifth all time. (The Last Jedi has yet to open in China, the world’s second-largest movie market.)
Written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick), The Last Jedi has met with excellent reviews from critics and also garnered an A CinemaScore from moviegoers. The film, which picks up where The Force Awakens left off in the midst of a heated intergalactic conflict, features original Star Wars players Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher, as well as next-gen heroes and villains Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, and Kelly Marie Tran.
The Star Wars franchise shows no signs of slowing down, with a young Han Solo spinoff movie (directed by Ron Howard), Episode IX (with J.J. Abrams at the helm), and a new Johnson-directed trilogy all in the works. The Last Jedi‘s huge opening also comes in the wake of Disney announcing its seismic deal to buy film and TV assets from Fox, the original home of Star Wars.
At the weekend box office, The Last Jedi is being followed — in a very distant second place — by Ferdinand, Fox’s animated movie based on the children’s book The Story of Ferdinand. The family-friendly film will take in about $13.3 million, falling short of analysts’ predictions of $15 million to $20 million.
On the bright side, Ferdinand received an A CinemaScore and generally positive reviews. Carlos Saldanha directed the movie, which centers on a gentle bull (voiced by John Cena) who refuses to participate in bullfighting. The voice cast also includes Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson, and Bobby Cannavale.
Rounding out the top five are Disney and Pixar’s Coco, with about $10 million; Lionsgate’s Wonder, with about $5.4 million; and Warner Bros. and DC’s Justice League, with about $4.2 million.
According to ComScore, overall box office is down 2.9 percent year-to-date. Check out the Dec. 15-17 figures below.
1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi — $220 million
2. Ferdinand — $13.3 million
3. Coco — $10 million
4. Wonder — $5.4 million
5. Justice League — $4.2 million
6. Daddy’s Home 2 — $3.8 million
7. Thor: Ragnarok — $3 million
8. The Disaster Artist — $2.6 million
9. Murder on the Orient Express — $2.5 million
10. Lady Bird — $2.1 million