Media Moves

Coverage: Disney’s latest “Star Wars” movie has $220 million opening

December 18, 2017

Posted by Chris Roush

Screen Shot 2017-12-17 at 9.54.21 PMDisney-Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”  opened with a stellar $220 million weekend at 4,232 North American sites, the second-highest opening weekend of all time.

Dave McNary of Variety had the story:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi” trails only the $248 million launch of 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

The tentpole opened with $104.8 million on Friday (including $45 million from Thursday night previews) for the second-best opening day of all time, followed by $64 million on Saturday and a projected $51.3 million on Sunday. With international grosses hitting $230 million, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” totaled $450 million worldwide.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has become only the fourth movie to top $200 million domestically in its opening frame, joining 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” 2015’s “Jurassic World” with $208.8 million, and 2012’s “The Avengers” with $207.4 million. It will finish the weekend 29% above the “Star Wars” spinoff “Rogue One,” which opened with $155.1 million on the same weekend a year ago.

Scott Mendelson of reported that the move brought in $450 million globally:

The second Star Wars in each trilogy is always the lowest-grossing of the bunch anyway, and at worst this one may merely end up the most frontloaded live-action Star Wars episode by default.

Besides, with $450 million worldwide in just a few days (the fifth-biggest global debut behind Harry Potter 7.2Jurassic World, The Force Awakens and The Fate of the Furious, but the third-biggest if you exclude China openings), it can afford to be a prototypical quick kill blockbuster. Oh, and it earned $40.6m in IMAX alone, the second-biggest global IMAX debut behind The Force Awakens. In terms of domestic stats, it played 58% male, 7% 12-and-under, 8% 13-16, 22% 17-25, 26% 26-34, 23% 35-49 and 13% 50-years and older.  It played 70% 2D (8% PLF 2D and 4% IMAX 2D) and 30% 3D (7% IMAX 3D and 6% PLF 3D). So yeah, so far, so good.

The one new release willing to brave the Star Wars storm was Ferdinand. The well-reviewed Blue Sky Studios animated film (74% fresh and 6.1/10 on Rotten Tomatoes), starring John Cena as a bull trying to get back to his family, is yet another case of a Fox animated feature going headfirst against a major pre-Christmas tentpole.

Jake Coyle of The Associated Press reported that the latest movie is more irreverent:

While Abrams’ reboot capitalized on a decade’s hiatus for Star Wars, Johnson’s sequel didn’t have the same benefit of freshness. It follows not only The Force Awakens (which ultimately grossed $2.1 billion) but last year’s spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. That release opened with $155.1 million, and grossed a little more than $1 billion globally.

Johnson, who wrote and directed, instead aimed to distinguish The Last Jedi by introducing some new tones to George Lucas’ space opera. The Last Jedi is more irreverent than previous chapters. And it has drawn plaudits for its diverse cast, including Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.

“The results speak to the power of representation,” says Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis. “The film really reflects our world and beyond. It becomes something people can see themselves in.”

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