For those still following along, Star Wars: The Last Jedi crossed the $600 million mark at the domestic box office on Saturday. It did so on its 37th day of release, a day behind Jurassic World and (obviously) 25 days behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens. More importantly, the Walt Disney action sequel earned $6.6m (-45%) in its sixth weekend of release, giving it a $604m domestic total. That puts it sixth on the all-time domestic grossers list, behind The Avengers ($623m in 2012), Jurassic World ($652m in 2015), Titanic ($658m, counting the 2012 3D reissue), Avatar ($760m in 2009/2010) and The Force Awakens ($937m in 2015/2016).
The Rian Johnson sci-fi flick had a smaller sixth-weekend drop than The Force Awakens and Rogue One but also smaller raw numbers (-46%, but $11 million and $7m respectively), so it’s not exactly getting a second wind as we brace for Fifty Shades Freed and Black Panther to kick off what will be essentially a year-round tentpole season. It’s still pacing to pass The Avengers (inflation notwithstanding) but it could be close. Presuming a $625m domestic total, it will have a 2.84x multiplier, which is a bit low for a big December hit and (as predicted) the most frontloaded live-action Star Wars movie ever. And, as predicted, it made less in North America than Wolf Warrior 2 made in China.
Of note, there are plenty of $150 million+ openers (The Dark Knight Rises, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, etc.) that were less leggy than The Last Jedi. Heck, among 16 $150m+ openers, it is the sixth-leggiest, behind the last two Star Wars movies, The Avengers, Jurassic World and The Dark Knight. So was it saved by the holiday boost or did it merely play like a normal summer release thanks to the massive fan-driven opening weekend? Probably a little of both, but it’s certainly the leggiest movie ever to drop anywhere near 67% on its second weekend.
But when A) the post-debut narrative is how/why hardcore fans hate it and B) you have a monster like Jumanji on your tail, this result shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, especially when you throw in a 2.5-hour running time and a less overtly escapist narrative. It will have fallen 33% from The Force Awakens, which is slightly higher than the norm (minus 30-32%) for Star Wars second chapters and will have a record for the biggest raw grosses sequel drop, which frankly makes sense when your first film made $937 million in North America alone. Again, chalk it up to Jumanji and a more frontloaded theatrical environment, but any alleged brand damage won’t be diagnosed until Episode IX opens in two years.
And, as once again predicted, it will make less overseas than The Fate of the Furious. And that’s telling since you can make the case that Universal/Comcast Corp.’s Vin Diesel/Dwayne Johnson action franchise is Star Wars-level popular in much of the world. Speaking of which, the film has now earned $1.296 billion, putting it above Frozen ($1.275b in 2013/2014) as the ninth-biggest global grosser of all time.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II ($1.343 billion in 2011) is a bridge too far, so it will likely get no higher than ninth place. Once again, the only measurement by which this could be taken as a disappointment is compared to The Force Awakens, Avatar, Titanic or maybe the Avengers movies, all of which qualify as lightning-in-a-bottle events. Matching The Force Awakens was never in the cards, but a total under Age of Ultron is something worth dissecting in a later post.
Oh, and Pixar’s Coco has crossed $655 million worldwide, with Japan and Scandinaviaeft to go, so there’s that to…
The latest Star Wars movie is divisive. Like, really divisive. Seriously, just check out the comments section.
To say that fans have had a mixed reaction to Star Wars: The Last Jedi would be an early contender for “understatement of the year,” but there might be a reason behind it. One prominent YouTuber attempted to get to the bottom of it in his latest video essay.
Matpat, who posts videos under the channel Film Theories, released a new video called “How Star Wars Theories KILLED Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” taking a look at all the clips that he and others made before the film’s release.
In his essay, he takes a look at the many, many YouTube theories that were released about the film, guessing that Rey was the child of Obi-Wan Kenobi or that Snoke was actually a resurrected Mace Windu. Those are only a few of the many possibilities presented from Internet sleuths, which run the gamut from “believable” to “holy sh*t that person needs medication.”
Film Theories tended to present some of the wackier ideas, which he admitted in this latest video, but now he’s breaking down the correlation between all of the new ideas presented in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the theories like his own that were posted before release, and the disappointment of fans after seeing the film.
He uses principles to help illustrate his point, including ideas such as the Mere Exposure Effect and the Illusory Truth Effect, but also does a good job not to lay blame solely at the feet of scorned fans.