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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Love it or hate it, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is bringing in some solid box office coin. Thus far, it’s made around $610 million worldwide, with $296.5 million coming from North American box office receipts alone. This is in comparison to Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ $390.9 million in the same period.

RELATED – Why Critics Are Wrong About Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Abroad, the film has made around $314 million. While it’s opened in a lot of key places, one country it has yet to open in is China, which could very well give the film another substantial boost come early January.

Obviously, The Last Jedi isn’t setting itself up to approach anywhere near the mammoth $2.1 billion cume, but it’s definitely well on its way to easily breaking $1 billion, and potentially encroaching $1.5 billion, which is pretty amazing for any franchise. Assuming the film has around a $200 million budget, it likely has already broken even, including the cost of advertising.

By the end of today, Variety is reporting that the film will break $650 million worldwide, which is a nice little milestone.

What we’ll truly have to keep an eye out for here is this coming weekend. The film has been a bit polarizing, especially in the hardcore fan community. Couple that with the bad Rotten Tomatoes audience score, and we wonder if this negative buzz from the outspoken fans will impact its second weekend, and signal a troubling trend.

However, with the CinemaScore coming in at a solid A, it appears that mainstream consensus is that this is a film worth seeing. We’ll see what voices other audiences listen to the most.

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SOURCE: Variety

  • Kindofabigdeal

    Not gonna lie. I am on the fence leaning towards the not liking it side. But I have to see it again one more time. I have to be sure. Even if I leave the theater say “Then my franchise is truly dead.”

    • Kratos

      saw it a week ago and i realize “its only a movie!”…but i still cannot get past just how horrible of a SW film it is. maybe i missed the explanation….but in TFA if R2 was sitting in the corner of the resistance base covered by a tarp and according to 3PO “R2-D2 has been in low power mode ever since Master Luke went away.”….how did R2 get there?….he was clearly with luke during the scenes where the jedi temple was destroyed in both TFA and TLJ.

      • Kindofabigdeal

        I’m not the Nu-Fanboys god given scribe but I can tell you what I think. After the fall of the new Jedis Luke had to have returned back to Leia and Han to tell them what had happened. Out of shame he would have left and not taken R2, opting to go alone.

        • Kratos

          thanks for clearing that up for me. 🤘🏽

  • Rad4Cap

    “Thus far, it’s made around $610 million worldwide, with $296.5 million
    coming from North American box office receipts alone. This is in
    comparison to Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ $390.9 million in the same period.”

    Your wording is a bit unclear and thus potentially misleading. The title of the piece is about the worldwide total. But when you provide a comparison, you give only a single number. Without qualifying, it SEEMS like it could be that TLJ is doing BETTER than TFA – that TLJ had 610m while TFA had only made 390m in the same time.

    I suspect TFA number is ONLY the NA box office, not the worldwide BO. Correct?

    • Kratos

      yeh the 390# was TFA total DOMESTICALLY through its 7th day of release. the 296# for TLJ is its DOMESTIC total through its 7th day of release.

  • Unc Sam

    JJM, US box office down by roughly a quarter in the first few days. Makes us wonder if Lucasfilm had picked a better story how much better the franchise could be doing.

    • Brafdorf

      You really wonder that after how shitty the three films that came before (Last Jedi, Force Awakens, Rogue One) were?

      • Unc Sam

        RO was very cool, TFA not so much but at least it felt like a SW movie. Subjective of course.

  • TheFrank

    I love these propaganda articles. It must be tough to keep swimming against the tide.

    Truth is that TLJ is running just less than 76% domestic revenue against TFA at the moment. Attack of the Clones ultimately did 70% against Phantom Menace & Empire Strikes Back did 68% against A New Hope. And all of those numbers are based on raw dollar-for-dollar numbers, not accounting for ticket price inflation during the two to three years that passed before the respective sequel premiered.

    Both TFA & TLJ were released during the same time of month (different years, respectively) so we don’t need to compare summer versus winter numbers. They both receive the Christmas / New Year’s boost but will also receive a huge fall off after the first of the year.

    Honestly, it’s harder to keep a straight face over this fiasco as time goes on. They just can’t admit that they’re defending a stinker that has alienated both portions of the hardcore fanbase that remember the EU as though they lived it as well as a significant portion of the casual fanbase that couldn’t identify an EU book title to save their lives.

    The worst part about all of this was that this incident was entirely self-inflicted; The same fanbase that wanted George Lucas packing is the same fanbase that just can’t believe that they’ve now been given 3 lackluster films for all of their hard work. TFA blew up another bleeping Death Star (not to mention kill off Han Solo); Rogue One had huge chunks of it re-written and re-shot with the only noteworthy scene for the fanbois being Darth Vader carving up rebels in a corridor; TLJ… Well, what else can you say about the film that hasn’t been said already? And “Solo,” a film that basically had to start over once they fired the original film directors.

    All of this could have been prevented. The EU could have mostly been preserved with only minor revisionism. We could’ve had a really-for-real Episode 7, 8 & 9 from the creator of the franchise.

    Instead, the fanbois & Disney insisted on the usual re-boot philosophy of younger, louder, faster & grittier.

    Keep swimming against the tide, fanbois. At least you’re getting some exercise out of it.

    • darkwingschmuck

      Rogue one was very good.

    • Brafdorf

      Sequels always perform worse.

      Most people love this film.
      Per the course people who are angry and upset are more vocal.

  • Kratos

    fwiw, theres an article on the NYT website today called “The Women Who Run the ‘Star Wars’ Universe”. go read it. no wonder TLJ was so fucked up.

  • TheFrank

    Friday #s are in. TLJ is now at just under 73% domestic revenue compared to where TFA was at this time. It’s dropped 14 percentage points from a high of 89% compared to TFA already. Not a good sign.

    In complete fairness towards TLJ, though, TFA’s numbers are ever-so-slightly skewed because TFA debuted on December 18 & TLJ on December 15. Because it debuted slightly closer towards Christmas & the holiday week that follows, TFAs numbers are slightly front loaded compared to TLJ.

    However, those differences are incidental and will wash out after the first of the year. I expect TLJ to have a few days where it gains percentage ground on TFA due to TLJ getting it’s own Christmas bump. Prospects are bleak that the film will financially perform well domestically compared to expectations.

    I know that LRM (and TLJ fanbois) loves harping on foreign box office. OK. China gave TFA $124m. the UK gave it $163m. Germany gave it $111m.

    And, so far, TLJ is running 85% to TFA in Germany on opening weekend with the UK at 74% (opening weekend). China, as LRM correctly notes, has yet to open.

    But can China truly “save” TLJ? It’s possible but unlikely. In 2016, when TFA opened in China, it eventually ended up at #13, behind Captain America: Civil War & Warcraft. Star Wars, the franchise, tends not to do well in communist countries because Star Wars was initially used as Western propaganda against communism back in the late 1970s when Star Wars first premiered. Communist countries took note and were very hesitant to release films viewed as anti-communist in their countries, hurting the potential market for these films.

    Still, China did sink $800m+ into “Wolf Warrior 2” this year so the money potential is there. Unfortunately, that film had a decidedly anti-American & pro-Chinese military slant to it… Something that TLJ obviously doesn’t have.

    It’s kind of ironic that, in some areas, the Phantom Menace has done better dollar-for-dollar than even TFA at the foreign box office, even after 16 years: Japan loved the Phantom Menace at $109m. TFA? Only $97m.

    • Joseph Jammer Medina

      While your overall assessment Ian spot on, you seem to incorrectly assume that TLJ is a failure if it doesn’t live up to TFA. That’s not the case. The film seems to be approaching a bit under 1.5 billion. Is that under expectations? A bit. Is a failure? HELL no. But we have to remember just how much of a sensation TFA was and realize that you can’t really gauge success on how it compares to TFA.

    • Kratos

      matching day to day returns, TLJ is now running about 120 million behind TFA….and its at 52% down from 57% where it was a week ago on rotten tomatoes….the lowest score of any SW movie….speaks volumes

  • TheFrank

    Saturday estimates are in. $29m for TLJ. Granted, that’s an estimate so the number can go up or down by a few million (at most) when everything is tabulated. No one, for instance, is expecting the estimate to go from, say, $29m to $50m or $29m to $13m.

    If the estimates from the last two days prove to be accurate, then TLJ is currently around 70% domestic revenue [DR] against TFA. The slight differences in calendar days (they were both released in December but, due to the years being different, there’s a slight difference to when each of them hits the Christmas / New Year’s period) means that TLJ will likely have a day or two of percentage increases against TFA.

    As written before, Attack of the Clones did 70% DR against Phantom Menace & Empire Strikes Back did 68% DR against A New Hope.

    [NOTE: Wrote this section before I realized that I had missed both the xXx & modern Planet of the Apes franchises. In the end, I couldn’t use xXx because the original & sequel were too different from one another (the main star didn’t return for the sequel which definitely hurt the DR) & I could even make the same argument with PoA although that franchise improved their DR from the original to the sequel. So, ultimately, a wash?]

    Yet the question remains… Outside of the Star Wars franchise, how do sequels fare? Is the Star Wars franchise an outlier? After all, conventional wisdom is that sequels do worse than the original hits. So let’s look at some sequels and find out.

    I took all of the franchises that are represented in 2017 and looked at both their original DR & their sequel’s DR, regardless of the number of years separated. Two of the franchises had “originals” that are not a part of that franchise’s modern reboot (Transformers & The Smurfs) so those individual movies were tossed. I kept in Pixar’s Cars 1 & 2 even though the difference between those years is significant (5 year span). I also tossed an Indian franchise because, clearly, it was a limited release appealing to a niche audience & those numbers would not be representative towards what was trying to be uncovered. TFA & TLJ were, obviously, not included with this list.

    In the end, the results were pretty surprising (at least, to me). 8 of the 14 franchises actually did BETTER in their 2nd film than in their first. Now, mind you, these are not necessarily films in 2017 but the franchises; For instance, neither “Despicable Me” 1 or 2 did not debut in 2017 but there is a movie from the franchise that debuted in 2017.

    The best franchise result was John Wick, which more than doubled the original’s DR while the worse was “The Nut Job” whose sequel had less than half of the original’s DR.

    Some might suggest that the positive results are skewed towards films that had smaller original DR. After all, the smaller the DR, the more likely that a sequel can improve upon the percentage increase. However, this reason did not bear out: All 3 of the franchises which had $300m+ original DR made more money with their sequels than with the originals. In fact, the largest DR original to not have a more successful sequel was the Cars franchise. Franchises such as the Kingsman, Cars, & Fast & the Furious were not wanting for advertising or publicity during their sequel premieres. If I were to remove those films where the franchises were more obscure (Nut Job, Smurfs, Underworld Resident Evil & the Fifty Shades), the numbers would skew even more positively that sequels should perform better than their originals.

    Another argument could be made that franchises represented in 2017 are not representative of franchises in general. After all, if a sequel does worse than an original, it won’t likely get a third or successive film. The argument is that these franchises that do succeed are significantly popular and, of course, they’re sequels would be more likely to succeed than a franchise that only lasted ultimately 2 movies.

    This argument has some merit. When accounting for franchises whose sequels debuted in 2017, 2 of them succeeded & 3 of them failed to match or beat their original’s DR. However, 2 of the 3 that failed could be counter-argued as being for niche audiences (The Nut Job & Fifty Shades, for children & sexually-repressed housewives, respectively… that didn’t come out quite right) that were never intended to have mass appeal.

    In the end, Episode 8 is STILL underperforming. It’s now performing at the level of the AOTC prequel (and could soon start underperforming even compared to that standard); It’s underperforming similar to recent blockbuster franchises (unless someone wants to argue that Star WArs is now longer a blockbuster franchise) & it’s underperforming for modern-day sequels in general.

    Yes, TLJ will likely be a financial ‘success’ to some degree. That’s how managerial accounting works. It will also remain “canon.” But people need to stop this silly nonsense that it is a good film or even a good Star Wars film. It isn’t. The end. Thanks for playing.

    P.S. The Porgs are still cute, though, & perhaps one of the stand-alone films ought to be about them and not Ben Kenobi. Perhaps “The Porgs of Ach-to (or however the island name is spelt): A Star Wars story” in the vein of “The Penguins of Madagascar”? Just think of the merchandising possibilities.

  • WTFITBS

    I can see it hitting the billion dollar mark shortly after the new year which would cut it below the the top four highest grossing films this year.

  • syambo87

    i loved the movie… to me its the Best Star Wars movie… because of its Message.. this movie is a lot like Empire Strikes Back… the way it was released and received… and the way after a DECADE LATER… did so called Fans would make Empire their Favorite Film…

    in its core.. it is without a Doubt a Remake of Empire Strikes Back…

    Opens with the Empire Discovering the Rebels… Rebels make an Escape… plan led by Princess Leia…

    Heroes separate… One seeks a Jedi Master to learn the ways of the force.. the other… being heavily in pursuit and continously being bombed… remember the millenium falcon was in a meteor and the empire was trying to bomb them out of the meteor…

    during the training… the apprentice jedi finds a place strong with the dark side… looking for answers… sees the silhouette of the enemy only to reveal their face… vader with luke inside the helmet.. and kylo’s silhoutte and Rey’s face…

    then a group of allies meet a guy who we know little about who ends up turning our heroes over to the empire for personal gain…

    then there’s an EPIC scene with some revelation about Parenthood… and then the lines… JOIN ME… TOGETHER WE CAN RULE… the Dark Side asking the Light To Join Forces… together we can bring balance to the Galaxy…

    then theres the escape… where Leia and Chewie Rescue Luke Skywalker on the Falcon… Here’s its Rey and Chewie on the Falcon.. rescuing another Skywalker…

    The entire movie is about… We lose the Battle… but we live to fight another Day… and that’s what matters most…

    Failure is the Best Teacher…

    We don’t fight to destroy the things we hate… we fight to protect the things we love…

    for anyone who says The Last Jedi is so different from Star Wars Cannon is Bullshit because the movie is a total Remake…

    the movie is not going to make as much money because its running longer at 2 and half hours long… meaning less showtimes… so i dont know how many people are gonna watch it 3 times…

    but the movie is beautiful… its well directed… and the score is amazing… I agree with the Critics Score on this… this Movie is a Masterpiece

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.