Star Wars: The Last Jedi is rocketing for the biggest opening weekend and the most lucrative debut of the year in the estimated $200 million range in North America.
The new Star Wars movie, aka Episode VIII, arrived on tracking on Wednesday morning with similar polling points to 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, according to Deadline.
The Force Awakens, first Star Wars movie in a decade, marked the biggest single and opening day record and became the first movie ever to earn over $100 million in a single day.
During its Dec. 15-17 opening weekend, Star Wars: The Last Jedi could repeat – or even surpass – its predecessor’s success, early estimates by tracking services show. The highly-anticipated Disney/Lucasfilm film’s arrival on tracking comes amid a disastrous box office opening weekend for Justice League, which earned a disappointing less than $95 million domestic in its opening weekend.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is heading for the biggest debut of 2017, even surpassing this year’s massive March 17-19 opening for Beauty and the Beast at $174.8 million. As tracking services show The Last Jedi is tracking for a stellar $200 million opening weekend, the new Star Wars movie could become the fourth film to debut at over $200 million, after The Force Awakens ($248 million) and Jurassic World ($208.8 million) in 2015, and The Avengers ($207.4 million) in 2012.
Early estimations from tracking services show that unaided awareness – when a moviegoer knows a movie is coming up without any prompting – is at 35 for Star Wars: The Last Jedi against The Force Awakens’ 36. Total awareness for The Last Jedi, meanwhile, is at 94 compared to the 2015 predecessor’s 92 while definite interest is 65 to 60 respectively.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke several box office records in December of 2015 and set an all-time record with $119.1 million on its opening day. The Star Wars film went on to gross over $2 billion worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film in North America and the third-highest-grossing film of all time, just behind 1997’s Titanic and 2009’s Avatar.
The first Star Wars spinoff, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, opened in December of 2016 with $155.1 million. But Star Wars: The Last Jedi, directed by Rian Johnson, is forecasted to repeat or surpass the success of the J.J. Abrams-directed The Force Awakens by opening in the $200 million range during its Dec. 15-17 debut weekend in North America.
The new Star Wars movie picks up where The Force Awakens left off. The Last Jedi stars returning cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Andy Serkis. The Last Jedi will mark the final film appearance for Fisher, who died last December.
The new Star Wars film also stars Billie Lourd, Lupita Nyong’o, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as well as rumored Justin Theroux and Tom Hardy.
[Featured Image by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images]