Some fans called it the worst Star Wars film ever, while others believed it has betrayed the traditions and values that the 40-year sci-fi movie franchise has long stood for. Nonetheless, whatever backlash there was, it has not prevented Star Wars: The Last Jedi from becoming the top film in North America in 2017 and garnering a total of $1 billion in worldwide grosses in less than three weeks.
According to the New York Times, Star Wars: The Last Jedi earned an estimated $52.4 million during the last weekend of 2017, grossing a total of $517 million since it opened on December 15. This makes it the No. 1 film of the year in the United States and Canada, edging Disney’s Beauty & The Beast ($504 million) and Warner Brothers’ Wonder Woman($412.6 million) into second and third places, respectively. Globally, the latest Star Wars release from Disney/Lucasfilm took in $523.3 million during the same period, pushing it past the $1 billion milestone.
The Last Jedi – starring Star Wars veterans Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher, as well as new Force-filled generation actors the likes of Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, and John Boyega – is currently the eighth highest-grossing domestic movie of all time. According to Forbes, as the Rian Johnson-helmed installment is just $15 million behind 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story– currently seventh on the all-time list – The Last Jedi will easily overtake Rogue One’s position after it opens in China, the world’s second-largest movie market, this weekend.
No matter what criticism or brickbats there may be from disgruntled fans or movie critics, a Star Wars film will traditionally perform well at the U.S. box office. For instance, despite murmurings that it comes across simply like a carbon copy of 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, sitting pretty at the top of the leaderboard of the highest-grossing films in North America is 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with a total domestic gross of $937 million.
Which means that in the past three years, a Star Wars film has come up on top of the North American box office. And there will be yet another Star Wars movie out this year. Due out on May 25 – the 41st anniversary of A New Hope-Solo: A Star Wars Story, the second Star Wars standalone film from Disney/Lucasfilm that stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, has a high bar to live up to.
The Last Jedi is still in theaters worldwide and whether it will reach the heights of The Force Awakens remains to be seen. It may not be the best episode in the Star Wars saga – 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back still wins hands down – the action-packed space drama nonetheless still provides for great popcorn entertainment.
Check out the video below to see how cast members such as Ridley, Driver, and Gwendoline Christie trained for their very physical roles in The Last Jedi.