The force is strong in Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s box office receipts … the force of gravity.
The eighth official installment in the multibillion dollar saga (ninth if you count Rogue One) raked in $24.6 million on Friday, down 76.4 percent from its opening day last week. That’s the steepest Friday-to-Friday drop of the franchise, a distinction previously held by Rogue One, which fell 67.8 percent in its second Friday frame. Meanwhile, The Force Awakens only suffered a 58.6 percent decline from its first Friday to its second.
The Last Jedi has now grossed $321 million in its first eight days, trailing The Force Awakens by about $120 million through the same point. But the Rian Johnson-directed space epic was never going to match the figures set by its gargantuan predecessor. A decade of anticipation drove The Force Awakens to earn nearly $1 billion in the United States alone, by far the highest-grossing domestic film of all time without adjusting for inflation. As the second installment in the latest trilogy, it’s perfectly reasonable that The Last Jedi would fail to reach such epic box office heights.
Currently, The Last Jedi sits right behind Jurassic World as the third fastest-grossing film of all time, lagging $4 million behind the dino adventure flick through its first eight days. But Jurassic World came out in the middle of summer, burning off much of its weekday momentum in its first seven days. With kids home from school for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, The Last Jedi will rake in cash at an accelerated rate this week and could reclaim the No. 2 spot.
Johnson’s film has been met with mixed fan reactions in its first week, and several reports have perpetuated the narrative that the movie is a commercial failure. But it still stands to make $700 million domestically and $1.5 billion worldwide, so frankly, that narrative is wrong. And with J.J. Abrams returning to direct the next installment, disgruntled fans will likely still shell out cash to see Episode IX. They’ll get the redemptive arc they deserve, and LucasFilm will keep laughing all the way to the bank.