'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' to Beat 'Beauty and The Beast' For #1 Spot At 2017 Box Office

Each entry in the Star Wars saga comes with a massive box office haul, so it's no surprise that The Last Jedi will be one of the most successful movies of the year. What is surprising is that, based on being in theaters for less than two weeks, The Last Jedi could oust Beauty and the Beast as the most successful 2017 movie release.

The latest chapter in the saga earned $21.5 million on Wednesday, bringing its total to $444.9 million domestically. Based on what it has earned so far, industry projections put the film at earning close to $550 million domestically, easily eclipsing Beauty and the Beast's $504 million total.

The Last Jedi has already proven itself to be a massive success, but it's still a far-cry from 2015's The Force Awakens box office totals. The film ended its theatrical run with $652 million domestically.

In its opening weekend, The Last Jedi scored $220 million, yet the following weekend saw a 69% drop to an estimated $68.4 million. This is a substantial difference, but experts have pointed out the reason for the performance was related to the holiday weekend and that the film shouldn't necessarily be compared to The Force Awakens.

"The Force Awakens was an outlier, the likes of which we may never see again, and to compare any movie, even a Star Wars film, to that performance is unfair given the buildup to that film's monumental release," comScore analyst Paul Dergaragedian explained to The Hollywood Reporter. "At a gross of nearly $750 million worldwide and a near even split between the North American and international gross after a little over a week in theaters, The Last Jedi is by any measure a great success, and the passionate debate over pros and cons of the film itself serve only to show the continued passion that fans have for this historic film series."

Current projections show that The Last Jedi could go on to earn an estimated $1.6 billion, which would enter it into the top five most successful films of all time, which includes Avatar, Titanic, The Force Awakens and Jurassic World.

The Last Jedi is in theaters now.

[H/T Deadline]

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