The power of Star Wars at the box office cannot be denied, with the latest chapter, The Last Jedi, having earned over $1 billion worldwide. These figures not only solidify that The Last Jedi became the top-grossing 2017 release, but it also helped pushed the cumulative total of the Star Wars universe past the Harry Potter universe of films to be the second-highest grossing franchise of all time.
According to StarWarsNewsNet, the 10 theatrically released Star Wars movies have earned a total of $8,556,678,930 worldwide, while the nine films in the "Wizarding World" franchise have earned $8,539,253,704.
The regularity with which Star Wars films get released will ensure that it stays in the second spot, with Solo: A Star Wars Story hitting theaters in May and Episode IX coming in December of 2019. The films in the Wizarding World, however, are relegated to premiering only every two years with the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Unless another spinoff based on Harry Potter debuts, the franchise's time as number two will only become a distant memory.
Were the numbers from the original Star Wars films adjusted for inflation, the competition could be adjusted slightly, but we doubt either of these franchises could come close to taking the top spot from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
If the MCU didn't already have such a tremendous lead on the competition, having already grossed an estimated $13.5 billion worldwide (with Thor: Ragnarok still in theaters), the amount of titles it produces every year just furthers that gap.
Black Panther will be hitting theaters in February, followed by Avengers: Infinity War in May and Ant-Man and The Wasp in July. According to BoxOfficeMojo, the average worldwide gross of an MCU film is $794.5 million, yet given the increasing popularity of the films in the shared universe, we can only assume that number will grow with each release.
Despite The Last Jedi opening to a $220 domestic opening weekend, many thought the longevity of the film's success was in danger when the following weekend saw a 69% drop. Industry pundits blamed this on it being a holiday three-day weekend, in addition to the release of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which was another family-oriented holiday release.
Disney earned the top two 2017 releases with The Last Jedi and Beauty and The Beast, with Wonder Woman taking the third spot for the year.
The Last Jedi is in theaters now.