Since the very first film debuted in 1977, the Star Wars saga has been closely linked with box office success, regularly becoming one of the most successful films of any year which features a film's release. Despite The Last Jedi's strong opening weekend, the film had a 69% drop the following weekend, which some box-office pundits pin on the holiday weekend instead of the film itself.
The film opened to $220 million, the second-biggest domestic opening weekend of all time, behind only 2015's The Force Awakens, which took in $248 million. This past weekend, however, Last Jedi only earned an estimated $68.4 million, whereas The Force Awakens managed to take in $149.2 million its second weekend, which also included a holiday. Last year, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story took in $155.1 million in its opening weekend and fell to $64 million the subsequent weekend.
"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."
Another snag that Last Jedi ran into this past weekend was its competition with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which took in $36.4 million in its opening weekend to a six-day total of $72 million.
Despite The Last Jedi's massive drop at the box office, the film is on track to take in $1.6 billion worldwide following its total of $745.5 million through Christmas Day. The film is estimated to earn between $750 and $800 million domestically in its theatrical run, putting it behind The Force Awakens' $936.7 million.
Were The Last Jedi to earn the estimated $1.6 billion, it would enter 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 The Hollywood Reporter]