The first shows for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” begin tonight, and there’s every expectation that is will be the biggest-opening, top-grossing domestic release of 2017. At a minimum, we’re looking at a $200 million opening, with $225 million very likely.
With strong holiday playtime following the first 10 days of release, a multiple of at least three times its opening is possible, which could propel to the domestic take to around $700 million.
Yes, it’s going to be huge — but there’s a few records it might not beat. Here (with adjusting numbers to 2017 values) are some comparable numbers that “Jedi” will easily best, and a few that seem unlikely.
Top domestic grosses of 2017: YES
“The Last Jedi” should find the opening numbers easy to beat, and it’s hard to imagine it won’t be the best-performing movie of the year.
|Film||Studio||Opening Gross||Domestic Total|
|Beauty and the Beast||Disney||$174.8 million||$504 million|
|Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2||Disney||$146.5 million||$412.6 million|
|It||Warner Bros.||$123.4 million||$389.8 million|
Best opening weekends in the “Star Wars” franchise: MAYBE
The bigger opening numbers in recent years can be tied to more seats available, pre-buys, and overall moviegoing habits.
|Title||Year||Opening Box Office|
|Star Wars: The Force Awakens||2015||$254.5 million|
|Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||2016||$157.6 million|
|Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith||2005||$151.1 million|
Best domestic gross for the “Star Wars” franchise: MAYBE
This includes reissues. “Star Wars” is the #2 film of all time, while “The Force Awakens” is the biggest success in the last 20 years. To be as high as fifth on the all time “Star Wars” list, “The Last Jedi” would need to do 78 percent of the total for “The Force Awakens,” and significantly better than “Rogue One.”
|Title||Year||Total Box Office|
|Star Wars||1977||$1.591 billion|
|Star Wars: The Force Awakens||2015||$965.5 million|
|The Empire Strikes Back||1980||$876.8 million|
|The Return of the Jedi||1983||$840.0 million|
|The Phantom Menace||1999||$757.4 million|
Top international grosses for 2017: NO
The two most recent “Star Wars” films weren’t top among overseas release in their years. In 2015, “The Force Awakens” was second to “Furious 7,” though it did gross over $1 billion overseas. “Rogue One” was eighth best among 2016 releases, grossing $524 million. Expect “The Last Jedi” to gross somewhere in between, unlikely to be better than third best for the year.
|The Fate of the Furious||Universal||$1.010 billion|
|Wolf Warrior 2||Beijing Jingxi Culture & Tourism Co.||$864.9 million|
|Despicable Me 3||Universal||$767.8 million|
|Beauty and the Beast||Disney||$759.5 million|
|Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Top worldwide grosses for 2017: YES
This looks entirely doable. “The Force Awakens” made over $2 billion, “Rogue One” a little over $1 billion; expect this to do more, both at home and overseas.
|Beauty and the Beast||Disney||$1.264 billion|
|The Fate of the Furious||Universal||$1.236 billion|
|Despicable Me 3||20th Century Fox||$1.033 billion|
|Spider-Man: Homecoming||Sony||$880.2 million|
|Wolf Warrior 2||Beijing Jingxi Culture & Tourism Co.||$870.3 million|