“The Last Jedi” Takes a Dive, But Remains Firmly in the Lead


December 22-24, 2017

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Star Wars: The Last Jedi   $68.4 million
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle  $34.0 million
Pitch Perfect 3 $20.4 million
The Greatest Showman $8.6 million
Ferdinand $7.0 million

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been out just 10 days, and it's been the subject of endless internet discussion. With its bold subversion of the themes on concepts of the saga, it's pissed off some of the fandom's most vocal members. Whether that, increased competition or just the busyness of the holidays played into the film's decline – or just the culture that gives us way more entertainment options – that nearly 69 percent drop is the worst ever for any Star Wars movie. Still, it's made $365 million in 10 days, the third-fastest ever. It's already the fourth-biggest movie of the year, and will top $400 million before next weekend. In fact, since The Force Awakens came out, only five non-Star Wars movies have made more money than it, and most of those took months to get there. While it's a precipitous drop, it's not anything for Disney to worry about (or for trolls to get excited about).

I didn't know there were that many people nostalgic for Jumanji, but here we are. Welcome to the Jungle made about half of The Last Jedi, but still earned a respectable $34 million. Since opening Wednesday, it's made more than $50 million, easily the winner of the holiday season. That's another big success for both the Rock and Kevin Hart. Pitch Perfect 3 didn't do nearly as hot. It made four times the original's debut, but nearly $50 million less than Pitch Perfect 2 started with.

But for a musical, a mere $20 million looks much better than the dismal $8.6 million The Greatest Showman debuted with. With a massive budget and a lot of competition on the way in the next month, this looks like a big flop under the big top. (Sorry, I had to.) Ferdinand slipped to fifth place, and even though it's bombing, it's still doing better than the other new movies.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: The Post, Steven Spielberg's dramatization of the publishing of the Pentagon Papers. The historical drama averaged $55,000 on each of its nine screens.
  • Downsizing got some real shrunken profits. The mostly reviled satire opened with a mere $4.6 million. It's been a bad year for star Matt Damon, who had two flops (The Great Wall and Suburbicon) before this, as well as some boneheaded comments about sexual harassment. He's definitely not the star he used to be.
  • But even that's better than Father Figures. The R-rated comedy starring Owen Wilson and Ed Helms bombed with only $3.2 million.

Next week:

All the Money in the World, even with its massive reshoots, still opened on time. It moved to Christmas Day, making it Monday's only new wide release. The Last Jedi will still be No. 1, but probably with only $40 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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