Star Wars: The Last Jedi made $104.8 million domestically on its opening day Friday, putting the film on a path to easily exceed the film's projected $200 million opening weekend. The eighth episode in the Skywalker family space saga that began with creator George Lucas' Star Wars in 1977, The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson, the first filmmaker to helm a Star Wars film from his own script since Lucas' third film in his prequel trilogy, Revenge of the Sith, in 2005.
The Last Jedi, of course, comes two years after the blockbuster first film in the new Star Wars trilogy, The Force Awakens, where a new generation of heroes including Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) made their debut to accompany General Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) from the original trilogy.
And while it doesn't appear that The Last Jedi will top The Force Awakens' stellar opening in 2015, the film is headed for a monster take nonetheless. According to Deadline, The Last Jedi earned $104.8 million domestically on Friday, making it the second-best opening day of all time behind The Force Awakens, which earned $119.1 million on December 18, 2015. By the time The Force Awakens wrapped up its opening weekend, it earned a whopping $247.9 million, and eventually went on to earn $936.6 million in North American theaters.
By contrast, Deadline says, The Last Jedi is current tracking to make $216 million by the end of the weekend, and further noting that some analysts are estimating it could pull in as much as $220 million. If the numbers hold up, the domestic box office take for the film will come in a healthy amount over the $200 million opening weekend originally projected for the film. While Friday was technically opening day for The Last Jedi, the film burst out of gate Thursday with preview screenings and earned $45 million in ticket sales.
If the larger-than-estimated opening weekend for The Last Jedi holds up, the film will have the second-biggest opening weekend domestically of all time, behind The Force Awakens. Currently, Jurassic World hold the No. 2 slot, having earned $208.8 million in 2015. No. 3 on the all-time list is Marvel's The Avengers, which pulled in $207.4 million in its opening weekend frame in 2012.
Since The Last Jedi is overperforming in North American theaters, it interesting to see if foreign tickets sales will also come in above projections. Earlier this week, the film was projected to open with $425 million globally, with $225 million coming from international ticket sales. Even if ticket sales defy projections overseas, it's unlikely that The Last Jedi will challenge the current global opening record, which belongs to The Fate of the Furious. The eighth film in the Fast and Furious franchise scored $541.9 million in its opening weekend worldwide this spring, besting the previous record of $529 million set by The Force Awakens.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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