Several AMC locations around the country are adding late-night 2 am screenings for Star Wars: The Last Jedi due to high consumer demand. At long last, the eighth chapter of the Skywalker saga is upon us, beginning its domestic theatrical run with preview showings on Thursday, December 14. Though the film is not expected to top the astronomical box office numbers of 2015's The Force Awakens, Last Jedi is estimated to rake in around $200 million in its U.S. opening weekend, and $425 million globally. After a down year at the box office, theater owners are more than happy to see Star Wars come back this holiday season.
It's no shock fans want to see the film as early as they can (especially with the Internet becoming a spoiler minefield), but since Star Wars is so popular, a number of the initial screenings have already been sold out. However, AMC is doing what they can to ensure more people can get in for the first night.
Related: The Last Jedi Box Office Predictions
Per Variety, the nationwide chain is scheduling 2 am showings for Friday, December 15, citing interest amongst viewers. AMC did this for Force Awakens, so it isn't surprising they're bringing the practice back for Episode VIII. This is, arguably, the biggest movie event of the year, and it's a nice gesture on AMC's part to respond to the feedback by slating more times. This will be unfortunate for the theater employees working (extra) long shifts, but fans desperate to see The Last Jedi will undoubtedly enjoy it.
It would appear AMC is eager to milk all they can out of new Star Wars, and for good reason. As indicated above, 2017 has not been kind to the multiplex in terms of ticket sales. There have been some notable exceptions, but a number of this year's big-budget offerings failed to leave much of an impression at the box office. This includes last month's Justice League, which crawled to $600 million worldwide after playing for four weeks. The marketplace is ripe for a huge hit, and The Last Jedi definitely fits the bill. Not only is it the sequel to the highest-grossing film of all-time (domestically, that is), it's also a bona fide critical darling. The film has earned widespread acclaim, meaning it's worth the price of admission.
It'll be interesting to see what effect these 2 am showings have on Star Wars 8's opening weekend numbers. The tracking has stayed at an even $200 million for a couple weeks now, but that was before AMC made this change. The chain statistically is the largest in the U.S., so they could give The Last Jedi a minor boost when it's all said and done. Regardless of how the late-night screenings pan out, Lucasfilm is set to have another major blockbuster on their hands, which is all they could have hoped for.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018