The box office numbers are showing a significant drop for director Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi compared to the other films in the Star Wars franchise. The film, which was released in theaters December 15, continues the Skywalker Saga following the story of force-sensitive scavenger Rey and dark side user Kylo Ren as they fight over the fate of the galaxy far, far away.
While the film was an overall success for Disney and Lucasfilm - it passed $500 million at the global box office during its first week alone making Disney cross $6 billion at the 2017 box office - audience opinions leaned more towards the dark side. Even though a majority of film critics loved The Last Jedi, with many hailing it as the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back, giving it a staggering 92-percent on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences had a different opinion - giving the film a 52 percent score making it the lowest audience-ranked Star Wars film. While critics loved the film's bold new take on Star Wars, audiences generally thought the film was too humorous, created too many plot holes, threw all the mysteries Episode 7 director J.J. Abrams set up out the window and butchered Luke Skywalker's character (despite Mark Hamill's performance being praised as one of the better aspects of the film).
A new report on Forbes is now pulling the film to an even darker place. It's been revealed that The Last Jedi box office is down 77 percent from its opening day last Friday. To put this in perspective: Rogue One went down 68 percent after its first week; The Force Awakens, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith saw declines around 50 percent; and The Empire Strikes Back, The Phantom Menace, and Return of the Jedi saw declines in the 20-30 percent range. The saga's most successful film, A New Hope, increased by 80 percent in its second weekend. It's not a good sign for the beloved franchise because mega-fans are starting to feel the sting of disappointment. Forbes asked super-fan Miles Bailey his thoughts on the latest film and here is what he said:
“Disney shouldn’t bank on the hardcore, cosplay, convention crew like myself seeing this film 6, 7, 8, 9 times. Episode 8: The Last Jedi set out to kill everything about episodes 1-7 and succeeded. I’m not excited by Solo or episode 9. Star Wars is done for me.”
Reactions like this make us wonder what it is about the new trilogy that's not settling right for fans of Episodes 1-7. The one aspect that's clearly missing from the new films is franchise creator George Lucas, who was able to create a sense of wonder with fantastical worlds and smart humor with the original and prequel films. While yes, the prequels have their problems, it seems like fans are now looking back at the Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor led films in a more positive light because of their ability to tell an original story, differing from the original films, while making them still feel like Star Wars movies. Something the new trilogy is struggling with considering many see The Force Awakens as a rehash of A New Hope, while The Last Jedi has elements of both Empire and Return of the Jedi.
So the big question is where does this leave Star Wars? While we don't want the franchise to end any time soon since new films still make the oldest of Star Wars fans jump for joy, things have to change to bring fans back. Something Disney and Lucasfilm could consider is looking back at the prequel material when creating new anthology films. We already know they are eyeing an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie with a possible 2019 production start, but they should continue listening to fans when it comes to new ideas.
Because a live-action 501st Clone Wars movie like in this fan-made poster would be pretty cool, just saying.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on all Star Wars: The Last Jedi news.
- 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: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019