Star Wars: The Last Jedi is believed to be 2017's most profitable blockbuster. The film ended its global commercial run with $1.3 billion worldwide - a far cry from the $2 billion predecessor The Force Awakens pulled in, but still a very impressive haul. It marked the third consecutive year Lucasfilm scored a $1 billion hit in their Disney era, and the collective box office total of the three film released to date matches the $4 billion price the Mouse House paid for the studio. Everyone figured the Star Wars renaissance would be successful, but it's gotten off to a fantastic start in this early going.
When it came to Episode VIII, its financial performance was the topic of some debate. The polarizing response to the movie seemed to affect its box office legs, but at the end of the day, there's no denying it was a monumental success. There's an obvious drop-off between Force Awakens and Last Jedi, but that can be attributed more to the fact Force Awakens will forever be an unprecedented cinematic event than anything else. If there was anyone still questioning whether or not Disney was happy with Last Jedi's bottom line, this latest development should put any concerns to rest.
Deadline's countdown of the top 10 most profitable blockbusters of 2017 (based on numbers calculated by their experts) ended by proclaiming Star Wars 8 as the winner. With $995.8 million in revenue earned against total expenses (marketing, etc.) of $578.3 million, The Last Jedi is thought to be $417.5 million in the black. That's enough to bankroll the productions of two Last Jedis and still have $17.5 million to spare. This is why the galaxy far, far away is one of the industry's leading tentpoles.
The outlet states that from their figures, the cumulative net profit of Force Awakens, Rogue One, and Last Jedi is a cool $1.5 billion. Unsurprisingly, much of that comes from Episode VII ($780.1 million), but it's all definitive proof this was a very wise investment. The future should be very bright indeed; the films are still going strong with Solo, Episode IX, Rian Johnson's trilogy, and David Benioff & D.B. Weiss' series all still to come. Additionally, next year sees the opening of the Galaxy's Edge theme park, and Jon Favreau is currently developing a TV series for Disney's streaming service. None of this takes into account the copious amounts of Star Wars merchandise that will be sold in the coming years. $4 billion may have been a bargain, as hard as that is to believe.
Besides serving as a fitting exclamation point for Last Jedi, this arguably alleviates the pressure on May's Solo. Undoubtedly, Lucasfilm wants their second spinoff to do well, but it's not like it's in a position where it has to rewrite the record books to keep the franchise afloat. All Ron Howard's film has to do is be profitable in its own right (something in the neighborhood of Rogue One's $362.6 million profit would do) and keep the machine humming along. Star Wars is thriving like it never has before, and right now there's nothing to worry about in regards to its longterm viability.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now available on digital and Blu-ray.
- 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