erik lundegaard

Sunday December 17, 2017

Box Office: Nothing But 'Star Wars'

Star Wars: The Last Jedi box office

Three days, $220 million. 

Trivia question: Which “Star Wars” movie is the only one that didn't wind up No. 1 at the U.S. domestic box office for the year?

It won't be “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” that's for sure. This weekend it grossed a cool $220 mil, the second-best opening ever—after “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which grossed $248 two years ago. 2017's biggest box office hit thus far is “Beauty and the Beast,” which grossed $504 million last spring. For “Last Jedi” to not overtake it, particularly with its 93% RT rating, would be some kind of stumbling record for the franchise. “Force Awakens,” for example, wound up grossing nearly four times its weekend opening: $936 million. I don't expect that for “Last Jedi,” but assume it'll wind up north of $600 mil. Probably closer to $700. 

Is it ironic that the only studio to wide-release anything against “Star Wars” this weekend was Fox—the original “Star Wars” studio? The geniusese there decided to counterprogram against the most successful kids/family franchise ever with ... a kids/family movie, the animated “Ferdinand,” based on the story of the peaceloving bull. I guess they were going for that 2-to-3-year-old demographic It wound up a distant second with $13.5 mil.

Fox's animated division, Blue Sky, has never been a huge force. Their biggest hit was the “Ice Age” franchise, which has done better abroad than at home, but even there its popularity is melting like the polar ice caps. The last one, “Collision Course,” released last year, grossed just $64 mil here and $408 worldwide. But even it opened better than “Ferdinand” ($21 mil). 

By this time next year it might all be the same company anyway, since Disney is buying Fox, or Disney is merging with Fox, or ... choose your verb. Should they is another question. Disney has already scooped up Pixar and Marvel. On the plus side, X-Men + Avengers. On the downside, monolith.

The fourth weekend of Disney/Pixar's “Coco” finished in third place with another $10 mil for a domestic total of $150. If it doesn't get stronger over the holiday season, when everyone's out of school, it could wind up with one of the weakest domestic totals for any Pixar film. It might be the first Pixar film, in fact, to do better in China, where it's been No. 1 three weekends in a row now and is already at $128. 

BTW: “Wonder,” starring Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay, has been an under-the-radar wonder at the box office. In its fifth weekend, it finished in fourth place with $5 mil added to a domestic total of $109 million. 

Among the Oscar contenders in limited release: “The Disaster Artist” grossed $2.6 in 1,010 theaters for $12m total gross; “Lady Bird” earned $2.1 in 947 theaters for a $26m total; “The Shape of Water” made $1.7 in 158 theaters ($3.6 total) and “Three Billboards” $1.6 in 944 theaters ($21.3m total). “Call Me By Your Name” expanded to 30 theaters and took in $500k for a $2.1 total. It's going wider next weekend. Just in time for everyone being too busy to see it. 

As for that “Star Wars” trivia question? Here: 

  Movie Adjusted B.O.  B.O. Year Yearly BO Rank
1 Star Wars $1,274,614,700 $307,263,857 1977 1
2 Star Wars: The Force Awakens $965,467,800 $936,662,225 2015 1
3 Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace $757,494,400 $431,088,295 1999 1
4 Return of the Jedi $723,181,600 $252,583,617 1983 1
5 The Empire Strikes Back $704,239,800 $209,398,025 1980 1
6 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story $539,743,700 $532,177,324 2016 1
7 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith $529,768,500 $380,270,577 2005 1
8 Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones $464,469,500 $302,191,252 2002 3*
9 Star Wars: The Last Jedi $220,047,000 $220,047,000 2017 ?

* Behind “Spider-Man” and the second “Lord of the Rings” 

Posted at 11:58 AM on Sunday December 17, 2017 in category Movies - Box Office  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard