Star Wars: The Last Jedi is projected to earn enough money at the box office this weekend to become the highest grossing film domestically of 2017. While it’s not putting up numbers like its predecessor, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, the eighth film in the Skywalker family saga is a bona fide blockbuster. Having earned more than $22o million stateside in its opening weekend in mid-December and another $99 million over the four-day Christmas weekend, the film is enjoying a very lucrative box office run so far.
Through Wednesday, The Last Jedi has earned more than $445 million domestically, and with huge numbers expected for Thursday, the latest episode of the space saga is looking to cross the $500 million mark by this Sunday. If projections hold up, The Last Jedi will earn itself the top slot at the 2017 domestic box office as the moviegoing year draws to a close.
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According to Box Office Mojo, The Last Jedi is projected to earn $57 million in this weekend’s Friday-Sunday frame. Combining the projected weekend tally with Thursday’s pending totals, The Last Jedi should easily surpass the $504 million made by Beauty and the Beast earlier this year to become the No. 1 box office draw in North America in 2017.
While Beauty and the Beast is being bumped down to the No. 2 slot this year, few egos should be bruised because of it. After all, both films are Disney products, and ultimately the successes of The Last Jedi and Beauty and the Beast, along with Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and other films on the Mouse House’s roster led to the studio winning the domestic box office in 2017 with a total gross of approximately $2.27 billion.
As for 2018, the first big question Disney is facing is how The Last Jedi will do from here on out. After taking a 77 percent tumble in its first full week of business (marking the worst Friday-to-Friday drop for any Star Wars movie), it’s pretty clear, even at this early juncture, that The Last Jedi will not come near to $936.6 million its predecessor made in its domestic theatrical run.
And while The Last Jedi’s business is projected to experience a big drop this weekend, the $57 million it’s expected to earn at 4,232 locations will give it more than enough firepower to hold on the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office for a third-straight weekend. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is projected to pull in $39 million Friday-Sunday at 3,765 locations for a second place finish, while Pitch Perfect 3 is expected to earn $21 million in 3,468 theaters to finish third. The Greatest Showman (3,515 locations) and Ferdinand (3,337 locations) are projected to round out the top five at the domestic box office this weekend with $10 million and $8 million, respectively.
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Source: Box Office Mojo