“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” at $220-M Makes Second-Highest North American Box Office Opening

Even a blind man would have seen this coming. Star Wars: The Last Jedi finally premiered in cinemas across North America last Friday, December 15. The second episode of the Star Wars “Sequel Trilogy” done by Lucasfilm under the Disney umbrella, and eighth in the overall film saga, was guaranteed to be a blockbuster upon release, and the latest figures confirm it.

Statistics would have it that The Last Jedi has just achieved the all-time second-highest opening of a major motion picture in North America, without adjustments for inflation. In 4,232 US and Canadian theaters the film has grossed $220 million. Just for reference, the all-time highest movie opening was none other than The Last Jedi’s predecessor, The Force Awakens from 2015 with $248 million. It’s also the current highest-grossing Star Wars movie.

In addition to its domestic gains, the latest Star Wars installment is also making bank overseas, adding $230 million from the international box office for a $450 total, making it the fifth-highest combined domestic-international opening of all time. The only thing that stopped it from going any higher is a later premiere date for The Last Jedi in China, noted as the second-biggest movie market in the world.

Taking place not long after the events of The Force Awakens, The Rian Johnson-directed Last Jedi stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and the late Carrie Fisher as a beleaguered Resistance against the vengeful First Order led by characters played by Adam Driver and Andy Serkis, with Luke Skywalker from the Original Trilogy – reprised by Mark Hamill – being their last hope to protect the Galaxy.

Disney is on a roll with the Star Wars saga, having devised a pattern of having one “Episode” film alternating every year with one spinoff feature. Solo, directed by Ron Howard, is scheduled to premiere in December of 2018, while the climactic (and yet untitled) Episode IX, under the helm of the returning J.J. Abrams, will hit theaters in the same month for 2019.

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