It’s plain to see by this point that The Last Jedi wasn’t going to be big in China following it premiere there, in that usual powerhouse of a box office audience. Some would call it the death-knell of Star Wars in that country, the franchise never truly taking off there.
However, something might still be salvaged out of Episode VIII for the Star Wars saga in its Far East premieres. If China was not wowed, then Japan has been all too eager to lap up the latest feature-length serving of the Force, Jedi, Sith, and a Galaxy Far, Far Away.
By now The Last Jedi has passed its fourth weekend in Japan, and it’s been smooth sailing all the way. Their January 6-7 weekend saw the movie earn $3 million, at a time when most Japanese were still on vacation. As of January their total box-office take was $55 million.
Indeed, the Force was strong for Disney-Lucasfilm in the Land of the Rising Sun, as their Star Wars film powered past another recent foreign premiere, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.” The first weekend of the Fox spy action-comedy film made $2.9 million, and is projected to make well over $20 million.
If The Last Jedi and “Kingsman 2” were the top two films in Japanese movie screens this week, then third place goes to a local production, “Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura” from Toho Pictures of “Godzilla” fame. The CGI-rich Takashi Yamazaki film has made $21 million in the box office.