Star Wars: The Force Awakens became one of the highest grossing films of all-time. How will the sequel stack up? The first box office projections for Star Wars: The Last Jedi are here, and they show that, while the newest entry in the Star Wars saga is certainly going to be a massive film, early indications are that will come up a bit short in comparison. The Force Awakens saw an opening weekend of nearly $250 million, while the opening weekend for The Last Jedi is currently looking to come in at $215 million.
Of course, $215 million is still a massive opening weekend. It would be the biggest opening weekend of the year, well ahead of Beuty and the Beast's $174 million. It would still be the number two opening weekend ever for the month of December, coming in ahead of the $155 million opening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The three Star Wars films are still the only films to break $100 million for an opening weekend in December. Hell, it would be the second biggest opening weekend of all-time, coming in ahead of Jurassic World and The Avengers. Boxofficepro indicates that The Last Jedi will have no problem breaking the $200 million mark, but the film may not approach quite the opening that the highest grossing domestic film of all-time was able to put up.
For the most part, this makes sense. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the first brand new Star Wars movie we'd seen in years. Fans' excitement had been building for years ever since Disney had purchased Lucasfilm and announced plans for movie movies. While certainly, people are excited to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the drive they had to see The Force Awakens may have been satiated to some degree. Also, while most critical and fan response to The Force Awakens was positive, not everybody loved the film, so some number of people who rushed to the theater last time are probably happy to wait and see what the reaction is before heading to the theater this time.
Of course, it's still very early, Star Wars: The Last Jedi doesn't open for nearly two months, so this $215 million projection will almost certainly shift. If the buzz surrounding The Last Jedi gets hotter that number could still go way up. If something drastic happens it could also drop. At a certain point, there's only so low it could go, it is Star Wars after all, but it could certainly drop below the $200 million mark.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is going to be a huge movie, the only question is just how big it will end up being. Could it actually supplant its predecessor as the highest grossing movie in domestic history? The early indication may be no, but the Force may be with this one in the end.