As expected, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is currently taking the box office by storm. The middle chapter in the new Star Wars saga has proven the franchise is still a cultural phenomenon. While it didn't quite match The Force Awaken's return of the franchise, Rian Johnson's film still easily captured the best opening of the year and the second best opening of all time. Unfortunately, that amazing performance is not going to be quite enough to push the box office up to last year's record-setting heights. The final 2017 box office will be at least 2% less than 2016's haul.

Last year's North American box office finished with a total of $11.38 billion for the best performance ever. As of December 19th, the current domestic box office total stands at $10.35 billion. According to Variety this is a 3.1% drop from the same point last year. In order to match last year's sum, the final 12 days of the box office would have to bring in a little over a billion dollars. Star Wars: The Last Jedi will probably amass around $300 million more before the year is out but unless Episode IX has a secret release planned for Christmas day, matching 2016 is extremely unlikely. Lest you feel too bad, the final domestic total is expected to be in the $11.1 to $11.2 billion range, similar to the $11.4 billion earned in 2015, the second highest year on record. Thus 2017 would join the two previous years as the only times the domestic box office crossed the $11 billion mark, so it's not all bad news.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi won't be alone in beefing up the box office as the year closes. With people off work and school for the holidays, the final twelve days of the December are one of the biggest movie-going times of the year. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has joined Star Wars in theaters riding positive reviews for a nostalgic property and the star power of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. The Greatest Showman is also now in theaters and Pitch Perfect 3 hits on Friday. In addition to Oscar fare in theaters and on the way with All the Money in the World and Phantom Thread, there are a ton of diverse titles to entertain any audience as the year comes to an end.

While the summer blockbuster season was somewhat lackluster this year --the first in over a decade not to hit $4 billion -- bright spots have come in unexpected places. Horror has had a banner year with IT in the top 10 films of the 2017. While theaters continue to adapt to a changing entertainment landscape, the blockbuster age of recent years has seen the domestic box office reach its greatest heights. This doesn't look to slow down next year either. Our 2018 release schedule highlights a year full of big franchises and big sequels along with some interesting new high concept stuff. Solo: A Star Wars Story, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and three Marvel films, including Avengers: Infinity War show that even though the box office is slightly down this year, Hollywood has no intention of it staying down for long.

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