Today in entirely predictable news, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the newest entry in the venerable and profitable franchise, made more damn money than you can shake a stick at over its opening weekend.
As THR reports, Rian Johnson’s eighth chapter pulled in an astonishing $220 million over the weekend (including projected Sunday grosses), the second-highest first weekend in domestic box office history – trailing only its predecessor, 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The new film doesn’t quite the same novelty factor; The Force Awakens was the first new Star Wars movie since 2005, and the first sequel since 1983, but that film and last year’s Rogue One have made Star Wars an annual holiday movie event. (It also runs 15 minutes longer, which can add up to the loss of a screening over the course of a full day.)
That said, The Last Jedi has also been subject to weird waves of criticism from some super-fans on social media, who insist it somehow betrays the legacy of the original series by being “too funny” (um, ok), “disrespectful” to its characters (whatevs), not nostalgic enough (yes, because if there’s one thing there’s not enough of), and, of course, that old chestnut about it bowing to PC-ism by daring to place women and POC in heroic roles (call this the “fedora guy” argument). In what couldn’t possibly have been some kind of organized, Lady Ghostbusters-style smear campaign, the film’s Rotten Tomatoes audience score was a mere 57 percent. And then the CinemaScore rating – an A – and these numbers were released, which kinda puts that matter to rest. Why, it’s almost as though angry super-geeks aren’t as influential as they think!
The film also brought in another $230 million in international markets, bringing its haul thus far to $450 million. If The Force Awakens is an indicator, The Last Jedi should continue to ride high over the holidays, as it’s such an ideal post-Christmas-family-outing-to-the-multiplex picture. Unless they decide to go see The Greatest Showman instead (snort).