The Last Jedi opening weekend box office: better than Rogue One, not as good as The Force Awakens 4 years ago

The Last Jedi opening weekend box office: better than Rogue One, not as good as The Force Awakens

The Force was strong, but not the strongest, with this one...

First of all, let us not sniff at the actual receipts here.

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In the first three days and four nights of release in America alone, The Last Jedi managed to bank $219 million.

That is the second biggest U.S. opening weekend of all time, behind only The Force Awakens, which opened to $247 million back in 2015.

Now, the general rule of thumb is that sequels perform better than the preceding movie, or else they're seen as something of a disappointment.

However, the rules don't really apply here, as The Force Awakens had DECADES of build-up behind it, and anticipation was stronger than just about any other release in recent memory.

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Comparatively, it made more than Rogue One's opening weekend back in 2016 ($155 million), so it isn't as if demand for Star Wars is going anywhere.

Worldwide, including the American takings, The Last Jedi is projected to have banked $450 million.

That puts it as the 5th biggest worldwide opening, behind Fast & Furious 8 ($542 million), The Force Awakens ($529 million), Jurassic World ($525.5 million) and Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part Two ($483 million).

Again, comparatively, Rogue One arrives on the worldwide league at 24th place, with $290 million.

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The budget for The Last Jedi isn't readily available, but early reports say that it will need to make in excess of $800 million in order to break even after advertising and publicity.

Considering Rogue One topped out at $1.056 billion, and The Force Awakens got to $2.068 billion, we reckon The Last Jedi can make that number easily enough.

However, while the critics have been very kind to The Last Jedi, giving a great 93% positive score on Rotten Tomatoes (and we were big fans of it here in JOE), audiences have been less supportive.

Online approval scores are currently sitting at 56%, which is far lower than Rogue One (83%) and The Force Awakens (88%). Audiences even scored it lower than critical dud Justice League, which they gave a 79% approval score to.

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Whether or not these scores will lead to a lower number of repeat viewers, and hence a lower box office than the others, or if it is just a case of the naysayers being louder online than those who liked the new movie, remains to be seen.