“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has been debuted as the second-highest opening of all time and the highest grossing opening of 2017. Its opening weekend is also the third-best overall weekend in U.S. box office history.
Debuting with $220 million domestically and $450 million globally, according to estimates from measurement firm comScore, the eighth movie in the “Star Wars” saga almost broke the record of its predecessor “Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
J.J. Abrams’s "The Force Awakens" holds the record for the biggest opening of all time with a 2015 debut weekend gross of $248 million in the U.S. The success of the film was fueled by years of anticipation for a new "Star Wars" movie featuring fan favorites Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, and Princess Leia, portrayed by Carrie Fisher.
“The Last Jedi” features Carrie Fisher’s final performance as Leia and gives a substantial role to Mark Hamill as the original “Star Wars” hero Luke Skywalker.
International sales for “The Last Jedi” were the third biggest for films that did not include, during their debut weekends, the Chinese market, which is the second largest movie market.
Box office analysts did not expect “The Last Jedi” to reflect the opening weekend numbers of “Force Awakens” which eventually took in more than $2 billion worldwide.
At least five more “Star Wars” movies are underway at Disney, including one about a young Han Solo due for release May, 2018 followed by “Episode IX” in December 2019.
Disney will take over distribution rights to all past “Star Wars” films as part of its $52 billion deal last week with Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.