The 2017 box office may still be lower than 2016 overall, but December is up 30% from last year – and there are still two weekends to go! Of course, ‘Star Wars’ is to thank for this uptick. As expected, Blue Sky’s bull movie had its horns clipped and barely contributed to this massive weekend.
Leading into the weekend, Disney’s expectations pointed to a $200 million debut for ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘, but when the Thursday night previews resulted in $45 million and Friday topped $100 million, the studio knew it would be even bigger than that. Estimates place the actual debut at a whopping $220 million. $24.6 million came from IMAX locations, making it the large format’s biggest opening ever.
Standard sequel fatigue has been credited for the film’s domestic opening being down $28 million from ‘The Force Awakens’. While that may be the case, you can’t help but notice the polarizing love-it-or-hate-it response the movie has generated. Currently it has a 93% critical score on Rotten Tomatoes but an audience score of only 56%. In comparison, ‘The Force Awakens’ had the same 93% from critics but a much higher 88% from audiences. If word of mouth remains this low, ‘The Last Jedi’ may not have the staying power that ‘The Force Awakens’ had – no matter what Disney’s mandatory exhibition clause requires theater owners to do.
‘The Last Jedi’ is also raking in the dough internationally. Playing in most markets, the movie grossed $230 million, for a worldwide debut of $450 million. It’s not breaking records in individual markets, but it’s definitely performing well. The film’s budget has not been announced, but it certainly cost a pretty penny. Nonetheless, it will undoubtedly become a financial success during its theatrical run.
Between the ‘Ice Age’ franchise, the ‘Rio’ movies and several one-offs, Blue Sky’s animated family flicks have been quite successful… until now. Out of the studio’s 12 theatrical releases, ‘Ferdinand‘ scored its worst-ever opening. From 3,621 screens, it was crushed beneath the force of ‘The Last Jedi’, pulling a weak $13.3 million. It made another $6.1 million from 18 international markets, but with a budget of $111 million, the movie needed a lot more than a $19.5 million worldwide debut.
Aside from ‘The Last Jedi’, the second reason ‘Ferdinand’ flopped was competition from Disney’s other fall hit, ‘Coco‘. Pixar’s latest finished its fourth week in third place with $10 million. The film’s domestic box office is up to $150.8 million. Of Pixar’s 18 releases, ‘Coco’ currently has the 17th highest domestic total, but will soon pass ‘Cars 3’ and ‘A Bug’s Life’. Its international income is up to $297.4 million. With a worldwide gross of $448.2 million, that places it in the #15 rank for Pixar’s global totals.
Five-week-old ‘Wonder‘ finished at #4 with another $5.4 million. The tiny film has now earned $109.2 million domestically, $44.4 million internationally, and $153.6 million worldwide, giving me hope that there’s still a beating heart buried somewhere deep within this upside-down world.
‘Justice League‘ rounded out the Top 5 with $4.1 million. Clinging on longer than anyone expected, the DC movie’s domestic total is now at $219.4 million, but its international numbers have quickly slowed down. To date, it has made $414.5 million internationally, placing its worldwide total at $633.9 million. At this point in its run, ‘Batman v. Superman’ had $850 million. That $217 million difference is brutal.
The weekend numbers for ‘Beyond Skyline’ have yet to be announced.
1. ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ (Buena Vista) – $220,047,000
2. ‘Ferdinand’ (Fox) – $13,325,000
3. ‘Coco’ (Buena Vista) – $10,025,000
4. ‘Wonder’ (Lionsgate) – $5,400,000
5. ‘Justice League’ (Warner Bros.) – $4,170,000
6. ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ (Paramount) – $3,800,000
7. ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ (Buena Vista) – $2,981,000
8. ‘The Disaster Artist’ (A24) – $2,636,908
9. ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (Fox) – $2,470,000
10. ‘Lady Bird’ (A24) – $2,108,117
The heck with Star Wars. When does “The Shape of Water” expand to wide release? I can’t find a theater near me showing it.
It’s rolling out to approximately 800 screens this weekend!
Can you really call it ‘standard sequel fatigue’ when a movie is the 8th (or 9th, including ‘Rogue One’) in a series? Doesn’t the Star Wars series have exceptional sequel power?
Very impressive points, Mr. Hickman.
Was Ferdinand even advertised? I never saw a single ad for it here in Canada.