The Last Jedi is 2017’s Last Word

last jedi

We’ve put away our tiny hats and paper horns. We’ve stopped pondering what “Auld Lang Syne” means for another year. Yes, we’ve opened the book on a shiny new anum. But while old 2017 may be ready to leave, old Luke Skywalker seems bent on hanging around.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi closed out 2017 with its third straight box-office victory, collecting $52.7 million over the traditional three-day, Friday-through-Sunday weekend. Add in figures from New Year’s Day, and The Last Jedi collected $68.3 million in North America over the four-day holiday frame. Let’s hope that Disney execs don’t spend it all on the nearest casino planet: Those long-eared fathiers would not approve.

The Last Jedi didn’t just win the week, by the way. Once this weekend’s in the books, it’ll officially win the whole year. According to Deadline Hollywood, the latest Star Wars movie has now pushed its North American tally to $533 million, edging past fellow Disney product Beauty and the Beast ($504 million), officially becoming 2017’s top grossing film. Add the $523.3 million that Rey, Fin, Kylo and Co. have gathered in overseas, and The Last Jedi’s total bank rolls in at more than $1 billion.

But while The Last Jedi may have closed out 2017 with a bang, it’s actually not the biggest movie of 2018. According to Deadline Hollywood, that distinction now belongs—however temporarily—to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which collected $16.2 million on New Year’s Day. That’s just a wee bit more cash than the $15.7 million that The Last Jedi pulled in on New Year’s. ‘Course, if we throw out New Year’s Day and simply look at the traditional three-day weekend (and we simply shall), Jumanji finished second to The Last Jedi with $50.4 million.

Indeed, this week’s top five looks exactly like last week’s. Pitch Perfect 3 finished third for the second straight weekend, a capella-ing its way to $16.8 million. That kept it just ahead of another musical extravaganza, The Greatest Showman. Hugh Jackman’s song-and-dance biopic of P.T. Barnum collected $15.6 million.

Ferdinand, an animated movie about a pacifist bull, hoofed its way into fifth place again, mooooving $11.4 million into its cattlish coffers.

Two Oscarbait films worth noting made their debuts this week: All the Money in the World opened in more than 2,000 theaters and earned $5.6 million, finishing seventh, while Molly’s Game rolled into 271 theaters and collected $2.3 million (13th).

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

charitysplace 16 days ago
I need to see TLJ again.

I hope The Greatest Showman continues to be a solid lower-level box sleeper hit, as word of mouth spreads on how amazing it is. Maybe it didn't start off strong, but if people have a good time at the movies they tend to tell others to go and see it -- and I see that happening with TGS.
bobed 16 days ago
Just goes to show that when the people like a movie, they won't listen to the critics. The critics maligned this movie, but its weekend-to-weekend increase is the biggest ever. Oh, and I would be remiss not to mention that The Greatest Showman is a good, *clean* movie for families to see. Very little swearing, very little sex. 

I may sound dramatic, but I think parents are crying out desperately for a movie that's meant for adults, but is also appropriate for kids, with clean content, AND is fun and entertaining for all. We hardly have any movies like that anymore. There's kiddie fare that makes adults fall asleep, and then there's adult fare that has prodigious amounts of swearing and sex, and never the twain shall meet. We need movies that are okay for everyone. There is a desperate need. 

I know that as a parent, if I want to watch a movie with my kids that doesn't make me want to shoot myself, I have to rely on either Pixar or the Hallmark channel. I'll be glad for the day when more clean content is being made. I think that lots of parents can empathize with me when I say I am dead sick of cartoons - I want to see real people again! :)

I haven't seen The Greatest Showman, but I'm grateful for it. The moment I saw a commercial on TV for this movie, I remember wryly remarking to my wife, "That movie looks like a lot of fun. No doubt it will be full of sex!" And I was shocked to find out I'm wrong. Looking forward to seeing this one.
Evan Weisensel 16 days ago
Do you really want to support movie about a probable sociopath who exploited extremely marginalized people for profit being portrayed as a hero for the underdog? (Seriously, the movie's about P.T. "A sucker is born every minute" Barnum.)
Anonymous 16 days ago
He actually never said that. He did say while serving the legislature of the State of Connecticut regarding ratifiying the 13th Amendment:  "A human soul, ‘that God has created and Christ died for,’ is not to be trifled with. It may tenant the body of a Chinaman, a Turk, an Arab or a Hottentot – it is still an immortal spirit" - the movie was excellent.
bobed 16 days ago
I bet you're really fun at social gatherings. Say, when you're at a party and you want to talk to a cute girl, do you start the conversation by saying, "Did you know your shirt was made by marginalized orphans in Bangladesh and are you comfortable with that fact?"
Evan Weisensel 16 days ago
No, it's just when I saw this trailer in the theater with my friend, something about it just really rubbed me the wrong way about portraying PT Barnum as such noble hero for the marginalized considering all the stunts he's pulled off in the past. That, and I'm incredibly tired of generic Hollywood "You're different and that means you're special!" movies.
Anonymous 14 days ago
If it helps, although it's not the focus of the movie, Barnum is not presented as a *perfect* hero in the film. It is clear in certain scenes that he was using and mistreating the performers from his circus. The references are sometimes brief, and perhaps not as convicting of Barnum as they should be, but they are definitely there, showing us his negative traits along with the good.
charitysplace 16 days ago
P.T. Barnum is long dead. There's a lot of wrong propaganda spread about him at present, and some truth mixed into it; but the movie is a fantasy based off his life -- a love letter to art in its purest form. The acting is splendid, the choreography is astounding, it's a bright, colorful, crowd-pleasing spectacle.

Kind of like how no one expects "Hamilton!" to be accurate. ;)
Evan Weisensel 15 days ago
Well said. I might actually now Redbox it and the Last Jedi when they come out to see for myself. (I've always liked musicals.)
charitysplace 16 days ago
I thought for sure when I heard about it would be PG13, so when I saw on opening day it was PG, my mom and I went to see it, no reviews necessary. Loved it so much, we went back the next week and took a bunch of people with us. I've been recommending it to everyone since! (And I've listened to the soundtrack about 60 times.)
bobed 16 days ago
There is such a fan backlash against The Last Jedi, despite how little you hear about it in the mainstream. I doubt it will quite reach the heights of its predecesoor. Its weekend-to-weekened drop almost matched Batman v. Superman's.
Evan Weisensel 16 days ago
Batman V Jedi: Dawn of the Fanboy :)
Anonymous 15 days ago
The fan backlash for The Last Jedi is kind of foolish to be honest. I have seen the film, and I really enjoyed it. Curious as to why people disliked it, I read multiple reviews, both critic and fan, and talked with others who saw the film. What I will say is there is no consensus on why the film is bad. For example, some felt it was too rushed, others feel that the whole trilogy should be scrapped and replaced with the Star Wars Legends (basically all the books that were written about what happened after Episode 6 that Disney threw out), and I even found a reviewer who was annoyed that there were no female aliens commanding a Rebel Star Ship.  People that I have talked that disliked it have spoken eloquently of the flaws of the film, and then basically admitted that it wasn't their kind of movie. Personally, I really enjoyed it. I have to see it again, but it is definitely the best Star Wars film that has come out since the Originals, and parts of it rivaled the Original Trilogy in my opinion. It is truly sad that not all people enjoyed it, but that's to be expected with any fanbase. I've just taken it as a sign of a fickle fanbase, and moved along. Nothing to see in my opinion.
Anonymous 14 days ago
To me, I enjoyed it while I was watching it, and almost all of the individual scenes were good and fun, but overall it just felt disjointed and strangely paced. Scenes ended abruptly before they felt finished, it jumps between locations with no explanation at times, there was no sense of an overall goal for where the plot was going, and the ridiculously drawn-out slow speed chase made no sense to me at all. Again, I enjoyed most of the pieces, it was just that the whole puzzle didn't really fit together.