Disney may have squandered the final Skywalker reunion in Star Wars.
Luke and Leia’s long-awaited last moments together in The Last Jedi aren’t amounting to much more at the box office than the rag-tag band of rebels who sacrificed themselves for the rebellion in Rogue One, based on the movie’s current daily box-office pace. It is losing its hold on audiences faster than both the standalone Star Wars film and its predecessor The Force Awakens.
The Last Jedi retained just 16% of its opening day returns after its first six days in North American theaters, compared to 21% with Rogue One and 32% with The Force Awakens, as Forbes first reported.
The latest Star Wars saga film opened higher than Rogue One, so it has more room to fall. The Last Jedi brought in $220 million in North America during its opening weekend on Dec. 15, on the higher end of expectations, and marked the second-largest domestic opening ever behind its predecessor’s $247 million in 2015.
If it continues losing its box-office hold at this rate, it could underperform by Star Wars’ standards. Rogue One made $1 billion worldwide when its run was through. The Force Awakens made $2 billion. It landed behind Avatar and Titanic on the list of highest grossing movies of all time. The Last Jedi should finish in that range if it’s to live up to the hype.
It’s not just about the money for Disney; the film will turn a profit. Unlike Rogue One, The Last Jedi is the middle movie in a trilogy. Disney also has another one lined up behind it from the same writer-director, Rian Johnson. If people aren’t excited about this movie, what reason do they have to look forward to those others? This is a franchise, and these movies need to deliver on a massive scale to keep people interested for another 10 years or more as Disney hopes.
Let’s see if J.J. Abrams can restore some of that enthusiasm with the next saga film in 2019.