Box Office Wrap Up: Can The Last Jedi Save the Box Office?
A gigantic opening for Star Wars put Last Jedi in first place, but is it enough to save 2017 from mediocre ticket sales?
Episode VIII easily took the top spot this week. The disconnect between fan reviews and critical consensus make long term predictions less certain. Hollywood will be counting on Star Wars to have staying power and drive viewers to the cinema. 2017 currently sits on the low-side of average for total box office earnings, and it looks like the five new movies out this week and even The Last Jedi may not be enough to turn the year into a winner.
This Week in Box Office History.
Star Wars led the charge for a resurgent box office that climbed 255 percent over last week, and 260 percent over last year. The gains all stayed at the top, though, as The Last Jedi claimed 81 percent of all ticket sales. Sorry, Ferdinand, there wasn’t a lot of republic credits left to go around after Disney came to town.
Currently, 2017 is fourth from last when it comes to total earnings in the last decade. Last Jedi still has two weeks to run the table, and new films such as The Greatest Showman and Jumanji may help push the total higher…but there is a lot of separation between 2017 and the top of the list. 2016 leads the pack, and we’d need to see another billion dollars in ticket sales to catch it. To even make the middle of the list, we’d need to see about 200 million in additional earnings. This year the number of tickets sold has dropped off by 8 percent, or 150 million tickets. We’ve been seeing that number shrink every year since 2009 when 1.4 billion tickets sold. People are seeing less movies, and jacking the price up can no longer cover the difference.
The Last Jedi took in 220 million dollars, far and away outpacing the rest of the field. This number is down from The Force Awakens‘ opening of nearly 250 million dollars, but it is nearly double Rogue One‘s opening. There is a real disconnect between fan reactions and critical reactions if you go by rating aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes. It remains to be seen if those that were disappointed will have any effect on the bottom line of what is a money-printing franchise.
Ferdinand wound up in second place with 13 million dollars. That is lower than studio expectations, and I hope to god that the reported budget on this animated film is a typo: two different sources has Ferdinand costing 111 million dollars to make. That is crazy bananas! Pixar would have a hard time justifying 111 million dollars in budget (and indeed, has been spending much less on their films as of late.) Blue Sky Studios has been free with their budgets as of late, spending about 100 million dollars on their last 7 features. I can’t fathom why they released such a costly movie against Star Wars and Coco. Their tax team must know something I don’t about writing off such a gigantic loss.
Third place went to Coco, which added just less than 10 million dollars to its war chest. Thanks to longevity and lack of competition early in its run, it should pass Cars 3 on the Pixar list…but that still makes it two spots up from last place.
The remainder of the top ten stayed relatively flat. Several Oscar hopefuls have begun expanding their theater counts. The Shape of Water, Darkest Hour, Call Me By Your Name and Wonder Wheel all added more locations, but none could crack the top ten.
Last week’s dismal opening for Just Getting Started was just the tip of the iceberg, as the film fell completely out of the top ten, only adding 1 million dollars to the total. It has only made 5 million against a 22 million dollar budget.
Top Ten Movies.
1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (220.0)
2. Ferdinand (13.4)
3. Coco (9.9)
4. Wonder (5.2)
5. Justice League (4.3)
6. Daddy’s Home 2 (3.8)
7. Thor: Ragnarok (3.1)
8. The Disaster Artist (2.7)
9. Murder on the Orient Express (2.5)
10. Lady Bird (2.0)