Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a box office hit. The sequel earned a total of $450 million in domestic and international ticket sales from its opening weekend alone.
Rian Johnson's sequel to the "Star Wars" saga opened to a whopping $220 million in domestic ticket sales. According to reports, some 4,232 theaters in North America screened The Last Jedi around the clock during its opening weekend. Meanwhile, international ticket sales summed up to a total of $230 million. The total of $450 million accounts for the expensive marketing and production of the sequel, which costs an estimate of $350 million.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi came in second to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. J.J. Abrams' film sits at the top of the box office hit from its initial $248 million ticket sales in 2015.
Ahead of the film's release on Dec. 15, analysts already predicted the outcome of the ticket sales to fall behind The Force Awakens. They based their analysis on the fact that Abrams' movie is the first in the franchise to continue the Star Wars saga. Abrams capitalized on more than a decade of hiatus for Star Wars. It has been 32 years since fans saw Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, and Han Solo back on screen again. Naturally, fans would flock to theaters out of curiosity and interest.
Regardless, second place in the box office is still a good sign. It seals the good fate of the franchise with Walt Disney Studios.
"We came in thinking that anything close to 200 was going to be an absolute win. The result we got is a reflection on Rian Johnson, who delivered a satisfying fan experience. Word of mouth has been enormous," Dave Hollis, Disney's president of theatrical distribution, told the New York Times in a phone interview.
The great turn out in ticket sales parallel the amazing reviews Star Wars: The Last Jedi received from fans and film critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave the sequel a score of 93 percent. The sequel also earned the score of 86 percent on Metacritic.
Will Gompertz, Arts Editor for BBC gave the film 4 out of 5 stars. Suffice to say, the film captivated viewers of all ages worldwide because of its action-packed sequences and group of new characters. The young characters in the film resonated with the new generation. Disney revealed that most viewers under the age of 12 and adults between 17 and 25 flocked to theaters to watch the film.