AND JUST like that, despite its polarized reception, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” became the biggest film of 2017.
The third Star Wars film under the Disney banner has hit $517 million domestically just 17 days into its release, according to studio estimates Sunday. That vaults “Last Jedi” past another Disney movie, “Beauty and the Beast” ($504 million), according to Box Office Mojo.
“Last Jedi” ($1.04 billion) now sets its sights on surpassing “Beauty and the Beast” ($1.26 billion) in worldwide gross, too.
Since Disney jump-started the franchise in 2015, all three of its Star Wars films, including “The Force Awakens” ($2.07 billion) and “Rogue One” ($1.06 billion) have each hit the billion-dollar mark in global gross.
“Last Jedi” has the greatest reviewer-audience gulf among live-action Star Wars films on Rotten Tomatoes: a 91 percent certified “fresh” critical score vs. a 51 percent audience score. On Metacritic, the chasm is an 86 average critical score vs. a 4.6 (out of 10) user score.
Writer-director Rian Johnson’s film is proving indomitable at the North American box office, though, grossing $52.4 million this weekend to edge out “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” ($50.5 million).
Powered by Pixar’s “Coco” and Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” Disney has won seven of the year’s final eight domestic box-office weekends.
Disney/Lucasfilm’s next Star Wars release, “Solo,” is due to land in late May — Disney’s first summer release in the Skywalker saga.
Overall, the domestic box office topped $11 billion for the third straight year.