Now that The Last Jedi has been in theaters for about 20 weeks, and is likely on its way out, let’s compare the box office for all of the Star Wars live action theatrical films to date. I’ve written about the waning box office of The Last Jedi before. But now we have some real numbers. Specifically, let’s look at the weekend box office performance for the first 20 or so weeks, courtesy of the-numbers.com.
For the Original Trilogy, the old data isn’t as readily available as it is today, so there are some weeks missing. But it’s still good to take a look at it, to get a general sense of things.
First up, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, released in 1977.
Pretty respectable numbers, but to be fair, this was something that no one had ever seen before, so repeat viewings were likely at an all time high.
Next up, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, released in 1980.
Last for the Original Trilogy, is Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, released in 1983.
All in all, pretty good numbers for the Original Trilogy. So this gives us kind of a general baseline as to what to expect. Next up, the Prequel Trilogy. By the 20th week, we see a significant drop off in the gross, with Return of the Jedi sliding to 12th place.
Now for the Prequel Trilogy.
First, let’s take a look at Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, released in 1999.
Those are wildly good numbers for the much maligned Prequel.
Next up, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, released in 2002.
Not quite as good as Episode I, but still not too shabby.
Finally, we look at Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, released in 2005.
All in all, a pretty good take. But again, we see significant drop offs by the 20th week, with Revenge of the Sith doing the poorest in the gross column, with a ranking of 62nd Place.
Then come the Disney films.
First up, let’s look at Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, released in 2015.
A very impressive take indeed, but with the expected drop of by the 20th week.
Next up, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, released in 2016.
Not nearly as good, but not being part of the main episodic run, it wasn’t expected to be. And we see the same thing here with the expected drop off by the 20th week.
Now let’s take a look at Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, released in 2017.
Do you see what I see?
By the 18th week, The Last Jedi drops to 71st place in its ranking, having brought in a measly $5800. That kind of drop off is certainly a first for a Star Wars film, especially for a Star Wars film in the primary episodic saga.
Will the-numbers.com report a 19th and 20th week for The Last Jedi? Not if it was already pulled from theaters before it made it to the 19th week.
Here’s some additional food for thought:
In related news, The Rotten Tomatoes audience score for The Last Jedi dropped to 46% in May.
How will this diminishing momentum affect Solo?
It’ll be very interesting to see what kind of drop off Solo has by the 20th week, and indeed, how long it can stay in theaters. There’s the possibility that it may not even make it to the 20th week before being dumped by theaters. The Hollywood Reporter is now reporting that Solo is headed for the lowest opening of all the Disney Star Wars films.
An even worse drop off for Solo would not be good news for a production that reportedly cost an estimated $250 million to make, which is $5 million more than The Force Awakens.