‘Star Wars’ easily keeps flurry of newcomers at bay

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Photo: Lucasfilm)

Weekend Box Office December 22-24, 2017

(KUTV) Despite the efforts of a few disgruntled fans, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” will finish the weekend at the top of the worldwide box office. Domestically the film will finish the weekend with $68 million and the four-day weekend with around $100 million. Yes, that is a drop of around 69 percent, which is dramatic. And yet, the worldwide total will be pushing up close to $750 million after just 11 days in theaters. In contrast, "Justice League" hasn't hit $650 million worldwide after 5 weeks. If the sky is falling, it is falling on Warner Bros.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was warmly received, but ultimately criticized for being too familiar to “Star Wars: A New Hope.” “The Last Jedi,” written and directed by Rian Johnson, has been attacked by some for being too different. Some are even petitioning that the film be removed from the franchise cannon. Their complaints range from there being too much focus on female characters, the screw-ball comedy or the treatment of the character Luke Skywalker.

I found some of the humor to be distracting the first time I saw the film, but it proved to be less troubling when I saw the film for the second time. I’m not in the camp that is proclaiming that “The Last Jedi” is the greatest Star Wars film ever made. I do think it’s quite good and would rank it as the third or fourth best in the series. That said, everyone is entitled to an opinion and debate is a healthy thing when done without malicious intent.

“The Last Jedi” is Johnson’s Star Wars story. It differs greatly from what I would have written, but that doesn’t make it wrong or inferior. Kathleen Kennedy, who was picked by George Lucas to oversee the future of the franchise, chose Johnson to write and direct the film. It has already been announced that Johnson will be the mastermind behind a new Star Wars trilogy in the not-so-distant future. J.J. Abrams, who co-wrote and directed “The Force Awakens” will be returning for “Episode: IX,” the final chapter in the original saga.

"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," the remake of the popular film and book, opened on Wednesday and will finish the weekend with a total in the area of $50 million.

Pitch Perfect 3” is expected to close on Sunday with $20 million. Monday’s totals are expected to push the film to a domestic total of $27 million. “Pitch Perfect 2” opened to a remarkable $69 million in 2015 and finished with $287.5 million worldwide. “Pitch Perfect 3” isn’t going to match those numbers. It may, however, match the $115 million worldwide that the first film made.

The Greatest Showman” fell a bit flat this weekend with $8.6 million for a domestic total of $13 million.

Ferdinand” rounds out the top five with $7 million for a domestic total of $26.5 million.

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