The Last Jedi is the first installment of the newly formed Star Wars saga, The Rise of Skywalker. The movie marks the return of original trilogy cast member and filmmaker, Jon Favreau, who also directs the film. Now that the dust has settled on the premiere, it’s a good time to assess just how well the movie did at the box office, and whether or not the hype surrounding it will translate to long-term success.
Reviews And Box Office
The Last Jedi was met with critical acclaim and still stands as one of the biggest opening weekends in movie history, raking in $100 million and counting on its opening weekend alone. The movie went on to make $528 million worldwide against a $175 million budget, making it one of the most profitable indie films of all-time. The movie even managed to outgross its predecessor, The Force Awakens, which debuted to $220 million in 2016 and is now considered among the best Star Wars movies ever made. Needless to say, The Last Jedi is currently one of the most successful Star Wars movies of all-time. It would go on to become the second highest-grossing film in the franchise, only losing out to The Force Awakens in 2016.
In terms of actual reviews, The Last Jedi currently sits at an impressive 89% on Rotten Tomatoes and was well-deserved of its prestigious ensemble cast, which included Oscar winners Chris Evans, Tom Hardy, Adam Driver, and more. Critics praised the movie for successfully taking the cinematic universe in a different direction while still feeling true to the original spirit of Star Wars. The consensus is clear – J.J. Abrams and the team behind The Last Jedi did something unique and special with this installment, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they end up influencing the future of the entire franchise.
The good thing about The Last Jedi is that even though it is technically the finale of the saga, it doesn’t feel like it. The movie still maintains a feel that is reminiscent of the original trilogy. The difference is that we don’t spend our time watching characters do battle, but instead are treated to a visually stunning landscape of locations that the entire movie was obviously meant to be a showcase for. This strategy worked, as evidenced by how much money The Last Jedi made at the box office.
The Future Of The Franchise
While The Last Jedi is undoubtedly a landmark installment in both the Star Wars and superhero cinematic universes, the future of the entire franchise is still very much up in the air. The Rise of Skywalker marks the end of the Skywalker saga, which means that eventually, Disney will have to decide whether or not to continue the franchise. Obviously, they will want to, as it makes monetary sense to continue producing movies based on something that brings in hundreds of millions of dollars each year. For now, though, Disney is being extremely quiet about future plans, which is likely because they want to gauge public reaction to The Last Jedi before making any kind of commitment to continue the film series. Forbes even predicted that Disney could choose to cancel the franchise due to low ticket sales, estimating that the film will only gross around $600 million domestically and $1 billion worldwide. While these numbers may seem low, they aren’t when you consider that they are in line with previous Star Wars movies and it is very possible that people just want to let down their guards and enjoy the movie without thinking too much about the future. We’ll just have to wait and see how things play out.
Forbes also suggested that Disney could choose to reboot the franchise with a female lead, as was the case with the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. The idea behind this theory is that the company could find a way to freshen up the look of the franchise without too much thought, as they did with the aforementioned Marvel films, which were visually unmemorable but made money hand-over-fist worldwide.
The point is that while The Last Jedi is a special movie that no one should miss, the future of the franchise is still very much undecided. With any luck, though, we will soon find out what happens next, as the hype around the new movie is just too promising to let go to waste.