Box Office: Fri./Sat. sends “Last Jedi” into a second weekend plunge — Yeah, there’s a backlash

jedi1It’s hard to attach “disappointing” to the box office take of any movie that opens with a $220 million 3.5 day (Thursday night counts, too) weekend. It’s made it’s money, pop that champagne at Disney/Lucasfilm, right?

The second weekend of “The Last Jedi” will clear $100 million, so no worries. Except…It’ll only clear that if you make it a four day holiday weekend. And it’ll only clear that if the near free-fall in turnout is reversed Sunday and Monday.

The updated take on how much it earned its second weekend shows a 69% plunge, still $68 million on its second week. Granted, it made a boatload Dec. 14-17. It’s up to $390 million, but the vast majority of people who wanted to see it have seen it, and they’re not nagging friends and relatives to go.

And in any event, it’s not like the drop was a TPPP, a “Tyler Perry Picture Plunge” of 70% or more. But it was close.

Early projections for the three-day take dropped from an expected $83-84 million Friday, by more than $12 million by Sat., and plummeted another $5 million by Monday. Friday to Friday comparison, opening weekend to this weekend, is a 77% drop. That’s the worst ever first week to second week performance for a “Star Wars” film.

For the whole weekend, it’s projected to be down 67%, which says the repeat business isn’t there, the word of mouth is not making it “Must See.”

Maybe Disney needs to re-think their tinkering with the franchise. No, don’t bring back the Death Star. Maybe reconsider giving Rian Johnson and J.J. Abrams the keys to the store?

All those people and publications buying the Disney line that a few disaffected fanboys, using comment bots on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes to pan the movie in “user reviews?” The Alt-right taking credit for “creating” that backlash? BS. Yeah, Deadline and Washington Post, I’m talking to you. This isn’t a fall-off, it’s a plunge. The Alt Right had nothing to do with it. The movie was over-rated by a timid, callow reviewing press.

Not by me.

It didn’t resonate with me, and my guess is, based on comments on my review and on the tsunami of poor-mouthing going on over at IMdb, Rottentomatoes and elsewhere, is that it’s not resonating with many.

“Jumanji” is managing a $32 million weekend (it opened Wed. and will clear $60 million by midnight Monday). “Pitch Perfect 3” cleared $20 ($25 including Monday) on its opening weekend, “Greatest Showman” only $12.

Which is well-over twice what “Downsizing” and “Father Figures” will manage. They both will spend this weekend and this weekend only in the Top Ten. Bombs.

“Darkest Hour” broke into that list with a screen expansion and great reviews, “The Shape of Water” did as well. Neither would appear to have broad appeal (“Shape” is absurdly over-rated), but they’ll stick around as nothing of note opens for a couple of weeks and the Awards Season push behind each picture is amped up.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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