Early tracking says Last Jedi headed for galactic $200M-plus weekend

There is no doubt in anyone’s minds that STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI will end up being the biggest movie of the year. There are already fans out there clutching the 15 tickets they’ve pre-bought for dear life while dressed like Luke Skywalker. It’ll be huge overall, but its opening weekend will be so massive that experts are already confident it will cross a rarely surpassed milestone.

With only a few weeks left to go before the movie’s release (!!), early tracking estimates place the opening weekend for JEDI at well over $200 million. This number was reached given the similar anticipation levels for this movie as the previous film, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, which shattered the weekend record with $248 million. Only two other movies have crossed $200 million their first weekend – JURASSIC WORLD ($208 million) and THE AVENGERS ($207 million).

One of the techniques used to gauge audience interest is something called "unaided awareness," which tells studios how much non-fans are familiar with a certain property. In this case, LAST JEDI is tracking at the same point, if not better than, FORCE AWAKENS. This is not a firm indicator the movie will do just as well or better than FORCE, but it's showing the awareness of the brand has nothing but grow in the last two years, as more and more people have been drawn to the Light side. 

AWAKENS had generated unheard-of levels of anticipation attached to it as the first movie to pick up where RETURN OF THE JEDI left off, with actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford returning to their iconic roles. But even ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY proved the fandom will show out in force, making $155 million it’s opening weekend, going on to make over $500 million at the domestic box office.

This news should come as a surprise to no one who remembered the massive, unearthly-sized opening of FORCE, especially those who saw it opening weekend. It was like Black Friday but if everyone dressed as a Jedi and hadn't slept in three days. These predictions hint we could see a turnout on a very similar level, so best get your tent ready now and stock up on snacks and diapers. Your movie theater is about to become your new home.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI arrives December 15.

Source: Deadline



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