'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' tops $1 billion worldwide

Image: Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill in "The Last Jedi."
Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi.'Lucasfilm / Walt Disney Pictures

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/ Source: Variety

LOS ANGELES — "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" has cleared the $1 billion milestone in worldwide grosses in less than three weeks.

The Disney-Lucasfilm film pulled in $120.4 million globally on the New Year's Eve weekend, with $52.4 million at 4,232 domestic venues and $68 million internationally during the Friday-Sunday period.

"The Last Jedi" is now the eighth highest-grossing domestic movie of all time, with $517.1 million — only $15 million behind last year's "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" in the seventh spot. On the worldwide chart, it's now 24th, with $1.04 billion, edging Universal-Illumination's "Despicable Me 3." The tent pole's international total, currently at $523.2 million, will see a significant jolt when it opens Friday in China, its final market.

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" has also topped Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," which grossed $504 million in North America, for the top spot among 2017 releases domestically. It's the fourth 2017 title to go past $1 billion worldwide, along with "Beauty and the Beast," at $1.26 billion, "The Fate of the Furious," at $1.24 billion, and "Despicable Me 3," at $1.03 billion.

"The Last Jedi" is also winning the domestic weekend box office crown for the third time, with $52.4 million, edging Sony's "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," which took in $50.6 million at 3,765 locations for the Friday-Sunday period.

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However, Sony's projection showed the "Jumanji" sequel grossing $16.5 million on New Year's Day on Monday — well above Disney's forecast of $13.2 million for "The Last Jedi." Should those numbers hold, "Jumanji" would edge "Jedi" over the four-day period, with $67 million, winning by $1.4 million.

"Jumanji" has been "The Last Jedi's" biggest competitor by far since it opened on Dec. 20. The action-comedy should wind up with an 11-day domestic total of $186.3 million by the end of Monday. The action-comedy, starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, had a $90 million budget. It's also performed impressively in international markets, with $107 million through Dec. 28.

Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi.'Lucasfilm / Walt Disney Pictures

"Jedi" and "Jumanji" helped lift the entire domestic box office for 2017 to $11.12 billion, down by 2.3 percent from last year's $11.38 billion and off slighly from 2015's $11.14 billion, according to comScore. The gap for 2017 had been more than 6 percent at the end of the worst summer in a decade, but performances by "It," "Thor: Ragnarok," "Justice League," "Jedi" and "Jumanji" closed most of that margin.

"With another $11 billion plus year on the books, the industry looks ahead to awards season and a 2018 packed with blockbuster titles and a hope for a year slightly less volatile than 2017," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore.

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Universal's "Pitch Perfect 3" led the rest of weekend's domestic pack, with a projected $22.7 million at 3,468 locations for Friday-Monday, lifting its 11-day total to $69.2 million. The comedy threequel, starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, took in $13.1 million this weekend from 34 international markets for a foreign total of $28.6 million.

Hugh Jackman's musical drama "The Greatest Showman" is finishing a close fourth, with $20.3 million at 3,316 theaters forecast for the four days. The Fox-Chernin Entertainment title showed the biggest gain in the top 10 movies from the Christmas Eve weekend, with an impressive 73 percent surge. The domestic total should hit $53.8 million through Monday.