'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' second-highest opening ever in North America

“Star Wars The Last Jedi”

"Star Wars" has long been in a league of its own, and "The Last Jedi", directed by relative newcomer Rian Johnson, was always expected to arrive as a blockbuster.

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" soared to $220 million on its North American opening weekend, data released Sunday showed, backing up months of hype and earning critical praise even as early audiences didn't quite feel the Force.

Ferdinand also opened this weekend (the only film that made a decision to open against The Last Jedi), and took in $13.3 million - the lowest debut of ANY Fox Animation/Blue Sky title.

The strength of Last Jedi is the more remarkable because, while The Force Awakens capitalized on a decade's hiatus for Star Wars, Last Jedi follows closely on not only The Force Awakens (which ultimately grossed $2.1 billion) but also last year's spinoff, Rogue One (first weekend, $155.1 million; total gross a little more than $1 billion globally).

When you add Star Wars' global sum, the movie has a grand total of $450 million, while Ferdinand has $19.5 million.

"The Force Awakens" had benefited from unique circumstances.

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"The results speak to the power of representation", said Hollis.

"That word actually doesn't do it justice", said Greg Foster, chief executive of Imax Entertainment, which played "The Last Jedi" in both 3-D and 2-D.

That marks the second-best showing of ALL TIME behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens! Wow!

"The Last Jedi" sees the return of the characters introduced in J.J. Abrams's first entry in the rebooted trilogy, and is also the last outing for character Leia Organa, played by Carrie Fisher, who died last December. The new film drew a larger number of children under the age of 12 and adults 17 to 25, with teenagers slightly down. "Ferdinand", which cost about US$111 million to produce, collected about US$13.3 million, according to comScore, which compiles box office data.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters now.

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