AceShowbiz - "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" debuted to a near-record $220 million at domestic box office when it opened in 4,232 theaters in the U.S. and Canada this weekend. That makes the latest installment of Disney and Lucasfilm's "Star Wars" film series the second-best opening of all time, behind only its predecessor, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", which debuted to $248.8 million in 2015.
"The Last Jedi" had a similar start overseas with $230 million in international ticket sales, bringing its three-day global haul to $450 million. The Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver-starring flick has also become the fourth film to debut with more than $200 million domestically. Aside from "The Force Awakens", the others are "The Avengers" ($207.4 million) and "Jurassic World" ($208.8 million).
Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis said the studio expected the film, which was directed by Rian Johnson, to come in behind "The Force Awakens" by as much as 20 percent around the globe, saying that its stellar performance is a reflection of the franchise's cultural influence as well as the film's diverse cast.
"The results speak to the power of representation," Hollis said, adding that "it's a movie that is relatable, both because of the characters and the conflict." He noted that the weekend pushed the studio past the $2 billion mark domestically for the third year in a row.
"The Last Jedi" easily beat the weekend's only other wide release, Fox's animated film "Ferdinand" which is based on the children's book "The Story of Ferdinand". The family-friendly film about a gentle bull voiced by John Cena finished second with an estimated $13.3 million, falling short of analysts' predictions of $15-20 million.
Rounding out the top five were Pixar's "Coco" with an estimated $10 million at No. 3, Lionsgate's "Wonder" with around $5.4 million at No. 4, and DC/Warner Bros.' "Justice League", which earned an additional $4.2 million in its fifth week.
Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for December 15-17: