Most read! Not that “Star Wars”: The Last Jedi is in any danger of losing money

Chris MaccenroyDec 24, 2017Media5516

Now that the initial weekend flush is behind it, that hot period when pretty much anything that had the Star Wars name on it could have earned $500 million worldwide, audience fervor for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has cooled off like a chilly winter evening on planet Hoth.

In North America, daily holds for the Rian Johnson-directed flick have been significantly worse than those experienced by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and if the pattern continues The Last Jedi could actually wind up doing not much better than the 2016 spin-off movie. That, of course, would be a catastrophic result, akin to Warner/DC’s disastrous, money-losing fiasco with Justice League.

© Article’s author: Rob Cain.
© Source: Forbes

The Last Jedi is in any danger of losing moneyJust as Justice League jammed all of DC’s biggest and most valuable superheroes into a single, swing-for-the-fences mash-up that failed to earn even as much as the single-hero, half-priced (yet far superior) Wonder Woman, so it appears that Disney may have turned the one-time opportunity to put Luke and Leia together in their last movie into an under-performing debacle that earns little more than the band-of-nobodies Rogue One.

Not that Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in any danger of losing money. There’s too much momentum behind the franchise, too many people who will pay to see it even when they’ve heard it’s a disappointing mess. Disney could have called it The Star Wars Movie That Will Completely Turn You Off From Ever Seeing Another Star Wars Movie Again and it still would have collected $1.2 billion at the box office and turned a tidy profit.

Some of comments on the IMDb:

A Literal Insult to Star Wars Fans. I am baffled by how much The Last Jedi hates what should be its strongest fans. As others have said, this movie doesn’t go the way you think it would, but not in any sort of interesting way. I, like many, came into this move with questions I’d been wondering about for at least 2 years. Who are Rey’s parents? Who is supreme leader Snoke? Why is he so powerful? How was Ben Solo seduced to the dark? Last we saw of Luke he was on an island. What the blazes is he doing there?

The Last Jedi could have answered these questions in many ways. It could’ve answered them “safely”, giving what we expect. It could’ve answered them in interesting ways, propelling the story forward in unexpected directions. The movie’s answer? “It doesn’t matter. Oh, you thought it did? You assumed after all this build up and mystery there’d be some sort of payoff? Well screw you. I need a paycheck.”

Other reviews have gone into the uninspired story, the barebones plot, and the surprisingly non-funny attempts at humor. I’ll spare you my takes on those and focus on one aspect I hold dearly in my heart: Luke Skywalker. Luke Skywalker is my favorite character in any fictional story, ever. And this movie does all it can to completely ignore his character arc from the original trilogy. If you love Luke Skywalker, I mean really love his character and who he is, you won’t like this movie.

I’ve loved Star Wars for as long as I can remember, but, unfortunately, this is not the Star Wars I was looking for.

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But for Disney, and for anyone watching, this isn’t really a matter of whether The Last Jedi turns over a billion or more in revenue. That was always an easy target. This is a matter of how well the film succeeds in meeting financial expectations, how well it fulfills the needs of the franchise, and whether it strengthens the Star Wars brand for future projects.

By those measures, The Last Jedi already looks like a dud.

After opening at nearly 90 percent of The Force Awakens’ strength, The Last Jedi has steadily fallen behind, and by Wednesday, its 6th full day in release, it was holding its audience at a lesser rate than every one of the previous eight live action Star Wars movies. It had retained just 16 percent of its opening day gross, a figure that, as the chart below shows, is well below the holds for The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and the last of the prequels, Revenge of the Sith.

Pacific Bridge data. “Star Wars” films daily holds:

Star Wars films daily holds

I wanted to avoid cluttering up the chart, but I could have added all five of the other previous Star Wars live action movies and the image would remain the same: The Last Jedi is the rock-bottom, worst-holding movie of the entire 9-film franchise. Even Attack of the Clones looks like a champ in comparison.

Some of comments on the IMDb:

The Single worse Star Wars film ever made!

Expect everything you love and know about Star Wars to be trashed in this film. Imagine preparing the most extravagant meal with the most expensive and luxurious ingredients in the world. You spend days preparing the food, then as you plate up you pour two buckets of salt on top of everything. Your wonderful well made food ruined under a mountain of salt. This is exactly what the director did in the Last Jedi, he destroyed it. It was overlong, far too conscious of itself with crude plot twists and no love for the characters.

It was as if an alien had landed on earth and never seen the other films and just made it in an afternoon. The words Last are very meaningful, it’s the last time I will go to a Star Wars film, the Last time I will care about a star wars film and the last time any fan will have hope of seeing a film fans deserve. The Jedi are well and truly dead! Great work Disney! Took some doing to destroy this franchise.

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In fact, The Last Jedi isn’t even holding as well as Justice League did. On its sixth day the DC film retained 27 percent of its opening day audience, nearly double what the Star Wars picture has done.

If you object to comparing Last Jedi’s daily grosses to the film’s $104.6 million opening day with its $45 million in Thursday previews included, compare the grosses instead to the Saturday number. Or Sunday. Or Friday without the preview figures. The story is consistent: The Last Jedi is flying like a fat turkey in the Star Wars universe.

Some of comments on the IMDb:

Dumbest plot in a long, long time. I can’t really get into what’s bad with this movie without dropping a ton of spoilers, but let me put it this way: a friend of mine went to see this before I did, and when I asked him how it was he hesitated, then said “it’s just a superhero series now”. He was more right than I ever could have known.

The plot is stupid and is full of moments where my friends and I looked at each other and said “wait, what?”. There are sequences in this movie that simply do not need to exist and provide literally nothing to the story. The technology, previously something I always thought was neat about Star Wars, is genuinely dumb and makes zero sense (why do big laser bolts in space arc like artillery?). I am ashamed to have paid money for this and as a long-time Star Wars fan it hurts to see just how dead the franchise I love really is.

All that said, the special effects look and sound great, and it was fun to see Mark Hamill acting again. Other than that this movie is a disgrace not just to the franchise but to anyone with a brain. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

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The movie’s flight trajectory will more than likely improve as schools let out for the holidays and Christmas week arrives. But the Yuletide competition has begun to boil with Downsizing, Father Figures, Pitch Perfect 3, The Greatest Showman and Jumanji all arriving in theaters to stake their claims on the box office. It’s far from certain that The Last Jedi will hold its own against such an onslaught, especially since it’s being led by Jumanji’s Dwayne “The World’s Biggest Movie Star” Johnson.

The Audience Strikes Back: Last Jedi’s 77% Fri.-to-Fri, plunge is worst ever for a Star Wars pic.

Pacific Bridge data. Friday-to-Friday declines:

Last Jedi Friday-to-Friday declines

“Star Wars” will survive, of course, in the domestic market and in the handful of territories where it’s a successful legacy franchise. But in key markets like Korea and Mexico and China and India, places where The Force Awakens wasn’t well received and audiences could go either way, The Last Jedi may burn that bridge, and truly turn off mass audiences from ever seeing another Star Wars movie again.

Some of comments on the IMDb:

My heart is broken!

If you’re looking for a slapstick car crash with no heart, pathos or tension, The Last Jedi is the film for you. So much is destroyed in the two and a half hours this film spans. Luke, the purest of heart, the one character that is seemingly impossible to ruin, is stripped of all his character and charm for no apparent reason.

Nothing in this film seems to serve a purpose. And even when we think there is some sort of plot – no! We are then told that the light and the dark are fairly interchangeable, that no side is a good side... except when in the end it matters again?

Domhnall Gleeson’s character is more of a caricature, being thrown about like a rag doll, completely undermining the power of the villainous empire. Leia survives the most ridiculous explosion and exposure to space. Who is Snoke? Who is Rose? Why is every moment of possible tension destroyed by a cheap joke, making this film more like the soulless void of the Marvel franchise or a money-grabbing Disney film?

Why can none of the actors act? This film poses so many questions regarding the script, it’s plot, and sadly, the industry as a whole. Watching The Last Jedi was like watching an old friend suffer an undignified death. All I can think to do is get drunk and pretend it was a bad dream.

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Total: 4 comments
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  1. Archi Warius
    3
    2017-12-24, 6:03PM
    My opinion: a beautiful, humorous and magical "Star Wars" movie! yum

    I've been a Star Wars fan since I was 7 years old, and I even remember seeing Empire and Jedi on the big screen as a kid. Yeah, I'm old. But, I'm a little shocked at so many haters of this movie, many of you have given a 2! A 2? Seriously?

    I've given The Last Jedi an 8. It's an epic and original Star Wars movie, with gorgeous cinematography and incredible music from the wonderful John Williams again. Rain Johnson has managed to expand the force mythology, inject some good ol' humour back into the saga, and throw in some wonderful surprises, that I believe, we all needed. It seems like many of you do not like change, or are not prepared to enjoy a Star Wars movie that takes risks. This movie takes huge risks; it dares to offer something fresh in a franchise that is over 40 years old. It also pays homage to the original trilogy in a beautiful and tasteful way. So, no, I do NOT understand the haters out there.

    +6
  2. Kevin Parrish
    1
    4
    2017-12-24, 5:48PM
    Amazed by the negativity! anguished

    I walked out of this movie with six friends at 3 AM, and all of us were wired from adrenaline and amazement. And then I checked IMDb and saw nothing but angry fans, proving that there really is no pleasing organized fandom. Everyone complained mightily at how unoriginal and "safe" The Force Awakens was, and then a movie comes along with an actual point of view, with incredible style unlike anything that has come before it in the series, that is daring, fresh, and original... and now it's just too different for everyone.

    Though some of the complaints are fair (namely that one major subplot turns out to be largely a digression), this was so surprising and thoughtful and fresh that it frankly makes The Force Awakens better by recontextualizing it. This movie has something to say if people will take a moment to listen to it rather than getting pissy that it wasn't what they were expecting.
    +2
  3. Mill Camius
    5
    2017-12-24, 5:39PM
    Unbelievable disappointment... Never written a review before, but I had to for this one. For a movie with so much promise The Last Jedi in the worst in the series so far. As a huge Star Wars fan, I can't explain my disappointment.

    Whilst visuals are often very good, incredible on a couple of occasions, the story lands completely flat on its face! What makes Star Wars so special is the characters, their emotion, family connections, and the main characters connection to the force, and their part in its balance.

    +5
  4. Tommy Miles
    2
    5
    Tommy MilesJournalist
    2017-12-24, 1:52PM
    What? That was a dream right? Or a joke?

    Just came back from the theater and I'm so conflicted. I don't know what to say. I really really want to love it but I really don't like it. The force awakens left so much potential for an amazing movie but this was huge chance missed. Instead I saw a misguided incongruous and incomplete movie that saddens me to my core. The magic is gone, I don't know what else I can say.
    +4
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