by Javier TOVAR "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" -- the latest episode in the blockbuster space saga -- has raked in more than $450 million worldwide since hitting theaters, Disney said Monday -- a major success for the most-hyped movie of the year.
The film directed by Rian Johnson — which features the late Carrie Fisher’s final performance as Princess Leia — took in $220 million in North America, and another $230.8 million overseas, a Disney spokesman said.
It was the fifth biggest global box office debut in history, the company said.
It was also the second biggest opening in US history and in December — only behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — the opener of the saga’s sequel trilogy that took $248 million on its debut weekend.
“The Last Jedi” sees the return of the characters introduced in “The Force Awakens” — with Rey (Daisy Ridley) looking to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to teach her about The Force.
One of the film’s key draws for fans is to find out the fate of Leia. Fisher died in December 2016 at the age of 60, shortly after wrapping up filming her scenes.
In November, Disney — which acquired Lucasfilm five years ago — announced plans for a new “Star Wars” trilogy, the fourth, as well as a live-action television series.
“We have big ambitions for the Star Wars franchise,” Disney chief executive Robert Iger said at the time.
Johnson, who directed “The Last Jedi,” will develop the new films.
“Star Wars” — the brain child of George Lucas — has grown into the most lucrative and influential movie franchise of all time since the original film was released in 1977.
– Animated films take second, third place -In second place at the North American box office was “Ferdinand,” a computer-animated comedy about a bull with a big heart often mistaken for a dangerous beast, which took $13.4 million on what was also its debut weekend, according to final industry figures.
Last weekend’s number one “Coco,” a colorful Pixar movie about Mexico’s Day of the Dead traditions, dropped down to third place with $9.9 million, according to Exhibitor Relations.
It has now earned $150.7 million in North America since its release four weeks ago.
Feel-good film “Wonder” starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay — the story of a determined fifth-grade boy with a facial deformity who must deal with bullying — slid to fourth place, taking in $5.2 million.
Warner Bros. superhero film “Justice League” — featuring Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman and Jason Momoa as Aquaman, plus Ciaran Hinds as a supervillain — fell to fifth with $4.3 million.
Rounding out the top ten were:
“Daddy’s Home 2” ($3.8 million)
“Thor: Ragnarok” ($3.1 million)
“The Disaster Artist” ($2.7 million)
“Murder On The Orient Express” ($2.5 million)
“Lady Bird” ($2.1 million) DM
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