Thanks to the one-two punch of Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Disney has defended its title as the box office champion.
For the second year on the trot, the Mouse House reigned supreme, scoring big wins on home turf and overseas. It gets better, too, as we’re now learning that The Last Jedi is poised to dethrone Beauty and the Beast as 2017’s highest-grossing release in North America.
This news comes just as the Rian Johnson-directed sequel begins to put some distance between it and Wonder Woman ($412 million domestic), with Deadline revealing that, on Wednesday, Star Wars: The Last Jedi added another $21.5 million to its domestic total, pushing that all-important figure toward $445 million.
It’ll need to score a further $59 million between now and the year’s end if it’s to really topple Beauty and the Beast ($504 million), but given The Last Jedi has been projected for $550 million, we’re quietly confident that the Lucasfilm follow-up has enough mileage left in the thrusters for one final push.
By doing so, it’ll become the year’s highest-grossing film at the domestic box office, even if it falls just short of The Force Awakens, which blazed past all expectations on its journey to $652 million. That record-breaking take is also notably higher than Rogue One‘s ($532 million), for those wanting to compare and contrast.
Overall, though, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is headed for a grand total in excess of $1.6 billion, potentially placing the Rian Johnson sequel in the company of greatness. Only Jurassic World, The Force Awakens, Titanic and Avatar have grossed more – not accounting for inflation – so even after three films in as many years, the Force is still strong in Lucasfilm’s franchise.