Disney's $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012 seems to have been well worth the gamble, as Star Wars: The Last Jedi — the third film to come out under its ownership — is set to pass the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office this weekend.
According to Variety, Rian Johnson's critically lauded film has earned $934.2 million globally after a $42.1 million worldwide haul on Thursday. It is expected to cross the billion-dollar mark by New Year's Eve, or possibly sooner. Domestically the film is doing quite well, with $464.6 million in grosses just two weeks after its release. Though this still trails the gargantuan success of The Force Awakens, it is well above the earnings of last year's Rogue One.
In its current standing, The Last Jedi is the 11th-highest domestic grosser of all time, right behind Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. Chances are good that it won't stay there for long, and chances are equally good that it will continue to climb the ladder, where it currently ranks just below Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Though it is facing more competition than a Star Wars film usually does (from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Pitch Perfect 3), it will still be the top earner when 2018 begins.
When it joins the $1 billion club, The Last Jedi will follow in the footsteps of such blockbusters as The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and The Dark Knight, as well as some unexpected earners like Despicable Me 3. Avatar and Titanic still top the list respectively, with The Force Awakens right behind them at No. 3. While topping (or equaling) those films is unlikely, The Last Jedi will almost certainly surpass Rogue One, which is nestled in at No. 22 worldwide.
It seems that the divisive nature of the film doesn't matter, as it continues to blaze its way to glory in under 12 parsecs. How far the film eventually ends up going is anyone's guess (it will likely have strong legs throughout January), but one firm takeaway is that Disney's investment in Star Wars was a good one to make. With only three films (The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and only two weeks of The Last Jedi), Disney has crossed the $4 billion line in Star Wars box-office returns and recouped its investment. It's all profit from this point forward, and Star Wars is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down.