The final number for the 2017 North American box office haul will decline by about 2.5% from last year’s record-setting $11.38 billion — even with “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” adding more than $400 million.
As of Christmas Day, the domestic total for the year was $10.68 billion, or 2.7% behind the same time frame a year ago. The final six days of 2017 are likely to generate somewhere between last year’s six-day total of $408 million and 2015’s six-day haul of $431 million, according to box office tracker comScore. So the final 2017 number will be between $11.09 billion and $11.11 billion — about $270 million behind last year’s final total.
“We will most likely wind up with a number around $11.1 billion,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore, told Variety on Tuesday.
That would mean that the final domestic earnings will also finish slightly behind 2015’s $11.14 billion — the second-highest year on record. It will be only the third time that the industry has made it to $11 billion. Grosses hit $10.8 billion in 2012 and $10.9 billion in 2013, then slid to $10.4 billion in 2014.
Movie going in 2017 began auspiciously with unexpected hits from “Get Out” and “Split,” and “Beauty and the Beast” becoming only the eighth film to top $500 million domestically. “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” and “Wonder Woman” exceeded expectations in the early summer, and “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Dunkirk” delivered solid mid-summer grosses. But the rest of the slate sputtered, with the summer becoming the first in more than a decade to fall short of $4 billion. Gains in September with “It” and November with “Thor: Ragnarok” plus the stellar performance by “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (with $396 million in its first 11 days) kept prospects alive for a year above $11 billion.
Total Christmas Day domestic grosses were $80 million, led by “The Last Jedi” with $27 million and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” with $19 million. The total was $3 million behind Christmas Day in 2016 and $23 million behind 2015 Christmas Day. The final six days of the year are more active than usual for movie going in North America. The last six days of 2016 were led by “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” taking in $122 million. In 2015, the final days saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” dominating with $212 million.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” will probably fall between those two movies, followed by “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” which has taken in $72 million in less than a week, and Universal’s comedy “Pitch Perfect 3,” which made $26.5 million in its first four days.