The Last Jedi has second biggest opening ever despite mixed audience reception

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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Star Wars: The Last Jedi had one of the biggest opening weekends ever, second only to The Force Awakens. What IS surprising is just how mixed the audience reception has been.

According to Box Office Mojo, The Last Jedi took in an estimated $220 million at the domestic box office. Overall, the film has made over $450 million worldwide. Not every fan believes the film is deserving of such success, however.

Although The Last Jedi received rave reviews from critics, audiences are split down the middle. On Rotten Tomatoes, it’s certified fresh with a critical rating on 93% positive, but the audience score is only 56%. On Metacritic, the critical score is 86 while the user score is 4.9. Of course the film’s score is more favorable on IMDb with 7.9, which is lower than the most beloved Star Wars movies, but in the same range of Rogue One and Revenge of the Sith. Its CinemaScore is also a solid A, which seems to indicate that mainstream audiences enjoyed the film well enough while the backlash is primarily stemming from diehard fans.

That being said, will the mixed audience reception hurt The Last Jedi in the long run? Probably not. After all, every Star Wars film since the original has been met with an initially polarizing response, including The Empire Strikes Back. Even the franchise’s most hated entries, Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, were massive hits. While the film may have a significant drop-off in the weeks to come, it can already be viewed as a financial success. The real question is if audiences will lose interest in Star Wars going forward now that we’re getting one per year as apposed to a new trilogy every couple decades? For that matter, will Lucasfilm and Disney stick with director Rian Johnson to helm the new trilogy following the mixed response?

If you want to know what we thought of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, read our review here.

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About Nick Spake

Nick Spake has been working as an entertainment writer for the past ten years, but he's been a lover of film ever since seeing the opening sequence of The Lion King. Movies are more than just escapism to Nick, they're a crucial part of our society that shape who we are. He now serves as the Features Editor at Flickreel and author of its regular column, 'Nick Flicks'.

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