On the last day of the calendar year, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" surpassed "Beauty and the Beast" as the top grossing film in North America in 2017. It also topped the charts for the weekend for the third time, but just barely — Dwayne Johnson's "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" is close on its tail.
According to studio estimates on Sunday (31 December), "The Last Jedi" will add $52.4m (£38.6m) over the weekend bringing its domestic total to $517.1m. "Beauty and the Beast," also a Disney release, netted out with $504m for the year.
With the weekend's earnings, "The Last Jedi" will also cross the $1bn mark globally — even before it opens in China on 5 January.
But "Star Wars" is facing some hefty competition still, from the likes of The Rock, Jack Black and Kevin Hart, whose "Jumanji" sequel took in $50.6m in its second weekend in theatres to take second place.
The Columbia Pictures film has earned a stunning $169.8m to date and could even reach $300m domestically by the end of its run.
The acapella franchise "Pitch Perfect 3" took third place in weekend two, with $17.8m, bringing its total to $64.3m — still less than what "Pitch Perfect 2" earned on its opening weekend alone in May 2015 ($69.2m).
Another musical, "The Greatest Showman," with Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, came in fourth place with $15.3m after adding 310 screens. The animated kids film "Ferdinand" took fifth with $11.7m.
In its first weekend in theaters after debuting on Christmas Day, Ridley Scott's "All the Money in the World" took in $5.5m, bringing its total to $12.6m. The film got some added recognition when Scott replaced Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer and re-shot portions of the film only six weeks before it was set to hit theatres. But the hype of the impressive feat hasn't translated into big earnings.
Another adult-targeted film, Alexander Payne's "Downsizing," is struggling in theatres, taking in $4.6m in its second weekend in theatres. The Matt Damon-starrer has earned only $17.1m to date against a $68m production budget.
In limited release, Aaron Sorkin's "Molly's Game," starring Jessica Chastain, earned $2.33m. The film about the "poker princess" Molly Bloom expands on 5 January. And Paul Thomas Anderson's "Phantom Thread" earned $220,000 from four theatres over the weekend after its Christmas opening. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as a designer, "Phantom Thread" has grossed $531,000 to date.
"As end of year marketplaces go, this is a great time to be a moviegoer," said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for comScore. "There are so many movies out there, the only trick is how do you see all of them."
The year as a whole will surpass $11bn again, with comScore projecting $11.12bn, which is down 2.3% from last year's record-breaking grosses ($11.4bn), and almost on par with 2015's $11.14bn.
"We actually had a really great end of year surge," Dergarabedian said. "'Star Wars' adding about a half billion dollars didn't hurt. But 'Star Wars' didn't do this alone. It's not just about the big movies at the top, it's also about the smaller movies that provided a really great foundation. Every dollar counts."