'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Dominating Christmas Box Office, But Audiences May Be Waning

In just one week, Star Wars: The Last Jedi pulled in $296 million at the domestic box office. With the Christmas weekend ahead of us, the sci-fi sequel will have no problem dominating the box office despite the onslaught of new releases that include Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Pitch Perfect 3, Downsizing, The Greatest Showman and Father Figures, not to mention a limited release of Steven Spielberg's The Post.

However, it should be noted that even though Star Wars: The Last Jedi is raking in plenty of cash at the box office, it's not holding onto anywhere near as large of an audience as Star Wars: The Force Awakens did. In fact, The Last Jedi is retaining even less of its opening day audience than Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Find out more about the Star Wars: The Last Jedi box office below.

Over the four-day weekend, Deadline says Star Wars: The Last Jedi is estimated to pull in $102 million from 4,232 screens. That number is a prediction based on how much the movie took in on Friday. That should take the total to over $400 million, and that's just the domestic box office. Those are some great numbers, but the movie is still performing 28% behind its predecessor, The Force Awakens.

That's not necessarily surprising since the return of Star Wars with The Force Awakens was such a big deal in 2015. At the time, it had been 10 years since we had a Star Wars movie, and The Force Awakens was the beginning of a new era of Star Wars. Of course, once some audiences got a taste of what this new trilogy was going to be like, they weren't necessarily on board for more. Sequels frequently earn less than their predecessor, and that's exactly what happened with The Last Jedi.

However, what's potentially worrisome is that The Last Jedi isn't holding onto as much of its opening day audience. Or as Forbes reports, The Last Jedi has the worst daily holds numbers of any Star Wars movie ever. As of Wednesday, December 20, after six days of release, The Last Jedi had retained only 16 percent of its opening day gross. That's lower than every other Star Wars movie across the board, even Rogue One. In fact, that's even lower than Justice League's daily holds, which held on to 27 percent of its opening day gross on the sixth day of release.

One possible explanation is the lower daily holds numbers come from the fact that The Last Jedi has arguably been the most divisive Star Wars movie ever made. Fans are debating the movie all over the web (we've had articles arguing both for and against the success of the sequel), and that means less repeat viewers. It would certainly explain why Forbes reports the movie dropped 76.4 percent Friday-to-Friday. But even so, The Last Jedi had a smaller opening-to-day-eight drop than both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, which dropped 78 percent and 81 percent respectively when they were released on a Thursday like The Last Jedi.

Again, let's not forget that Wednesday saw the release of all those new releases we just mentioned, and even more people were seeing them this holiday weekend. When The Force Awakens hit theaters, it didn't have to contend with five new wide releases pulling at a variety of audiences with several family friendly options like Coco, Ferdinand and Wonder still available. Though The Last Jedi will have an easy time beating all of them at the box office, all those movies are still making money (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will take in roughly $60 million over the four-day weekend), which means less people will be seeing The Last Jedi.

While the daily holds drop is certainly disappointing news to hear, this doesn't mean that The Last Jedi won't turn a profit for Lucasfilm and Disney. However, it could possibly mean that the future of Star Wars could be on a little shakier ground than some thought. Some fans may wash their hands of Star Wars after The Last Jedi and opt not to see how the last chapter in the trilogy concludes. Then again, those who fell wronged by The Last Jedi may return for Episode IX to see if J.J. Abrams can save the day, so to speak.

No matter what happens, Star Wars isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has a whole new trilogy in the works that takes place outside of the Skywalker saga that will have unfolded over nine movies when all is said and done. Will audiences be as interested in the new trilogy as they are the three-trilogy saga that came before it? We'll just have to wait and see.