‘Star Wars’ passes ‘Beauty and the Beast’ as top 2017 box office earner

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Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” On the last day of the calendar year, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has surpassed “Beauty and the Beast” as the top grossing film in North America in 2017. | John Wilson/Lucasfilm via AP, File

LOS ANGELES — On the last day of the calendar year, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has 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, “The Last Jedi” will add $52.4 million over the weekend bringing its domestic total to $517.1 million. “Beauty and the Beast,” also a Disney release, netted out with $504 million for the year.

With the weekend’s earnings, “The Last Jedi” will also cross the $1 billion mark globally — even before it opens in China on Jan. 5.

Dan Stevens as The Beast and Emma Watson as Belle in the live-action adaptation of the animated classic “Beauty and the Beast.” | Disney via AP, File

Dan Stevens as The Beast and Emma Watson as Belle in the live-action adaptation of the animated classic “Beauty and the Beast.” | Disney via AP, File

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 $50.6 million in its second weekend in theaters to take second place. The Columbia Pictures film has earned a stunning $169.8 million to date and could even reach $300 million domestically by the end of its run.

LINDSEY BAHR, AP Film Writer

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