Disney’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is trending towards an opening weekend somewhere between $170M and $200M domestically. That won’t break any records for the franchise, but it will be a positive boost for the December box office. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is scheduled to debut on December 20th against the musical “CATS,” during a month that’s overbooked with new releases.
Looking at the box office records, it’s unlikely that “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” will top the opening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and it won’t come close to beating Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame,” which made $357M domestically on its opening weekend. This is still great news for theaters, which have been struggling in November before Disney saved the day with “Frozen 2.” The release of a Star Wars film, along with the other new movies scheduled to release in December, could post a new record for the month, but we will have to wait until January to see how the other films perform.
With eight films already released in the Skywalker saga, the main Star Wars installments have always found success at the box office. “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” opened in 1999 with a $64M opening before grossing $1.02B worldwide, and “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones” made $115M on its debut before grossing $649M globally. The prequel trilogy ended with “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,” which made $108M on its opening weekend before grossing $850M globally.
In 2015, Star Wars returned with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which opened with a franchise record of $245M before grossing $2B worldwide. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” had a slightly smaller opening, bringing in $220M on its opening weekend before leaving theaters with a $1.3B total. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” still holds the record as the highest-grossing domestic movie of all time with $936M, and it is the highest-grossing domestic PG-13 movie.
If you want to explore the Skywalker sage even further, “Star Wars: A New Hope” debuted in 1977 with a $1.5M opening weekend, and the movie made $775.5M worldwide. “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” opened with a $4.9M debut before grossing $547.8M globally, and “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” made $23M on its opening weekend before leaving theaters with $475.3M.
As we reported earlier, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is expected to close the Skywalker saga, allowing the franchise to add new characters and explore new stories unattached to any of the original films, and without the original cast. The movie follows the Resistance as they fight the First Order, and the Emperor from the original trilogy is expected to return to the story. The movie is expected to feature Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac. The movie will also feature Carrie Fisher, using footage from earlier movies.
The release of “Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker” is causing a bottleneck at the December box office, as studios rush to release their movies before the sci-fi blockbuster hits theaters. This means that the weekend before “Rise of the Skywalker” hits theaters is busier than usual. That weekend, “Richard Jewell,” “Jumanji: The Next Level,” “Black Christmas,” “Bombshell,” and “Uncut Gems” are all scheduled to open against one another. The weekend after “Rise of the Skywalker” hits theaters is still crowded, with “Spies in Disguise,” “Little Women,” “Just Mercy,” and “1917,” hoping to offer some alternative entertainment.
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