Disney’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is headed straight to the top of the box office charts this weekend, and the movie made over $40M during Thursday night previews. The film hit over 4,300 screens last night across the country, and estimates predict that the final Skywalker chapter could bring in between $180M and $200M domestically this weekend. In comparison, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” made over $57M in previews, and The previous installment, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” made $45M. Disney’s own estimate is a little lower, coming in at $160M domestically. That would put “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” well below “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” but above “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
Starting with the new trilogy, “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” had a $108M domestic opening in 1999. The sequel, “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones,” made slightly less with an $80M debut in 2002. “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” ended the prequels with a $108.4M opening weekend in 2005. The highest-grossing Star Wars movie of all-time is “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which had a $247.9M domestic opening in 2015. The film still holds the highest domestic gross at $936M and is still the highest-grossing PG-13 movie ever made. In 2016, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” made $155M on its opening weekend, followed by “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which had a $220M opening weekend in 2017. “Solo: A Star Wars Story” was a rare miss for the franchise, but still brought in over $84.4M on its opening debut in 2018.
For the Star Wars faithful, “Star Wars: A New Hope” debuted in 1977 with a $1.5M opening weekend, and “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” opened with a $4.9M debut. The final film in the original trilogy, “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,” made $23M on its opening weekend in 1983.
The critics are split on “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which isn’t anything new. J.J. Abrams returned to direct the new installment, which stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and Kelly Marie Tran. The movie also features Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, and Ian McDiarmid.
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” wasn’t the only movie to hit theaters this weekend, Universal Pictures’ musical “CATS” also premiered in over 2,500 screens. The movie, which is based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical, brought in over $550K in previews on the same night. Tom Hooper directed the adaptation, which features Francesca Heyward, James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, and Rebel Wilson.
Subscribe to Daily Updates and never miss a headline.