The Rise of Skywalker, the final chapter of the popular movie series ‘Star Wars’ recent trilogy bagged $374 million in sales globally over the weekend. The chapter which was rated 58% ‘rotten’ score on Rotten Tomatoes received only $198 million internationally, on its debut opening.
The Rise of Skywalker earned the least in sales through its premiere as compared to the other two. ‘The Force Awakens’ earned $517 million when it released in 2015, while the second movie released in 2017, ‘The Last Jedi’, garnered $450 million globally from their debut.
Assessment of its Earning and Expectation
Star Wars was created by the American film-producer, George Lucas in 1977. It is one of the long-running films in the Hollywood franchises. The latest chapter, which is the ninth production of the Star Wars movie series, focuses on a young hero called Luke Skywalker.
The new movie, directed by J.J. Abrams, has earned huge revenue despite the low debut performance of the series. Selling its debut franchise around for $176 million alone from the US and Canada, Skywalker had the 12th biggest opening of all time and had the third highest-earning movie in the US in December 2019.
According to Jeff Bock, a senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations Co., “That’s a great number for December and this is a huge franchise. It’s got fans in every corner of the world.” However, Bock added, “That’s a 20% decline (domestically) from the last installment. That’s a cause for concern no matter how big your franchise is.”
The Walt Disney Co.’s head of theatrical distribution, Cathleen Taff shared, “The company was pleased with initial sales and would judge the movie based on its entire run. The film is expected to attract families who are off from work over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.” She continued, “We think it’s a great start heading into these first couple weeks where we have the added benefit of a holiday play.”
Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore, stated, “Though ‘Skywalker’ opened to less than its two predecessors, the film is helping to spearhead a late-year box office surge that has knocked the year-to-date deficit down to under 5% for the first time in months and, importantly, should have solid playability into 2020 and could become Disney’s seventh $1 billion film released in 2019.”
Fan’s Reactions to the Skywalker
During the weekend of the premiere show, as reported by a media, many fans dressed up as their favorite characters and attended a 24-hour marathon screenings of the previous eight films of the movie series.
According to a survey conducted by the website Rotten Tomatoes, about 86% of the fans gave a positive review for the latest movie, despite some critics discrediting the movie for less originative and complex plot.
Many fans criticized, the latest movie’s unnecessary focus on fixing the issues that were raised by fans in the previous chapter, the Last Jedi. Additionally, the last episode added more characters instead of better explaining the characters that were introduced in the previous chapters.
According to Bock, “Skywalker had one of the best openings December has ever seen, unfortunately, it will always be compared to what it failed to do: match the box office prowess of its predecessors.”
In the backdrop of the critics, Bock commented, “As a studio, you never want to see a declining fan base, at any level, especially for what was billed as the closing of a saga. Truth be told, it’s obviously still a really amazing opening, unless you compare it directly with episode VII and VIII. It will be valuable for the brand to take some time off, and recalibrate in the land of streaming.” Bock stated that ‘Star Wars’ movies will hold for some years, and the next Star Wars movie is set to be released in December 2022.
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