The recent release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has certainly stirred up plenty of debate and no shortage of controversy among fans of the long-running sci-fi series, but that hasn’t stopped the movie from continuing to dominate the box office. Such is the strength and popularity of the Star Wars brand, the ninth installment opening to $175.5 million domestically was seen as a mild disappointment by some, but J.J. Abrams’ closing chapter has nonetheless continued to play incredibly well over the holiday season.
The Rise of Skywalker scored another $72 million this weekend to bring the movie’s domestic total up to $362 million, which is tracking just slightly behind The Last Jedi, which had earned $368 million at the same point. Obviously, both are far behind the massive numbers posted by The Force Awakens, which had already made well over $500 million after two weeks in theaters.
The latest divisive installment in the franchise is also posting some big international numbers, with another stellar performance bringing the worldwide total past the $700 million mark, making $1 billion virtually a foregone conclusion despite speculation that The Rise of Skywalker’s weak opening in China may ultimately harm the movie’s chances of hitting the elusive ten-figure threshold.
All this goes to show that when it comes to modern blockbusters, brand recognition and wide appeal are often the deciding factor in a movie’s success. The Rise of Skywalker hasn’t been the recipient of widespread critical acclaim, and plenty of fans have made their feelings known online, with Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico once again becoming one of the franchise’s major talking points for better or worse.
There was no way that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was going to leave everyone happy, something Abrams himself has always been open about, but based on the box office numbers, people keep turning out to see it in their droves anyway.