Right, time for some Star Wars news that you may already have suspected, but has now been confirmed. The news is that The Rise of Skywalker, the most recent and final episode in the Skywalker saga, was the least profitable of Disney’s Star Wars trilogy. In a new report by Deadline, the publication found Skywalker had a net profit of roughly $300 million, down on the $419 million the studio scored with The Last Jedi, and on the massive $700 million they made on The Force Awakens.
When I say this was already suspected, I do so by the fact that Skywalker’s reported production budget was roughly in the line with that of the previous films (global costs differed significantly), but grossed considerably less than either. Deadline’s analysis is a little more substantial than cursory number crunching, though.
Contrary to proving that people deserted The Rise of Skywalker, indicting Disney’s poor handling of the franchise and as many choose to believe, this does the opposite. Yes, its eventual profit was significantly down on Episodes VII and VIII, but there are logical reasons behind it.
The Force Awakens was a major pop culture event that boosted its performance into the stratosphere, while the subsequent movies have followed a well-established precedent, with each sequel tracking lower than the last. Skywalker was no more a failure than Return of the Jedi, which grossed 60% of the first movie in the Original Trilogy.
But there’s an inescapable bottom line that anyone trying to spin Disney’s threequel as a failure is missing. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker scored a net profit of $300 million. What kind of a failure is that? It’s a daft world when people spin those kind of figures to fit their own agenda. And I say this as someone who thought the film was an exhausted crapfest. Whatever you think of Disney, or thought about the movie, stats don’t lie. Threequels rarely perform as well as this did.