This week, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker passed the $500 million mark at the domestic box office. It’s one of only 15 movies that have ever crossed such a benchmark and also recently joined the billion dollar club in worldwide business. So much money. Money. Money. Money.
And yet, by Star Wars standards, it’s kind of a disappointment. According to an article from Forbes, The Rise of Skywalker is on pace to have the steepest 50-day decline of any movie in history. It’s also been pulled from more than 1,000 theaters for its fifth weekend of release.
“If Box Office Mojo’s projection is correct and Rise of Skywalker pulls in at least $3.4 million this upcoming weekend that’ll put the film’s total right around $507.2 million. That $3.4 million showing would represent a 98.1% drop from its opening weekend total,” writes Forbes.
In Star Wars’ defense, most movies decline week-by-week and if you’re starting at a high number, the decline is going to be steeper. Having said that, Episode IX’s $177.4 million opening was far less than both Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($248 million) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($220 million).
Trilogies typically have a financial decline as they progress, but Star Wars is held to a different standard. This is now three consecutive SW movies that have earned less than what was expected. And it’s certainly not what Disney and Lucasfilm want for a film closing out not just a trilogy, but a nine-movie saga that dates back to the ‘70s.
But what’s the reasoning behind this? Is it Star Wars fatigue? Or perhaps it just comes down to the quality of the film. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has the worst reviews of any entry in the franchise, after all, including the wretched Phantom Menace.
Honestly, there’s a lot of reasons why the pic performed so poorly, but even despite this, the train that George Lucas built will continue to roll on. There are 14 Star Wars movies currently in development, The Mandalorian just finished a fantastic season as the signature launch title for Disney Plus and despite some bad news coming from the Obi-Wan show, fans will no doubt be eager to see Ewan McGregor return to the role.