Heading into its fourth weekend of release, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is inching towards that magical $1 billion mark. And while it’ll eventually finish behind the two previous entries in the Sequel Trilogy, it’ll still be the seventh Disney film of 2019 to earn more than $1 billion at the global box office.
But its reign atop the domestic weekend charts is about to end, as 1917 expands nationwide today and the WWI drama is projected to earn around $36 million. The movie has been in select theaters for the last few weeks now, but riding high following its win for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director for Sam Mendes at the Golden Globes, it’s looking like it’ll be a hit in early January.
The studio was smart to hold off on releasing 1917 wide around the holidays, too. While it could serve as counter-programing to Star Wars, it would’ve also had to deal with competition like Jumanji: The Next Level, Little Women and Uncut Gems, which are all doing well relative to their expectations. Even Knives Out continues to make money despite coming out in November.
Of course, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker winning three weekends in a row is par for the course these days. After all, not a single movie in 2019 was number one for four weekends in a row, including Avengers: Endgame. Not even Rogue One: A Star Wars Story or Star Wars: The Last Jedi could do it. The days of Titanic getting the number one spot week after week are over as studios mainly focus on big tentpole franchise releases now and a new one comes out every two or three weeks. Which is why there’s so much turnover at the top of the box office during the year.
Despite the tepid reviews though, the Sequel Trilogy-closer proves once again that Star Wars in December works. And no matter what else is coming out, Disney owns that month and will continue to with another movie from that galaxy far, far away arriving in 2021.