It happened. After over four weeks in theaters, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker finally crossed the $1 billion line, becoming the seventh Disney-owned film released in 2019 to reach such a milestone at the box office.
It now joins the other six Disney and Marvel films:
- Avengers: Endgame
- Captain Marvel
- Aladdin (2019)
- The Lion King (2019)
- Frozen 2
- Toy Story 4
But The Rise of Skywalker earned its place in a very slow, anti-climactic sort of way. It didn’t reach the mark in an impressive way. It just kind of happened. Let us explain.
An Unbelievably “Slow” Start and A Steep Drop
The ninth and final installment of The Skywalker Saga got off to a relatively slow start, earning $177 Million domestically on opening weekend. While it went down as the third highest-grossing opening seen in 2019, the film lagged behind its successors: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. The Rise of Skywalker also bombed in its debut in China, earning only $2.2 million (RMB15.4 million).
Domestically, JJ Abrams’ second Star Wars film was able to remain steady for three weekends at the number one spot, but its 4th week in theaters saw a massive drop. It raked in only $15.1 million. Forbes recorded it as the lowest drop in revenue since opening weekend.
Yes, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker saw a 91.5% drop in revenue after comparing Week 4 with Opening Weekend. While this is not uncommon for films to make less and less money the longer it runs in theaters, but this revenue drop is extraordinary. The largest drop ever recorded.
“The Billion-Dollar Disappointment”?
Forbes has not been kind to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The business and finance publication did not mince words when it said that they predicted The Rise of Skywalker to join its “$100 Million Losers Club.”
There’s only one qualification to join the club: a film must have over a -$100 million difference between the latest week’s revenue and Opening Weekend revenue. Even though this lastest Star Wars film earned over $1 billion overall, the difference between Opening Weekend and Week 4 qualifies it for the club.
Because of the deflation at the Box Office, mistimed release date, and the film’s inability to stand with another blockbuster, 1917, Forbes would go on to label Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and the first $1 Billion disappointment. While some fans would agree, Forbes does not take a jab at the movie itself. Instead, it lets the numbers talk.
Regardless, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker did it. It earned more than $1 billion at the box office and became the seventh Disney-owned film to do so in the same year. The record of seven billion-dollar films in one year is one that we most likely won’t see beat for a long time.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is currently still playing in theaters across the country.
Related: Star Wars Composer John Williams Breaks Own Record With 52nd Oscar Nomination