‘Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker’ Hits $1 Billion Globally, but Trails Predecessors

Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo Ren are once again members of the billion-dollar club. Disney’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” crossed $1 billion at the global box office on Tuesday, joining the elusive company of its franchise predecessors, 2015’s “The Force Awakens” and 2017’s “The Last Jedi.”

The movie has made $481 million at the domestic box office and $519 internationally for a worldwide total of $1.001 billion.

It’s a notable achievement, though one that took significantly longer to reach than prior “Star Wars” installments. “Rise of Skywalker,” from director J.J. Abrams, passed the milestone in 28 days. By comparison, it took Abrams’ “The Force Awakens” 12 days and director Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” 19 days.

While still hugely profitable, the sequel trilogy has gotten mixed reception from die-hard “Star Wars” fans. That, in turn, has diminished audience enthusiasm to see adventures that transpire in a galaxy far, far away. “Rise of Skywalker” also generated polarizing reviews and was the only entry among new “Star Wars” films that didn’t receive an “A” CinemaScore from moviegoers.

Ticket sales for the series have steadily declined since sky-high anticipation to see “The Force Awakens” — the first live-action “Star Wars” movie at the time in over 10 years — drove domestic grosses to $936 million, setting an all-time record in the U.S. and Canada. It was also an astronomic success internationally, earning $1.1 billion. Two years later, “The Last Jedi” opened to a wildly divergent reception and brought in $620 million in North America and $712 million abroad.

With “Rise of Skywalker” wrapping up the nine-film Skywalker Saga, it remains unclear what’s next for “Star Wars” on the big screen. The franchise successfully veered from its core storyline with 2016’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” a commercial hit that earned $1.05 billion worldwide. (Notably, “Rise of Skywalker” likely will not surpass “Rogue One’s” $532 million domestic haul.)

But after 2018’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” became the first “Star Wars” movie ever to lose money, it was clear that not everything that hailed from George Lucas’ universe had the Midas touch. Disney has dated a trio of untitled “Star Wars” movies to hit theaters around Christmas every other year starting in 2022, but it remains to be seen what they will be about, or who will direct them.

“Rise of Skywalker” still caps off a banner year for Disney, marking its record seventh 2019 release to surpass $1 billion worldwide. The studio crushed domestic ($3.76 billion), international ($7.35 billion) and global ($11.12 billion) box office benchmarks last year as blockbusters like “Avengers: Endgame,” “The Lion King” and “Frozen II” propelled revenues to new heights. Disney’s upcoming slate is decidedly less powerful, but anticipated tentpoles such as “Mulan,” “Black Widow” and “The Eternals” will likely ensure the studio still leads rivals in 2020.

More Film

  • Parasite Movie

    'Parasite' Enjoys Record Box Office Boost After Oscar Wins

    Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” is reaping box office riches after its groundbreaking Oscar best picture win. The twisted South Korean thriller collected $5.5 million over the weekend, an exceptional 234% increase in ticket sales and the biggest post-Oscar boost for a best picture winner in the past decade. In the seven days since the Academy [...]

  • Nikita Pearl Waligwa

    Nikita Pearl Waligwa, Actor in Disney's 'Queen of Katwe,' Dies at 15

    Nikita Pearl Waligwa, an actor who appeared in Disney’s biographical drama “Queen of Katwe,” has died, according to BBC and the Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor. She was 15. Waligwa had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 and seemed to recover a year later. However, in 2019, another tumor was found. “Queen of Katwe” [...]

  • James Marsden and Sonic (Ben Schwartz)

    'Sonic the Hedgehog' Dominates Box Office With Mighty $57 Million Debut

    Paramount’s family film “Sonic the Hedgehog” ignited over Presidents Day weekend with $57 million in North America and $100 million globally, the biggest showing ever for a video game adaptation. “Sonic” is expected to earn $68 million to $70 million through Monday, one of the best results for the holiday weekend. The better-than-expected start is [...]

  • Shaun the sheep

    How '80s Sci-Fi Films Inspired 'Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon'

    Shaun, everyone’s favorite sheep, is back, and this time he’s facing aliens and robots in “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.” Directors Will Becher and Richard Phelan teamed together on this film for their first full-length collaboration. While the two have been working at Aardman Studios, Phelan’s background was as a story artist and Becher’s [...]

  • Sonic (Ben Schwartz) in SONIC THE

    Box Office: 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Speeding to $65 Million Opening Weekend

    “Sonic the Hedgehog” is speeding to a $65 million opening at the North American box office this President’s Day weekend, according to estimates. Paramount’s action-adventure, based on the Sega video game character, had been pegged to generate $40-45 million prior to its launch. Should estimates hold, it could break the $54 million record set last [...]

  • China Trade War Illustration Variety

    IFTA Says U.S. Should Punish China for Cheating on Film Trade Deal

    The Independent Film & Television Alliance has filed a complaint to the U.S. Trade Representative, calling for the U.S. government to keep China on its Priority Watch List and to monitor China under Section 306 of the Trade Act. The IFTA lobby group, which represents American and international independent film companies, argues that China is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content