I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the biggest, or depending on your perspective, second biggest, movie event of the year arrives this weekend with the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Minus the misfire of Solo: A Star Wars Story, every film released under the Disney-owned era of Lucasfilm has been an unqualified global smash hit. Will Episode IX follow suit? Read on to find out how much Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker could make worldwide on opening weekend.
J.J. Abrams Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is tracking for a $450 million global opening according to Deadline. That would be on par with what the previous film in the Skywalker Saga, Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, opened to in 2017. A $450 million worldwide bow would not however match J.J. Abrams last entry in the franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which riding a decade’s worth of anticipation, opened to $528.9 million in 2015.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will essentially be playing worldwide by the weekend with the only Korea having to wait until January to see how the Skywalker Saga ends. The Disney film begins playing in France, Germany and Italy tomorrow with markets like the United Kingdom and Brazil to follow on the 19th.
Previews also begin tomorrow for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in China, but the world’s second-largest film market has not taken to the franchise in the way that it has to other domestic blockbusters like the Fast & the Furious franchise and the superhero films of Marvel and DC.
Although this is the first holiday release Star Wars film to get a day-and-date release in China (the other films opened in January) the Middle Kingdom is only expected to contribute about $20 million of Episode IX’s worldwide opening weekend gross.
All told, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is forecasted to bring in $250 million from international markets this weekend, on top of the $200 million it is expected to rack up domestically. Digging deeper into that domestic forecast, there are reasons to think that The Rise of Skywalker could overperform.
Tracking has pegged the film to open with $175 million domestic, but with advance ticket sales on par with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, $200 million or more seems very much on the table. The early reactions out of the film’s premiere could bode well for word of mouth to help push the film higher at the box office, but we’ll see. Reviews arrive for the film on Wednesday.
Domestically, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be playing in over 4,300 theaters by Friday with preview screenings beginning on Thursday at 6 p.m. The Rise of Skywalker is expected to pull in around $45 million from preview screenings, which would be in the range of The Last Jedi but not quite as much as the $57 million the mighty Force Awakens did.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in domestic theaters on December 20. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what huge movies you can look forward to next year.