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Star Wars is one of the most beloved franchises in film history, spanning decades of filmmaking and generations of fans. As such, each new installment in the galaxy far, far away is expected to make plenty of money at the box office. There was particular hype around J.J. Abrams' The Rise of Skywalker, which was the final installment in the nine-film Skywalker Saga. And that blockbuster has finally made its way past the $1 billion mark, just at a slower pace than its predecessors.
Not counting Solo: A Star Wars Story, every movie that Lucasfilm has put out since being acquired by Disney has been a financial success. The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were particularly popular, given their connection to the main storyline of the franchise. But it's taken The Rise of Skywalker significantly more time to pass the $1 Billion mark at the global box office than its predecessors. Let's break it all down.
The Rise of Skywalker got passed the $1 billion mark Tuesday of this week, 28 days after Episode IX arrived in theaters and broke the internet. Comparing it to the previous two movies, this is quite a bit more time. As Variety reports, The Force Awakens hit that milestone 12 days after its release in 2015, while The Last Jedi followed suit with 19 days. That's more than a week's discrepancy, and I have to wonder what made The Rise of Skywalker so different.
Obviously Episode IX is still making a ton of money at the box office. The franchise proves consistently profitable, as there's a massive fandom that is eager for any new content. Fan excitement was highlighted with the recent release of The Mandalorian, with The Child aka Baby Yoda becoming a pop culture sensation. Yet the fans didn't shell out money as quickly for The Rise of Skywalker.
Disney recently acknowledged Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker's box office milestone, tweeting out the following message.
Part of the profits that come from Star Wars movies is the re-watchability. It's a franchise with twists and action, and many moviegoers go for multiple viewings while Star Wars is still in theaters. Could this discrepancy at the box office indicate that folks didn't return for second and third rounds of The Rise of Skywalker? It's unclear, but the movie did cover a ton of ground.
Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Narratively, J.J. Abrams kept Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker at a brisk pace, and managed to include a ton of twists and turns throughout the course of its 142-minute runtime. Jumping one year ahead in time, we watched as Rey's true parentage was explored. Fans also bid goodbye to Carrie Fisher's Leia, while Ben Solo was finally redeemed. With so much going on, Episode IX is definitely a movie that warrants re-watching. Although there might be another reason why it took longer to hit $1 Billion.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is still in theaters now, and should continue making more money for the foreseeable future. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.