'Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker' Tracking For The Lowest Opening Of The Sequel Trilogy, At Least For Now

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is easily the most anticipated movie of the holiday season, with presale tickets for the finale of the Skywalker Saga shattering records at lightspeed and buzz for the film at an all-time high after some truly great trailers. But the box office tracking numbers say differently. Early projections for the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker box office suggest that the J.J. Abrams-directed film will have the lowest opening weekend of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. But with the film still two months away, that long-range forecast could still change.

According to Box Office ProStar Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is projected to rake in between $185-225 million on its opening weekend, with the website estimating a three-day box office haul of $200 million. That would make The Rise of Skywalker's opening weekend the the lowest-performing of the sequel trilogy. Comparatively, The Force Awakens opened to $247.9 million while The Last Jedi opened to $220 million.

But still, those are not small numbers. Even with a lower $200 million opening, that still puts The Rise of Skywalker squarely in the top 10 of the biggest opening weekends (most of the slots occupied by Disney-owned movies). The Force Awakens is a hard one to beat as well, as the 2015 film set the record at the time of biggest box office opening before Avengers: Endgame and Infinity War beat it a few years later.

Box Office Pro also notes that Star Wars trilogies have established a pattern at the box office: the first film makes the biggest "benchmark-setting" numbers, the second one declines significantly, and the third rebounds or a second-best performance. The website is also taking into account the film's holiday weekend debut — the film could see "some back-loading" as audiences could use the weekend for holiday shopping and traveling. It's too early still to see whether the film will be well-received, but word-of-mouth is always a strong factor as well as the film's capping off of the decades-long Skywalker Saga. With ticket presales breaking first-hour records, it's clear that The Rise of Skywalker shouldn't be discounted.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20, 2019.

The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more as Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron's journey continues. With the power and knowledge of generations behind them, the final battle commences.