'Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker' Box Office Tracking Suggests A $200 Million Opening Weekend

Breaking news: a Star Wars movie is poised to make a lot of money. Shocking, I know! Snark aside, early projections for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker have director J.J. Abrams' saga-concluding chapter making between $175 and $200 million during its opening weekend. That's a number that most studio executives would sacrifice a child or three to have happen on their watch, even if it's just a tad low for a modern Star Wars movie.

The numbers come our way via The Hollywood Reporter and we can expect them to shift in the weeks ahead. After all, people who read movie websites that feature stories about early box offie tracking are well aware that The Rise of Skywalker is less than a month away from hitting theaters, but regular folks (AKA the people who actually make or break a movie) may need the final marketing barrage to remind them that the film is coming. That's how it is with every major blockbuster, so I imagine we'll be writing an updated version of this article in about two weeks.

For now though, those early projections are lower than the opening weekend for Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($248 million) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($220 million), which went on to gross $936 million and $620 million respectively at the domestic box office. Interestingly, the previous two Star Wars trilogies followed the same pattern, with the second entry dipping below the first at the box office and the third falling between the first and second. It's entirely possible that The Rise of Skywalker will follow suit and split the difference between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

In any case, this film is being sold as a Big Deal and that's because it is. While there will still be new Star Wars movies for the foreseeable future, The Rise of Skywalker is the finale to the core storyline that begin in 1977. Future tales may intersect with these characters, but the long, strange and sad tale of the Skywalker family tree ends here. If that's not a reason to get off your butt and get into a theater, I'm not sure what is.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hammll, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong'o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher. It hits theaters on December 20, 2019.