‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ roars to box office-topping $175.5 million debut
Lucasfilm(NEW YORK) — Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker recorded the third largest December opening of all-time, topping the weekend box office, with an estimated $175.5 million debut. That said, the final installment of the 40-year-old franchise failed to match its two predecessors, 2015’s The Force Awakens and 2017’s The Last Jedi, with $248 million and $220 million, respectively.
Overseas, Rise of Skywalker, starring Mark Hamill, the late Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran, delivered an estimated $198 million, for $373.5 million worldwide debut.
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The week’s other major release, Cats, on the other hand, fell way short of expectations. The big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1981 stage show, managed to scrape up an estimated $6.6 million for a fourth place finish. The film, which boasted an all-star cast, including James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift and Rebel Wilson, was expected to pull in at least $15 million. Cats‘ debut ranks among the top 20 worst openings all-time for a film playing in over 3,000 locations.
In a move unheard of, according to theater owners, Universal on Friday notified thousands of theaters they will be receiving an updated version of the film with “some improved visual effects,” according to a copy of the memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Bombshell, which went nationwide after opening in select theaters a week ago, also fell below expectations, delivering an estimated $5 million for a sixth place finish.
Elsewhere, Jumanji: The Next Level dropped to second place in its second week of release, earning an estimated $26.1 million.
In third place was Disney’s Frozen 2, collecting an estimated $12.3 million in its fifth week of release. Its global tally now stands at $1.103 billion, making it the fourth largest animated release of all time worldwide, passing Despicable Me 3‘s $1.035 billion, Toy Story 3‘s $1.067 billion and Toy Story 4 with $1.074 billion.
Rounding out the top was was Knives Out, delivering an estimated $6.1 million after four weeks in theaters.
Uncut Gems, the suspense thriller, starring Adam Sandler, crossed $1 million during its second weekend in limited release. It expands nationwide on Christmas Day.
Here are the top 10 movies Friday through Sunday, with estimated domestic box office earnings:
1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, $175.5 million
2. Jumanji: The Next Level, $26.1 million
3. Frozen 2, $12.3 million
4. Cats, $6.5 million
5. Knives Out, $6.1 million
6. Bombshell, $5 million
7. Richard Jewell, $2.565 million
8. Queen & Slim, $1.85 million
9. Black Christmas, $1.8 million
10. Ford v Ferrari, $1.8 million
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