Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Strong Opening, but Way Behind Other Chapters

The force is still strong with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which dominated the box office this weekend. The ninth installment generated a massive $176 million in U.S. theaters and $374 million globally, despite mixed reviews.

But those domestic figures didn’t come close to matching the opening weekend of its trilogy predecessors, 2015’s “The Force Awakens” ($248 million) and 2017’s “The Last Jedi” ($220 million).

Still, “Rise of Skywalker” represents one of the biggest debuts of 2019, as well as the third-best start for a December release behind “Force Awakens” and “Last Jedi.”

“This is a great start for the kind of film you want to see in theaters,” said Cathleen Taff, Disney’s president of global distribution. “We’re excited to see audiences showing up. The great thing about ‘Star Wars’ is it’s so beloved and people are so passionate about it. Director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy did a beautiful job in honoring that legacy.”