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'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker' looks to cap off Disney's incredible year at the box office – CNN, CNN

'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker' looks to cap off Disney's incredible year at the box office – CNN, CNN


New York (CNN Business)Disney is about toend its landmark yearwith yet another box office milestone as the final chapter of the Skywalker saga storms into theaters this weekend.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is expected to have a $ 175 million opening in North America this weekend, according to industry analysts, but some expertspredict it could bring in as much as $ million or more.Disney(DIS)says it’s anticipating a three-day opening around $ 175 million. It made $ million on Thursday night. That’s the fifth highest-grossing Thursday night of all time.

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If it does cross the $ million mark, that would be the second biggest opening of this year, behind ” Avengers: Endgame

. ” Only seven films in history have opened to more than $ million domestically, and two of those films are part of the Star Wars franchise.

A $ million opening, however, would still be less than the domestic debuts of ” The Force Awakens, “Disney’s first film in the new trilogy which made $ 248 million in 2017, and its 2017 sequel “The Last Jedi,” which brought in $ million.

“Rise of Skywalker” holds an enviable box office position of being the final chapter of a Star Wars saga that was 42 years and three trilogies in the making, not to mention a fanbase that spans the globe and generations. Fandango correspondent Erik Davis said “Rise of Skywalker” caps off “a story that is among the most well-known and beloved stories ever told on the big screen.”

“There are countless households across the world that consider Star Wars to be like family,” Davis told CNN Business. “It’s really that personal connection that helps it endure.”

Star Wars is by no means coming to an end. There will still be merchandising,theme park attractions, Disney seriesand spinoff films on the big screen. Disney announced in May that it is producingthree more “Star Wars” films that will hit theaters starting in (*********************************************.

“Rise of Skywalker” looks to cap off an incredible year for Disney at the box office. The company set the record for thehighest-grossing year for a studio in July. Disney also hadsix films gross $ 1 billion or more at the worldwide box officethis year with “Rise of Skywalker” potentially set up to be the seventh.

'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' rises to the occasion of concluding the epic saga

Star Wars at a crossroads****************

Star Wars has made roughly $ 9 billion worldwide over films, and that’s not accounting for inflation. Yet despite the franchise’s pop culture cachet, the films’ box office performances have been uneven under Disney, whichacquired Lucasfilm in 2012.

“Force Awakens” shattered box office records before making $ 2 billion and a year later Rogue One, “Disney’s first Star Wars spinoff, made just over $ 1 billion.

“Last Jedi” was a critical and commercial success, but the filmsparked a backlashon social media. Then in 2022, the spinoff film “Solo: A Star Wars Story” disappointed at the box office, bringing in $ 393 million globally, which would be impressive for any other film, but a box office low for the series.

Critics were unimpressed with “Rise of Skywalker.” The film holds a 90% score on review site Rotten Tomatoes – a steep drop from the scores for “Force Awakens” and “Last Jedi,” which were (% and%, respectively.

“The Star Wars brand has certainly fluctuated since Disney purchased the rights,” Jeff Bock, senior analyst at entertainment research firm Exhibitor Relations, told CNN Business. “However, the ebb and flow of the franchise is a problem that, honestly, any other studio would love to acquire.”

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The final chapter in the Skywalker saga arrives at a crossroads for the franchise. With the next film still three years away and no announcement about who will helm it since “Game of Thrones” creatorsDavid Benioff and DB Weiss dropped out in October, it’s unclear how the next chapter of Star Wars will play out.

****** Disney is filling the gap with “The Mandalorian”. on Disney , the company’s new streaming service that is home to most of the Star Wars movies that came before “Rise of Skywalker.” There is also anObi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregorin the works for Disney .

Star Wars “helped define the blockbuster era, which really changed cinema,” Vanity Fair pop culture writer Joanna Robinson said. “Maybe it’ll help define the era of streaming too.”

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