Is Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker A Billion Dollar Disaster?

Can a movie gross $1 billion AND still be a disappointment?


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has most certainly split opinion both within the walls of the WhatCulture offices and out in the real world. For every person who loathed the movie, there are some who adored the J.J. Abrams’ send-off for the famed Skywalker Saga. For every person who loved the movie, there are likewise those who view the picture as an abomination on a multitude of levels.

But with The Rise of Skywalker edging ever closer to that magical $1 billion box office haul, can the film be realistically labelled as the first $1 billion disappointment? That’s an argument Forbes has recently tried to make.

Given the movie’s believed budget of $275 million, $1 billion clearly represents a hefty profit margin for Disney and Lucasfilm. The thing is, does that $1 billion marker simply mask over some larger problems.

When Disney first announced the decision to move The Rise of Skywalker from its original May 2019 release to a December 2019 release, that was one smart move to attract a greater box office figure. After all, by running across late December, this effectively gives the movie chance to play during weeks where children are off school and workers are taking time off for the holidays – meaning that more people have more free time to take a chance on The Rise of Skywalker.

Even after a strong opening weekend in which the movie took $177 million, J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX has been hit badly in the picture’s week-to-week numbers. With each passing week, the film’s numbers have dropped by over 50% from the previous weekend’s figures – to the point that The Rise of Skywalker’s fourth-weekend drop is the second-worst ever for a movie budgeted at over $100 million. That infamous honour of the worst ever in that regard is Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Continued in part 2...


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