It’s no surprise that Disney is expected to make another huge milestone this year at the box office with Star Wars Episode IX: Rise of Skywalker. Since the new Star Wars trilogy started, every major installment in the Skywalker saga has made huge bank during their opening weekend. Force Awakens was initially the biggest opening weekend for a movie back in 2015 with about $248 million at the U.S. box office while Last Jedi, while not as big a debut, made about $220 million back in 2017. The ninth and possibly final installment of the saga is expected to make around that same amount tracking for a domestic opening weekend between $175-$200 million.
This time however, Rise of Skywalker is facing a bit more competition with Bombshell and Cats opening the same day and Jumanji: The Next Level coming out the week prior. Fortunately for Disney, Star Wars is such a big property that any competition it could potentially have wouldn’t tarnish the film’s box office dollars. This is especially apparent when the Fox News drama Bombshell is expected to make about $8 million its opening weekend and the Tom Hopper musical Cats is expected to make $14-$16 million. That’s not to say that neither film will do poorly, as both films could have some strong staying power. After all, Cats is the only big musical to come out this holiday season and Bombshell is expected to get some Oscar buzz for next year’s Academy Awards.
However, it’s clear that Star Wars will still be the biggest film to come out this holiday season, not just because of it’s expected $100-$200 million dollar debut but also the innate popularity of Star Wars films during this time of year. Even with the very divisive reception Last Jedi received from fans, Star Wars is such an iconic franchise that any film with that title will get an audience.
Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker is set for release December 20th, 2019.