The long awaited finale to the Star Wars saga as we know it is officially in theaters now. Since its release on Thursday night, The Rise of Skywalker has earned $40 million domestically and $59 million worldwide and is heading towards the $200 million mark.
Projections place overall Friday earnings at around $90 million with an updated weekend estimate coming in it $190-$195 million domestically. This would make it the third best December opening of all time, just behind The Force Awakens ($248 million) and The Last Jedi ($220 million), and the second best domestic opening of the year.
The main competition for the weekend box office is Tom Hooper’s Cats, which though it has a star-studded ensemble, is not expected to put up a big fight with estimates coming in at around $15 million.
Reviews may be a factor holding back Rise of Skywalker from blowing the rest of the trilogy’s box office numbers out of the water. The Last Jedi had mixed reviews and was extremely divisive among fans, and this next film is no different. Critics are split with a 58% Rotten Tomatoes score and users are leaning towards the positive at 86% percent, as of Friday afternoon.
Avengers: Endgame has been the obvious box office leader of 2019, but Rise of Skywalker is expected to be a runner up as long as it surpasses The Lion King‘s $180 million opening. Like Endgame, this film is the culmination of years and years of films and anticipation, weaving in narratives of past films with this last installment. There are fan favorites returning, such as Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher, and answers to some long asked questions such as who Rey’s parents really are.
The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now. Check back for more box office updates as numbers come in.