The Rise of Skywalker is estimated to make anywhere between $175 million and $205 million in its debut weekend. In comparison, 2015's The Force Awakens did $247.9 million and 2017's The Last Jedi did $220 million. Earlier estimates for the final installment in the Skywalker Saga had it earning between $185 million to $225 million, though the promotional tour may help to get those numbers back up. J.J. Abrams and crew have gotten an early head start on the marketing and have been doing a lot of talking.
When it comes down to it, The Rise of Skywalker early reactions and first reviews are going to be what brings people into the theater, helping to boost box office numbers. The world premiere will be held on December 16th, with press screenings afterwards, which means the early reactions will be coming in a good few days before the movie hits theaters. The Last Jedi had initial buzz, but bad word of mouth and mixed reviews ended up hurting its debut weekend in the end. Whatever the case may be, it was still a box office success.
In addition to word of mouth and early buzz, Star Wars 9 is going to have some competition at the box office this time around. Jumanji: The Next Level opens the week before and it has received a lot of early praise from critics who were able to view the sequel early. This is the same box office battle that occurred in 2017 with Welcome to the Jungle and The Last Jedi. The first of the Jumanji sequels was a box office smash and nearly made $1 billion globally. There's a good chance that there will be more people around to see the upcoming threequel over the latest Star Wars movie.
The Rise of Skywalker has a lot to live up to, especially with The Mandalorian creating such a stir on Disney+ right now. The divisiveness of The Last Jedi doesn't really help the movie's case, with some fans already bashing it without having even seen it. J.J. Abrams is fully aware of the pressure and is confident that they made a fitting end to the sequel trilogy and if anyone would know, it would be him. He kicked things off in 2015 and it seems fitting to have him back to tie everything together.
The Rise of Skywalker is the culmination of nine movies and stories told over the span of 42 years. J.J. Abrams has a lot to pull off in a rather short amount of time. The director has famously said that endings often scare him, and this project is no different. With that being said, there's a lot to look forward to, including the return of Emperor Palpatine, who Abrams believes had to be a part of the sequel trilogy. In his own words, it would have been "weird" to leave him out. The Rise of Skywalker box office predictions were first reported by Deadline.