It's beginning to look like The Rise of Skywalker could end up having a bigger opening weekend than The Last Jedi. Star Wars fans have been pretty satisfied with the promotional material released thus far. However, there are still concerns of franchise fatigue and the ongoing debate over what Rian Johnson did with the sequel trilogy. Obviously, this is Star Wars we're talking about here, so it's going to be massive at the box office, but it's still no match for 2015's The Force Awakens.
Early estimates have The Rise of Skywalker falling into the $185 million to $225 million range. Comparatively, The Force Awakens opened with $248 million, which was the highest opening weekend in history at that time. The Last Jedi opened to just over $200 million, which was a steep decline from the first installment. With that being said, it looks like the third and final installment in the Skywalker Saga will rebound. Since the buzz surrounding the movie has generally been positive, we could see J.J. Abrams ending the trilogy on a high note.
As for the long-term box office estimations, it's looking like Rise of Skywalker will bring in anywhere between $550 million and $750 million domestically, which could very well end up earning more than The Last Jedi. Regardless, there is still a pretty big buzz for the final installment and it has been breaking pre-sale ticket records, though that isn't the best way to predict an opening weekend. The diehard Star Wars fans are going to see the movie no matter what, but as for sticking around at the box office after opening weekend, that will all depend on word of mouth.
After The Last Jedi controversy, word of mouth will be incredibly important for The Rise of Skywalker, which we've been experiencing with the release of the Star Wars 9 final trailer. Not only that, but the movie is hitting theaters on December 20th, which is really close to Christmas and means there could be a dip in initial attendance due to last-minute holiday shopping and parties. Since the upcoming movie is the final installment in the trilogy, we could end up seeing a larger number for the fans who are here to see how everything is wrapped up by J.J. Abrams, especially if the buzz is positive.
The Star Wars sequel trilogy has been divisive as a whole, much like the prequel trilogy was at the time of its release. With that being said, The Rise of Skywalker could end up beating the long-term expectations at the box office, especially with how Star Wars tickets have been selling in the past week, when all is said and done. It will really depend on the early reactions to the movie, both online, and in the real-world. If the buzz is positive, there's a chance we could see the trilogy end on a very high note globally. Or, if the first reactions are mixed, we could see the exact opposite. Will Emperor Palpatine be the one to get all of the fans back into the theater? Box Office Pro was the first to report on The Rise of Skywalker box office predictions.