Sunday December 22, 2019
Box Office: ‘Skywalker’ Doesn't Exactly Rise
How does J.J. Abrams have so much power? What is he considered good at?
He directed the worst of the “Mission: Impossible” movies—the third. He rebooted “Star Trek” by destroying Vulcan and then directed the worst of the reboots—“Into Darkness.” He made his own Spielberg-homage film, “Super 8,” but it was less than super, then took over the “Star Wars” franchise and promptly killed off Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. Now he's directed one of the worst of the “Star Wars” movies. I guess he's more producer (69 credits) than director (15)? Maybe he should stick to that.
Anyway, the third of the new “Star Wars” movies, or No. IX overall, “The Rise of Skywalker,” opened this weekend to pretty good box office for anything other than a “Star Wars” movie:
- “The Force Awakens”: Dec. 18-20, 2015: $247 million
- “The Last Jedi”: Dec. 15-17, 2017: $220 million
- “The Rise of Skywalker”: Dec. 20-22: $175.5 million
This is the latest in terms of calendar date it's opened—i.e., closest to Christmas, a very busy time for everyone, so it may recover. But “Force” opened with a new weekend box office record, while “Jedi” was still second all-time to “Force.” “Skywalker”? It's 12th. The “Star Wars” opener has fallen off by $75 million.
The other opener this weekend, the much-panned “Cats,” did as poorly as you'd think: $6.5 million in 3,380 theaters. One wonders how many attendees went out of morbid curiosity.
Interesting to see that “Parasite,” the critics' darling from Korea, has already grossed $21 million. That's got to be top tier for foreign-language films at the domestic box office, but I don't know if Box Office Mojo still lists such a thing, and if they did, where I might find it.