‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Dominates Final 2019 Weekend with $72 Million

     December 29, 2019

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We are coming to the end of the final weekend of 2019 (say what?) and it looks like Disney/Lucasfilm release Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is still top dog. The final Skywalker saga movie, which was directed by J.J. Abrams and stars Daisy RidleyOscar IsaacAdam DriverJohn Boyega (and so many other famous faces), continued to reap the rewards of crowds ostensibly looking for some thrills to revive them from their holiday hangovers.

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Image via Lucasfilm

To that end, Rise of Skywalker reeled in $72 million domestically from 4,406 theaters and and whopping $94.3 million overseas with 52 territories accounted for. This means Rise of Skywalker is ending its second weekend in theaters with a global weekend total of $166.6 million. Among the top international territories are (in order): the UK ($51.4M), Germany ($44.1M), France ($34.7M), Japan ($29.2M), and Australia ($21.2M). The Rise of Skywalker is just as big a movie overseas as it is here in the U.S., topping the charts in countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Bolivia, Trinidad, and Uruguay.

To date, Rise of Skywalker has made $362 million domestically, $363 million internationally, and crossed the $700 million mark in its global lifetime total with $725 million in the bank. Although Rise of Skywalker is still behind the record-breaking Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (the movie’s two-week domestic total was up to $540 million in 2015), it has caught up with the pace set up by Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2017. Back then, The Last Jedi‘s two-week total was at $368 million. So yeah, who cares if The Rise of Skywalker dipped 59% in its earnings from opening weekend — this one’s got legs!

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Image via Lionsgate

Among the big wins for the weekend was watching the #6 movie of the weekend, Knives Out, up 50% from last weekend and crossing the $100 million mark in its domestic total on Friday. At the end the weekend, the Rian Johnson-directed murder mystery added $9.7 million from 2,022 theaters, resulting in a domestic total of $110 million and a global total of more than $214 million as we head into Monday. This is a massive, massive win not just for all hands involved in the Lionsgate release but proof audiences are hungry for some original, smart, sharp storytelling based on zero pre-existing IPs but is just as full of heart and imagination. Knives Out is staying in theaters as we go into 2020 and is bringing with it 3 Golden Globes nominations and lots of additional awards season buzz.

Elsewhere in the box office chart, we have Jumanji: The Next Level at #2 with $35.3 million brought in the weekend from its 4,227 domestic theaters for an overall domestic total of $175 million. The Jumanji sequel isn’t quite keeping up with the pace of its predecessor, 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, as it exits its third weekend in theaters. Back in 2017, Welcome to the Jungle had a domestic total of $245.6 million. This is in no definitive way a sign of trouble, especially considering it’s competing against The Rise of Skywalker, but it’s worth noting. Also, The Next Level‘s global total is now at $375 million worldwide.

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Image via Sony Pictures

Sony’s Little Women is at #3 as it ends its opening weekend run with $16.5 million earned domestically. Regardless of the total, this is a pleasing and surprising finish for the updated classic tale of four New England sisters coming of age together, as directed by Greta Gerwig. This is one of the rare times we’ve seen a female director’s pic make it into the top of the box office chart in recent memory. It should also be considered a warm welcome back for Gerwig, whose previous release was the 2017 award-winning Lady Bird.

Fellow newcomer Spies in Disguise is at #4 with a wide release weekend total of $13.2 million. The winning combo of Tom Holland and Will Smith seemed to do the trick as the 20th Century Fox release offered something different for families looking for a non-Frozen II release. Spies in Disguise did well with overseas audiences, too, bringing in $16 million from 32 markets for a global opening weekend total of $29.2 million. The animated super spy flick received a A- CinemaScore with audience demographics showing 54% of audiences were female and 46% male, 20% were age 9 or younger. In perhaps the biggest surprise of all, it looks like folks age 25 to 44 were actually the largest portion of audiences, accounting for 30%.

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Image via A24

Adam Sandler‘s latest star turn in the Benny and Josh Safdie pic Uncut Gems has finally made its way into the top 10 after gaining momentum in previews at the specialty box office. Opening wide over the holidays, the A24 release reeled in $9.5 million over the weekend, bringing its domestic total to $21 million. The star-power of Sandler plus his buzzy award season turn in the story of a Diamond District jeweler reaping the consequences of his poor gambling decisions got the movie to #7 in the charts, right above #8’s Cats. The stinkbomb that is Tom Hooper‘s Cats, now no longer competing in the 2020 awards season, earned just $4.83 million in its second weekend in theaters. This brings the Universal feature’s domestic total up to $18 million, signaling a more than $80 million loss after two weeks on the reportedly $100+ million movie musical. Now, Cats will continue to minimize this total loss as it remains in theaters but it’s highly likely the loss will remain in the double digits — a real low note for Universal to end the calendar year on.

January 2020 at the movies will begin on a scary note with the release of the latest remake of The Grudge, starring Andrea RiseboroughBetty GilpinJohn Cho, and Demian Bechir. Until then, take a peek at our reviews of Little Women and Uncut Gems and make sure to revisit our lengthy Q&A with Knives Out director Rian Johnson where he talks about the movie in great and illuminating detail.

Rank

Title

Weekend

Total

1.

Star Wars/Rise of Skywalker

$72,000,000

$361,796,816

2.

Jumanji: The Next Level

$35,300,000

$175,456,805

3.

Little Women

$16,525,000

$29,000,000

4.

Frozen II

$16,500,000

$421,290,889

5.

Spies in Disguise

$13,200,000

$22,087,856

6.

Knives Out

$9,725,000

$110,237,095

7.

Uncut Gems

$9,550,000

$21,074,669

8.

Cats

$4,830,000

$17,820,175

9.

Bombshell

$4,700,000

$15,631,427

10.

Richard Jewell

$3,010,000

$16,064,186

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