“Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker” Box Office Plummets over 90%, Worst Drop of the Disney Sequels

While the box office for “#StarWars IX: #TheRiseOfSkywalker” was the highest during first 3 weekends, that is no longer the case with the opening of the war drama #1917 in wide release.  The film’s 4th weekend earnings were only $15.1 million domestic, which, when compared with the film’s opening weekend, is a 91.5% drop in box office earnings. This is the biggest 4th weekend drop of all of the #Disney “Star Wars” sequel trilogy films, and the film also had the largest 3rd weekend drop of the three.

In terms of overall box office performance, “The Rise of Skywalker” has broken the long-standing tradition of the 3rd film in a trilogy outperforming the 2nd film in the trilogy. (The 3rd films in the original and prequel trilogies that were produced by George Lucas both outperformed their respective 2nd trilogy films.)

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Comparing the gross box office receipts for each of the Disney “Star Wars” sequel films, the following patterns emerge.

  • The opening weekends for each film were progressively worse, which is not consistent with how well the 3rd films performed during the original or prequel trilogies.
  • With the exception of the 2nd weekend, “The Rise of Skywalker” earned less than its sequel trilogy predecessors for each subsequent weekend.
  • “The Rise of Skywalker” has seen more than a 50% drop in gross weekend box office receipts between all subsequent weekends. “Star Wars VII: #TheForceAwakens” did not experience a weekend-to-weekend drop in box office of more than 50% until its 4th weekend.
  • With the exception of the 2nd weekend, “The Rise of Skywalker” has experienced the largest percentage drops in box office receipts when compared with opening weekend.
  • “The Rise of Skywalker” is the first of the three films to reach a more than 90% drop in overall box office receipts when compared with opening weekend. It was also the first to experience a more than 80% drop during its 3rd weekend. In comparison, “The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars VIII: #TheLastJedi” didn’t experience an 80% drop in overall box office receipts until their 4th weekends.

When looking at worldwide gross box office earnings, “The Rise of Skywalker” still hasn’t reached the $1 billion dollar mark:

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If we compare the current earnings of “The Rise of Skywalker” with those of the Disney sequel trilogy and “#RogueOne: A Star Wars Story”, we’ll see that the current earnings of “The Rise of Skywalker” are almost the same for what they were for “Rogue One”, so it’s entirely possible that (from the graph below) “The Rise of Skywalker” may not earn as much as “Rogue One” or it may only earn slightly over the overall earnings of “Rogue One”. With more films being released in theaters in the coming weeks, “The Rise of Skywalker” will have more competition, which will take more earnings away from it.

"Star Wars" Earnings Graph

Earnings of “Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens”, “Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi”, “Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker” & “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”.

References

“Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker” Flops in China on Friday Debut

Box office numbers for “#StarWars IX: #TheRiseOfSkywalker” in China on opening weekend are so poor, that it has flopped. Total box office receipts for the film for both Thursday and Friday showings as of 8 p.m. local time were only $2.2 million; and ticketing agency Maoyon is predicting a total ticket sales throughout the country of only $18 million. This is significantly lower than how well previous Disney-era “Star Wars” films have performed in China:

  • In Jan. 2016, “Star Wars VII: #TheForceAwakens” opened in China with a $52.3 million weekend and achieved a lifetime score of $126 million.
  • “#RogueOne: A Star Wars Story” that released in Dec. 2016 with Chinese stars Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen in prominent roles, managed $30.6 million on opening and a lifetime $69.4 million.
  • In 2017, “Star Wars VIII: #TheLastJedi” slipped further, registering an opening weekend of $28.7 million and a lifetime cumulative of $42.6 million.
  • In 2018, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” bombed in China, earning only $10.1 million on its opening weekend.

In other words, the total expected box office for “The Rise of Skywalker” in China is less than the opening weekends for 3 of the previous “Star Wars” films that were released there, and is far less than “Solo”, which was a worldwide box office flop.

Currently, the film is only projected to earn $170-$200 million in North America, which would be significantly lower than both “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi”, which had opening weekends of $247,966,675 and $220,009,584 respectively.

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References

“Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker”: Suffers from a Frustrating Lack of Imagination, but with Fan-Focused Devotion

With the ninth film in the #StarWars saga now opening in some parts of the world, professional reviews for “Star Wars IX: #TheRiseOfSkywalker” are decidedly mixed on #rottentomatoes with a metacritic score of 57% (as of the time of that this post was written), which is the second lowest metacritic score for all of the live-action “Star Wars” films. (Only the metacritic score of 53% for “Star Wars I: #ThePhantomMenace” is lower.)

The overall consensus on rottentomatoes for the film is defined as follows:

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker suffers from a frustrating lack of imagination, but concludes this beloved saga with fan-focused devotion.”

"Star Wars IX" Metacritic Score from Rottentomatoes

“Star Wars IX” Metacritic Score from Rottentomatoes

To see how the fans might react to the film, we sat down and did a comparison of the rottentomatoes metacritic scores with the user scores for the live action “Star Wars” films on IMDb. The results were very interesting.

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From this values, we found that there is a correlation of 80% between the two sets of ratings, which implies that the rottentomatoes metacritic score is a good indicator of how well users are actually going to like the film. Based on this correlation. we are able to predict that the user rating for “Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker” is probably going to be around 6.4 to 6.5, which isn’t good at all as it implies that the “Star Wars” trilogy of trilogies is going to end on a very forgettable note.

Now, when we first started to write this blog post, there were no ratings showing up on IMDb.com, but as of the time that we are working to complete this blog post, there are ratings appearing because theaters outside of the U.S. are opening and viewers are beginning to watch the film. So, right now, with just under 8000 votes, the rating for “Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker” on IMDb is 6.8, which is very close to the value that we have predicted. Assuming that the people going to see the film as early as possible are the hardcore “Star Wars” fans, that 6.8 rating is very telling and once more members of the general public see the film (who aren’t necessarily huge fans of the franchise), that rating may continue to go down. Only time will tell.

References

J.J. Abrams Confirms “Star Wars IX” Is “Still Being Worked On”

With less than one month before “#StarWars IX: #TheRiseOfSkywalker” is supposed to open in theaters, director J.J. Abrams told Entertainment Weekly that the film is “still being worked on”:

“We always knew we were going to have three fewer months to postproduction this film,” says Abrams. “So much is still being worked on. It’s literally a practical race to get it finished.”

J.J. Abrams then claims that he’s feeling better about “The Rise of Skywalker” than his work on “Star Wars VII: #TheForceAwakens”, saying,

“We had more reshoots on Episode VII than this one,” Abrams says. “We had more story adjustments on VII than this one. We didn’t know if these characters would work, if the actors would be able to carry a Star Wars movie. There were a lot of things we didn’t know. On this, we knew who and what worked, and everyone is doing the best work I’ve ever seen anyone do. But the ambition of this movie is far greater than Force Awakens. What we set out to do was far more challenging. Everything is exponentially larger on this.”

Rumors about “The Rise of Skywalker” indicate there are multiple cuts of the film with radical changes to the story in each of the different cuts. In fact, one of the cuts reportedly brought in George Lucas to introduce a new “secret Skywalker.” One rumor from the middle of October detailed that Lucasfilm and Disney had to rework almost the entire film. Abrams’ quotes will more than likely not settle any fears fans might have that the film is a complete mess. In fact, he appears to be confirming those fears noting they are crunching to get the film finished.

Rey in Ep. IX

References

 

“Maleficent 2” Bombs in North America

#Disney’s #Maleficent sequel, “Maleficent: #MistressOfEvil,” bombed during its opening weekend in North America, earning only $36 million, in spite of it topping the box office. With a $185 million budget, the sequel is a far cry from the original “Maleficent”, which earned $69 million during its opening weekend in 2014.

“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” also did extremely poorly in Japan, where it only earned $3.2 million. By comparison, “Maleficent” earned $67 million in Japan during its opening weekend in 2014.

Arriving over five years after the first “Maleficent”, the Angelina Jolie, Michelle Pfeiffer and Elle Fanning fantasy is suffering the same grim fate as “The LEGO Movie 2”, “Pacific Rim: Uprising”and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” that were released earlier this year.

Not all news is entirely bad for “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” as its total earnings overseas were $117 million, with $22 million coming from China and $10 million from Russia. But, while its total global worldwide earrings were $155 million. it will still need to earn quite  bit in order to break even. Only time will tell whether that actually happens.

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References

“Game of Thrones” & the Infamous Starbucks Coffee Cup

Many fans of the hugely popular #HBO #fantasy series #GameOfThrones weren’t too happy during the airing of the 8th season’s episode 4 entitled “The Last of the Starks” on the evening of May 5, 2019 when what appeared to be a #Starbucks’ paper coffee cup with a plastic lid was on the table in front of the seated character Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) during a tavern scene:

"Game of Thrones" Starbucks Coffee Cupq

“Game of Thrones”, Season 8, Ep. 4: Highlighted Starbucks Coffee Cup

How unhappy are fans with this particular episode of “Game of Thrones”? Well, on IMDb,  every episode (beginning from Season 1, Ep. 1) has a rating of at least an 8.0. Many of the episodes have ratings well above a 9.0. But, how did fans rate Season 8, Ep. 4, “The Last of the Starks”? A measly 6.9. This is the first episode on the 8-year history of the series to earn a rating not only below an 8.0 on IMDb.com, but also a rating below a 7.0.

This episode also didn’t do well on RottenTomatoes, where it received a very low 57%. However, this isn’t actually the lowest rated episode on RottenTomatoes: that honor (or dishonor) goes to Season 5, Ep. 6. “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”, which has a very low 54% rating. But, similar to IMDb, nearly all of the other episodes have a high ratings on RottenTomatoes, typically over 90%.

Now, while we can’t say for certain whether or not the infamous Starbucks coffee cup is the reason for the lower ratings for this particular episode, it is very likely a factor as it also made the national news and was laughed about quite a bit on late-night TV shows.

From “Good Morning America”:

From Jimmy Kimmel:

From Stephen Colbert (the 2nd half of the video):

References

91st Academy Award Nominees

The 2018 #Oscar nominees have been announced and eight #SciFi & #Fantasy films have been nominated in multiple categories, including for “Best Picture”!

The eight sci-fi & fantasy films that have received at least one nomination are as follows:

  • #AvengersInfinityWar
  • #BlackPanther
  • #ChristopherRobin
  • #IsleOfDogs
  • #MaryPoppinsReturns
  • #ReadyPlayerOne
  • “#Solo: A #StarWars Story”
  • “#SpiderMan: Into the Spider-Verse”

Award Categories Breakdown

For Best Animated Film:

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

For Costume Design:

  • Black Panther (Ruth Carter)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (Sandy Powell)

For Music (Original Score):

  • Black Panther (Ludwig Goransso)
  • Isle of Dogs (Alexandre Desplat)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (Marc Shaiman)

For Music (Original Song):

  • “All the Stars” from Black Panther
  • “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns

For Best Picture:

  • Black Panther

For Production Design:

  • Black Panther (Production Design: Hannah Beachler; Set Decoration: Jay Hart)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (Production Design: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim)

For Sound Mixing:

  • Black Panther (Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor and Peter Devlin)

For Visual Effects:

  • Avengers: Infinity War (Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl and Dan Sudick)
  • Christopher Robin (Christopher Lawrence, Michael Eames, Theo Jones and Chris Corbould)
  • Ready Player One (Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler and David Shirk)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Dominic Tuohy)

Total Number of Nominations for Each Film

Here’s how many nominations each sci-fi & fantasy film received:

  • Black Panther: 6
  • Mary Poppins Returns: 4
  • Avengers: Infinity War: 1
  • Christopher Robin: 1
  • Isle of Dogs: 1
  • Ready Player One: 1
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story: 1
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: 1

References