Are you ready for a whole bunch of box office stats?
In 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens set a then-record with a $247 million opening en route to becoming the highest-grossing domestic film ever with $936 million and $2.06 billion worldwide. In 2017, The Last Jedi earned $220 million in its debut before collecting $620 million in North America and $1.3 billion worldwide. Three out of Disney’s four Star Wars features have grossed at least $1 billion, and the studio has released five $1 billion grossers this year alone. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one feeling inadequate about your finances right now.
As the conclusion to the Skywalker saga, it would be downright shocking if it didn’t at least cross the $1 billion mark. By looking at how the previous two Star Wars episodes performed at the box office and extrapolating those trends alongside Skywalker‘s tracking numbers, we can form a rough prediction in terms of ticket sales. Though tracking projections are notoriously fickle, The Rise of Skywalker is currently on pace for a debut between $175 million and $210 million, per TheWrap.
The Force Awakens generated a 3.7x multiplier—the multiple of the film’s final gross to its debut numbers—while earning 45% of its total gross in domestic ticket sales and 55% from international audiences. The Last Jedi was a bit less leggy, posting a 2.8x multiplier but a similar 47%/53% split. Using these numbers, we can roughly calculate Skywalker‘s box office take at both ends of those tracking projections.
If the conclusion posts a similar multiplier as The Force Awakens while earning $175 million in its debut, it could ultimately haul in $647 million domestic and around $1.4 billion worldwide. But if its debut is closer to $210 million while performing like Episode VII, then the final numbers could shake out to $775 million-plus domestic and $1.7 billion-plus globally. The five highest-grossing movies at the worldwide box office this year are:
- Avengers: Endgame ($2.79 billion)
- The Lion King ($1.65 billion)
- Spider-Man: Far From Home ($1.13 billion)
- Captain Marvel ($1.12 billion)
- Toy Story 4 ($1.07 billion)
If it plays like The Last Jedi, then it’s looking at North American takes between $490 million and $588 million and worldwide totals between $1.04 billion and $1.2 billion. That would be something of a disappointment. Pre-sales for The Rise of Skywalker have been right behind Avengers: Endgame, and its trailers have been met with praise online. The curiosity factor for this grand finale is also expected to help attract audiences.
It’s important to remember, though, that tracking numbers aren’t always accurate and that 2019 has seen a handful of unexpected underachievers. The Rise of Skywalker is also facing some significant competition from Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level (Dec. 13), Universal’s Cats (Dec. 20) and Lionsgate’s Oscars hopeful Bombshell (Dec. 13). But as the finale for more than four decades of Star Wars content, we expect The Rise of Skywalker to post healthy numbers when it arrives Dec. 20.