Not all $1 billion movies are created equal
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has officially crossed $1 billion at the box office worldwide, making it Disney’s seventh film in 2019 to hit the 10-figure mark, via Variety. But The Rise of Skywalker has taken longer than its predecessors to hit $1 billion, the latest indication that the ninth Star Wars film just isn’t doing very well at the box office compared to the other sequels.
For nearly any other film, hitting $1 billion at the box office in four weeks would be something to celebrate. But The Rise of Skywalker is a Star Wars film, as well as the closing piece of the resurrected sequel trilogy. It’s taken Rise of Skywalker 28 days to cross the $1 billion mark, when The Force Awakens hit that same mark in 12 days and The Last Jedi in 19.
There are any number of factors that likely contributed to The Rise of Skywalker underperforming: fatigue from an oversaturation of Star Wars films in the marketplace, or lingering malcontent over the controversial choices made by The Last Jedi. But it’s impossible to ignore that most people thought The Rise of Skywalker just wasn’t very good.
Other films, such as Pacific Rim, The Great Wall, and the more recent Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers films, could rely on the international audience to make up for a lackluster domestic box office. While popular in the United States, the Star Wars franchise in general has failed to make as much of a dent in the international market, especially when compared to franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Fast and the Furious, and Jurassic World.