Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Is a Box Office Bomb in China

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Is a Box Office Bomb in China

20 Dec 2019 (PT)
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKERTHE RISE OF SKYWALKERRISE OF SKYWALKERBOX OFFICESKYWALKERSTAR WARS

Things are looking good at the box office for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in North America, but the picture in one of the world's biggest movie-consuming markets is another story entirely. On its opening day in China, the latest entry in the long-running sci-fi franchise flopped in a big way, which predicts an ugly finish for the final chapter of the Skywalker saga in the Middle Kingdom.

Star Wars has failed to connect with Chinese audiences on the same level as major superhero movies and some other blockbusters in recent years, but this is on another level. Per early box office reports, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker earned just $2.2 million on Friday and $5.87 million across its first two days of release in the country. Those numbers are nothing shy of brutal. What's more, it's now predicted that Episode IX will finish its entire theatrical run in China with just $18 million. Not for the weekend, but for its entire lifetime. To say the least, that's not what Disney and Lucasfilm were hoping for.

On one hand, this isn't the most surprising result, as the Disney era of the franchise hasn't translated as well in China. But this represents a steep decline. The Force Awakens opened with $52.3 million on its opening weekend in the country in 2015, on its way to a $126 million finish. The movie earned $2.06 billion globally. Rogue One opened with $30.6 million, finishing with $69.4 million in China, on its way to $1.05 billion globally. The Last Jedi only took in $28.7 million on opening weekend, finishing with just $42.6 million in China. Episode VIII wrapped up its run with $1.33 billion worldwide.

The point being that the Star Wars movies of recent years have earned relatively small percentages of their respective global takes in China. Still, even with that in mind, $18 million is a drop in the bucket for a movie this big. Yet, it's not just a galaxy far, far away in 2019. Other big movies such as Shazam, Dark Phoenix, Men In Black: International and Terminator: Dark Fate, just to name a few, failed to bring in big bucks in China. Yet, China has become a massively important market for studios. On the flipside, Hobbs & Shaw grossed $200 million in China, on its way to $758 million globally.

At the end of the day, this movie's fate will be determined elsewhere. It's cruising to a $200 million opening weekend domestically and is looking at a possible global debut in the $400 million neighborhood. Plus, the audience response to The Rise of Skywalker seems to be quite good, despite the fact that many critics didn't enjoy director J.J. Abrams's return to the series. We'll have to see how things look when the opening weekend numbers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker come in on Monday. This news was previously reported by Variety.

Source: Movieweb

STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKERTHE RISE OF SKYWALKERRISE OF SKYWALKERBOX OFFICESKYWALKERSTAR WARS
Weekend of May 29 - 31, 2020 (IMDb)
The Wretched
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Weeks: 5
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Strike
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Weeks: 10
The Trip to Greece
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The Trip to Greece
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Weeks: 4
True History of the Kelly Gang
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Net: $0.0M Grs: $0.0M
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8.
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10.
Net: $1.1M Grs: $204.3M
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Is a Box Office Bomb in China
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