Weekend Box Office: ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ Falls Far Short Of $200 Million, And ‘Cats’ Coughs Up A Furball

Weekend Box Office: ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ Falls Far Short Of $200 Million, And ‘Cats’ Coughs Up A Furball

22 Dec 2019 (PT)
THE RISE OF SKYWALKERWEEKEND BOX OFFICERISE OF SKYWALKERBOX OFFICESKYWALKERCATS

Avengers: Endgame holds the record for the biggest opening weekend of all time with $357 million, followed by Avengers: Infinity War with $257 million, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens with $247 million and Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi with $220 million. The $179 million opening weekend for Star Wars Episode IX — The Rose of Skywalker would put it around 11th, roughly even with Captain America: Civil War. It's also good for the third best December opening of all time, behind the other two Star Wars films from this decade.

Should Disney be disappointed in $179 million? Absolutely not, because between Christmas Day and New Year's Day, every day at the box office is like a weekend day, and even with a movie as big as a Star War, there are those who decide not to see it the weekend before Christmas because they're waiting to see it on Christmas Day, or with their family during the week. Is it going to fetch the $936 million earned by The Force Awakens domestically? Probably not, but it might do Black Panther numbers $700 million and cross the $1 billion mark globally, even without much help from China, which doesn't like Star Wars.

Rise of Skywalker is going to do just fine, in spite of the divided audiences, the mixed reviews 57 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, only marginally better than the 53 percent of Phantom Menace, and even the relatively weak Cinemascore B+, lower than even Solo's A-. Audiences are still going to flock to it because it's a Star Wars movie, because it's the end of a story arc that's 42 years in the making, and because everyone wants to see what all the fuss is about. It will eventually end up being Disney's seventh billion dollar movie of the year.

As expected, it also took a chunk out of Jumanji: Next Level's receipts, as it dropped 56 percent to $25.8 million. However, it has already earned $101.2 million domestic, and it will probably continue being the number two choice of most movieogoers over the holiday, so it should do just fine, as well. Disney's Frozen is still doing just fine, as well, after five weeks, earning another $12.6 million to bring its domestic take to $387 million. It should surpass Spider-Man: Far from Home on Monday, thus ensuring that Disney has all the top five films of the year.

Meanwhile, in at fourth place, the “What were they thinking?” movie of the year goes to Cats, which Universal spent $80 to $100 million to make and hired the likes of Judi Dench, Idris Elba, and Taylor Swift to star in it. It earned $6.5 million in its opening weekend. That's not good, but it could have been survivable. A couple of years ago, the musical The Greatest Showman opened around the same weekend in December with only $8.8 million, but with an A Cinemascore and amazing word of mouth, and the film managed to blossom over the holidays into a $175 million hit. Cats, on the other hand, has a C+ Cinemascore. That is really bad, and the 19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes is not helping matters. It's not dead on arrival exactly, but it did come with its own set of defibrillators.

Jay Roach's Bombshell, meanwhile, earned $5.07 million in 1480 theaters, which doesn't necessarily look great for the film. However, Lionsgate only spent $32 million on it, and even with a slow start, the Fox News pic has a good shot at earning back its nickel by the end of the two-week holiday period. The 65 percent on Rotten Tomatoes isn't a huge boon, but Margot Robbie and Charlize Theron should put enough butts into seats over the holidays to generate a marginal profit and some awards consideration.

Behind Bombshell but running about even with the first week of Cats was another week of Knives Out, which earned $6.12 million to bring its total to $89.5 million and $185 million worldwide. Shout out to a couple of original films geared toward adults in Knives Out and Ford v. Ferrari — in 10th place with $1.64 million and $101 million overall — for not conceding the theatrical box office to Disney.

Clint Eastwood's Richard Jewell did not turn it around in its second week, falling 44 percent from its weak opening to a dismal $2.5 million and $9.5 million after 10 days. With $1.9 million, Queen & Slim is still hanging in there, as it has now earned $36 million. Black Christmas finished in 9th place with $1.8 million and $7.2 million overall.

On Christmas Day, a few more movies will enter multiplexes to compete for those holiday dollars. Greta Gerwig's very well received Little Women will take on the animated Spies in Disguise while Adam Sandler's Uncut Gems goes wide.

THE RISE OF SKYWALKERWEEKEND BOX OFFICERISE OF SKYWALKERBOX OFFICESKYWALKERCATS
Weekend of May 22 - 24, 2020 (IMDb)
The Wretched
1.
The Wretched
Net: $0.2M Grs: $0.6M
Weeks: 4
How to Build a Girl
2.
How to Build a Girl
Net: $0.0M Grs: $0.1M
Weeks: 3
The Trip to Greece
3.
The Trip to Greece
Net: $0.0M Grs: $0.0M
Weeks: 1
True History of the Kelly Gang
4.
True History of the Kelly Gang
Net: $0.0M Grs: $0.0M
Weeks: 5
The Burnt Orange Heresy
5.
The Burnt Orange Heresy
Net: $0.0M Grs: $0.0M
Weeks: 12
6.
Net: $0.0M Grs: $0.0M
Weeks: 10
7.
Net: $2.4M Grs: $13.4M
Weeks: 2
8.
Net: $2.2M Grs: $62.1M
Weeks: 4
9.
Net: $1.3M Grs: $9.9M
Weeks: 4
10.
Net: $1.1M Grs: $204.3M
Weeks: 9
Weekend Box Office: ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ Falls Far Short Of $200 Million, And ‘Cats’ Coughs Up A Furball
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